Balcarras

Teaching School

Event; Defining and enhancing the role of the subject leader- managing curriculum change 

Cross Phase 
Tuesday 10th November 2020 – 16:00 – 18:00 (Virtual event)

This event will give subject leaders, subject specialists and faculty leaders a range of coaching skills and techniques that will support them in ensuring that there is a powerful culture of sharing and cascading of good and outstanding practice across their teams. We focus on how to encourage opportunities for a professional dialogue where colleagues reflect on their subject knowledge, approaches to classroom pedagogy and the development of effective learning and meta-cognitive skills. The introduction of the new OFSTED framework and the emphasis on curriculum as the driver for quality in education highlights the importance of the role of the subject leader.

If you would like to book places for your colleagues on any of the activities please contact Jo Newman. Her email    address is: jmn@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk  
A link for the virtual event will be sent to you nearer the time of the event

This event is FREE to all Teaching School Partners. 
There is a fee of £50 to non-partners.

Event; Literacy Across the Curriculum

Secondary

Tuesday 17th November 2020 – 16:00 – 17:30 (Virtual event)

This session will be delivered by Hannah Wranosky, literacy lead at Balcarras.

Hannah's session will focus on practical strategies for developing student's literacy skills across the curriculum. We will begin by considering why literacy skills are essential for student's success at GCSE and then look at a range of classroom activities that will develop students reading skills and are suitable for a range of subjects. The session is suitable for teachers of all subjects - particularly NQTs and recently qualified teachers.

If you would like to book a place for you or your colleagues please contact Jo Newman. Her email address is:  jmn@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk or visit: https://forms.gle/cQWtfwnAxziTGx62A

A link for the virtual event will be sent to you nearer the time of the event

This event is FREE to all Teaching School Partners.

There is a fee of £50 to non-partners.

Event; Teaching for Mastery  

Secondary

Tuesday 15th December 2020 – 16:00 – 17:00 (Virtual event)

Pippa Baker and Steve Lomax have been examining Teaching for Mastery within maths and are now exploring the role of Teaching for Mastery within all subjects.

Teaching for Mastery covers ‘Five Big Ideas’:

  • Coherence
  • Representation and Structure
  • Mathematical Thinking
  • Fluency
  • Variation

  The targeted and individualised nature of this teaching and learning approach has a very positive effect on student learning

This session will examine Teaching for Mastery in all classrooms. It will examine ways in which students can acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of their subjects.

If you would like to book a place for you or your colleagues please contact Jo Newman. Her email address is:  jmn@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk or visit: https://forms.gle/cQWtfwnAxziTGx62A

A link for the virtual event will be sent to you nearer the time of the event

This event is FREE to all Teaching School Partners.

There is a fee of £50 to non-partners.

Teaching School Mastery Team
 

Secondary School teachers

‘Teaching for mastery describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering their subjects. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the content that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material’ (NCETM, 2020).

Pippa Baker has been teaching for Mastery in maths over the past few years.We are now wanting to extend this into all classrooms and examine the role of Teaching for Mastery in all subject areas. We are looking for a group of teachers from a range of subject areas, headed up by Pippa, to apply Mastery techniques within their classrooms.

‘A central component in the programmes to develop Mastery Specialists has been discussion of Five Big Ideas, drawn from research evidence, underpinning teaching for mastery. The diagram below is used to help bind these ideas together’ (NCETM, 2020).

The group will meet (virtually) four times throughout the year, in order to discuss the range of techniques available and how these can be applied within the classroom; as well as feeding back on any successes experienced. This will be supported by classroom observation of Teaching for Mastery in action.

If you would like more information on Teaching for Mastery, please visit https://www.ncetm.org.uk/teaching-for-mastery

We are also hosting a virtual training session on Teaching for Mastery on December 15th, 2020. If you would like more information or are interested in being part of this exciting new project, please contact Roxy Collinson at rxc@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk

Event; Metacognition in Teaching 
 

Secondary School, NQTs and RQTs

Tuesday 19th January 2021 – 16:00 – 17:30 (Virtual event)

‘Metacognition is thinking about one’s thinking.More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one’s understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one’s thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner’ (Vanderbilt University, 2020).

This session is appropriate for NQTs and RTQs (any teacher in their 2nd-5th year of teaching). It will explore metacognitive techniques which assist students to transfer or adapt their learning to new contexts and tasks. Metacognition is critical for the learning process. It's teaching the why, not just the how and helps students to be active readers and critical thinkers.

If you would like to book a place for you or your colleagues please contact Jo Newman. Her email address is:  jmn@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk or visit: https://forms.gle/cQWtfwnAxziTGx62A

A link for the virtual event will be sent to you nearer the time of the event

This event is FREE to all Teaching School Partners.

There is a fee of £50 to non-partners.

Event; Remote Teaching & Learning 
 

For Secondary Teachers

Tuesday 1st December 2020 – 16:00 – 17:30 (Virtual event)

Flexible learning is about accommodating students' needs for when, where and how they study. Inclusive teaching involves recognising and minimising the barriers that hinder students' learning and participation. Although remote, online approaches to teaching and supporting learning may be new, familiar principles of good teaching still apply and this session will provide guidance and techniques to support remote learning that is flexible and inclusive for all students.  

If you would like to book a place for you or your colleagues please contact Jo Newman. Her email address is:  jmn@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk or visit: https://forms.gle/cQWtfwnAxziTGx62A

A link for the virtual event will be sent to you nearer the time of the event

This event is FREE to all Teaching School Partners.

There is a fee of £50 to non-partners.

Event; Managing Student Self Harm 
 

Cross Phase 
Thursday 25th March 2021 – 16:00 – 18:00 at Balcarras School

Satveer has visited Balcarras on many occasions to deliver her amazing session on dealing with self-harm amongst students. In March, Satveer is back to deliver the session to anyone who was unable to attend her previous sessions, this is an opportunity not to be missed.  The aim of the session is to build confidence around the subject of self-harm by reducing stigma, anxiety and fear. Broadly speaking the session will be split into two sections, better understanding self-harm and then supporting someone who self-harms. The content will include:

•    Statistics and definition of self-harm
•    Why people turn to self-harm – triggers and functions
•    Myths & language use
•    How to support someone who self-harms
•    Broaching suspected self-harm
•    Alternative strategies, focusing on stopping and more

If you would like to book places for your colleagues on any of the activities please contact Jo Newman. Her email    address is: jmn@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk

This event is FREE to all Teaching School Partners. 
There is a fee of £50 to non-partners.

Event Reviews

Defining and enhancing the role of the subject leader- managing curriculum change

On Tuesday 10th November 2020,  Balcarras Teaching school hosted a virtual session on ‘Defining and enhancing the role of the subject leader- managing curriculum change’, delivered by the team at Learning Cultures. We were joined by 26 delegates from primary and secondary settings. The session was extremely useful in providing an insight into coaching skills and techniques that support subject leaders in ensuring that there is a powerful culture of sharing and cascading of good and outstanding practice across their teams. We also examined the basics of the new OFSTED framework and the emphasis on curriculum as the driver for quality in education.

Our teaching school continues to grow and goes from strength and strength. It is wonderful to see the support from our partnership schools is ever present at our events. Despite the current situation, the autumn term saw the successful return of subject networks, as well as offering a range of bespoke training opportunities including:

  • 20 NQTs across the partnership, both primary and secondary, participated in our programme which seeks to support the existing provision within schools.
  • Guest speaker Steve Garnett delivered two sessions for partners on cognitive load theory, as well as guidance and resources to aid raising boy’s attainment.
  • The Geography department were joined by staff from partnership schools and further afield for their excellent GCSE and A level exam review courses.
  • Pippa Walker delivered an informative and practical session on working with adopted and cared for children.

A working with adopted children session was held on Wednesday 22nd January 2020, ran by Pip Walker who was incredibly insightful and highlighted the importance of attachment on children from a young age. It was eye opening to explore not only the psychological effects that trauma and neglect can have on children but also the impact on their physical health. The training highlighted the importance of ensuring that teachers are able to support students who have been affected by trauma and neglect and that with the right help and support, young people are able to move forward and be successful in whatever they choose to do.

Our highly successfully MFL Network continues to meet throughout the year, with an array of topics being discussed and guest speakers delivering sessions to assist in the teaching of MFL.  On Tuesday March 3rd, our session focused on focussed on looking back on AQA GCSE Languages in 2019 and forward to 2020. The session received an array of positive feedback, with delegates gaining feed forward information on exams from a senior officer and ‘great intel on how boards and examiners approach the GCSE and areas to focus on to prepare students as effectively as possible for the exams. Sharing good practice and finding out up-to-date info on patterns and trends/pitfalls for students’.

Our Senior Leaders Network also met again in 2020, with a focus on pastoral aspects of school life. Interesting discussions around KS3 and 4 were held, as well as an opportunity to share CPD practice and understanding which schools are wrestling with similar issues; allowing further talks to be held.

Unfortunately, a series of events had to postponed, including our Pastoral and Geography Networks; Raising awareness of student self-harm; Dealing with grief and bereavement in schools, and our 8th annual conference.  These events will return in the new academic year and our conference will return on Friday 26th November 2021, Mary Myatt as our keynote speaker.

Geography GCSE and A-level exam reviews December 2019 

"Both days were excellent, with very useful resources being provided and attendees came away with a lot of practical ideas to be able to put in place within their SOW and their lessons. Both speakers were great and very knowledgeable, they gave practical advice and feedback on not just the exams but also daily ways we can ensure the best progress for pupils'' Nicola Lambert-Masters 

On Tuesday 12th November 2019, Balcarras hosted a history AQA exam review. The history department were joined by a guest speaker from AQA and had the opportunity for feedback and advice following the 2019 summer exams. The session was described by M.Stoker (Head of history) as 'very successful and very useful for all.'

2017 to 2018 was another successful year for the Teaching School, with new additions to the partnerships and a variety of activities and events being delivered, alongside school to school collaborations. The sixth annual teaching and learning conference was attended by 300 colleagues, with a focus on transformational teaching. Furthermore, we have continued with our successful transition group projects and NQT training programmes, alongside our MFL network, geography network, English events and maths hub events.

This year also saw the introduction of a music network and the popular aspiring leaders programme in conjunction with Pittville School. Moreover, Balcarras invited year 9 students for an English debating challenge day, as well as year 5 students for an exciting stretch and challenge science day.

2018/2019 is set to be an equally busy year for the Teaching school, with our seventh annual conference on November 30th, with the theme of ‘stretch and challenge for all’, as well as many subject, pastoral and leadership events lined up throughout the year. 
Miss R. Adams (Teaching School Assistant Coordinator) 

The first Music Network organised by the Partnership took place on Wednesday 4th July 2018.  Colleagues from both primary and secondary sectors attended.

The intention of this first meeting was to give people the chance to meet and talk and to decide on the way forward for the Music Network. We have agreed to look to meet once a term with the next meeting before October half term when we all start to get swamped by Christmas! 

Possible foci that have been suggested for future sessions include:

  • assessment (perhaps including Ofsted angle and 'building' from KS2)
  • KS2-3 transition including understanding what primaries may be using e.g. Charanga and what inspirational ideas there might be out there to aid transition and so forth
  • General sharing of resources (but perhaps needs a more specific focus?)
  • GCSE and A Level focus
  • Pupil Premium - and maybe differentiation as well?

There is potential for visiting speakers for at least some of the above as well.

Please feel free to 'spread the word' about this network. It would be fantastic if it could grow and include both primary and secondary colleagues. Other ideas for foci for this group are also very welcome.

Please email Helen Chong, Director of Music at Balcarras, hjc@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk with any thoughts, ideas or questions.

Sixth Annual Teaching Conference

The sixth annual teaching and learning conference was held on 24th November 2017 at Balcarras School and was attended by over 250 colleagues from our partnership schools. Phil Beadle started the day with his keynote address what makes a transformational teacher? focussing on the five key values that a teacher might want to hold if they were to have a transformational effect on the life chances of the children they teach. Our second keynote address was delivered by Dominic Salles. Dominic’s keynote covered key questions and suggestions for transforming teaching.

There were 11 workshops to choose from this year; the organisers attempted to appeal to a wide range of needs so there would be something for everyone to enjoy. The sessions included an EAL workshop, classroom behaviour management, how to get the best out of your trainee teachers, stretch and challenge, A-Z of pastoral, transition from year 6 to year 7, dealing with the adolescent brain and many more. Feedback from the sessions was extremely positive and it looks like our visitors took something useful away with them to transfer to their classrooms. The seventh annual conference will take place on November 30th 2018,

Balcarras as a Teaching School

Balcarras was designated as a teaching school in May 2012. Our aim is to create and develop a professional learning community where teachers from across the partnership feel able to share practice and learn from one another. To some extent this is inspired by the work of Michael Fullan in Ontario, but it also emerges from the considerable partnerships that have been established between Balcarras and other schools in recent years. Our partnership is genuinely cross phase and we have over 30 schools and various other organisations as members.

At the heart of our partnership is a desire to improve teaching through sharing practice, facilitating opportunities for research, identifying common areas for development and acting as a ‘hub’ to tie all of these different elements together. We want to be action centred so that teachers feel that there is a real impact on the ground. We are open to ideas from all partners and see this as vital in establishing a lasting partnership where all partners feel that they have an input to give, as well as receiving tangible benefits from their role in the alliance.

We have already established a number of projects which have impacted on the quality of provision within our schools. Since May 2012 over a thousand people have attended events organised by the partnership. Below is just a flavour of the work we have undertaken so far.

Network

We have networks established in the following areas:

Hannah Wranosky Literacy Network hlw@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Georgina Bruce Digital Technology gb@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Patrick Sexton History Network pfs@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Liz Cullis Geography Network and KS3 ejc@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Catherine Williams SEN Network cw@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Richard Cook Computing Network rc@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Nicola Masters Differentiation Research nms@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Daren Hazael ArtNetwork  ddh@balcarras.gloucs.sh.uk
Janine Hockenhull MFL Network  jah@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Steve Lomax Maths steve@maxthemaths.co.uk

CPD

We have run a number of CPD courses in the following areas:

  • Aspiring senior leaders
  • Improving your teaching
  • Leading a department
  • Lesson observation
  • Literacy in every classroom
  • New heads’ training
  • Promoting higher order thinking
  • Teaching School NQT Programme
  • Pastoral conferences
  • Improving students’ mental health
  • Stretching Gifted and Talented students

Contact Us

Liz Cullis: Teaching School Co-ordinator ejc@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Dominic Burke: Headteacher, Balcarras School dlb@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Roxanne Adams: Assistant Teaching School Co-ordinator ra@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Nicki Harrington: PA to Headteacher of Balcarras School njh@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk

School Partnership Contacts 

Balcarras Secondary Liz Cullis ejc@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Belmont Special Kevin Day head@belmont.gloucs.sch.uk
Cam Hopton Primary Melanie Skidmore head@camhopton.gloucs.sch.uk
Charlton Kings Junior Lee Pajak head@charltonkings-jun.gloucs.sch.uk
Cheltenham Festivals Phillippa Claridge philippa.claridge@cheltenhamfestivals.com
Cheltenham Learning Partnership Kate Shepherd kate@klshepherd.co.uk
Chipping Campden Secondary Dominic Salles dsalles@ccsacademy.net
Dean Close Secondary Mark Tottman office@deanclose.org.uk
Dorcan Secondary Mrs P Morley pmorley@dorcan.swindon.sch.uk
Dormston Secondary Ben Stitchman bstitchman@dormston.dudley.sch.uk
Eastcombe Primary Claire Jones head@eastcombe.gloucs.sch.uk
Farmor’s Secondary Steve Shaw sshaw@farmors.gloucs.sch.uk
Glenfall Primary Anthony Mitchell head@glenfall.gloucs.sch.uk
Gloucester Road Primary Gayle Fletcher head@gloucesterroad.gloucs.sch.uk
Gloucestershire County Council Sandra Parker
Maria Wells
sandra.parker@gloucestershire.gov.uk
maria.wells@gloucestershire.gov.uk
Holy Apostles Primary Gareth Davies head@holyapostles.gloucs.sch.uk
Leckhampton Primary Sam Porter head@leckhampton.gloucs.sch.uk
Maidenhill Secondary Pam Wilson pwilson@maidenhill.gloucs.sch.uk
Naunton Park Primary Richard Humphrey admin@nauntonpark.gloucs.sch.uk
National Centre for Maths Steve Lomax steve@maxthemaths.co.uk
Pittville Secondary Karen Foster KFoster@pittville.gloucs.sch.uk
Ralph Allen Secondary Sarah Hetenyi S.Hetenyi@ralphallenschool.com
St James’ Primary Lisa Harford head@st-james-pri.gloucs.sch.uk
St John’s Primary Juliette Moxham head@st-johns-pri.gloucs.sch.uk
Swindon Village Primary Johnathan Dyer head@swindonvillage.gloucs.sch.uk
Thomas Keble Secondary Chris Patrick
Julia Maunder
cpatrick@thomaskeble.gloucs.sch.uk
jmaunder@thomaskeble.gloucs.sch.uk
University of Gloucestershire Steve Winston stephenwinstone@glos.ac.uk
Winchcombe Secondary Sarah Teague steague@winchcombeschool.co.uk
Woodmancote Primary Gary Tucker head@woodmancote.gloucs.sch.uk

Newsletters 

If you are interested in the work of the partnership the newsletter, which, are sent out every term will give you a flavour of our work.  See below for the latest edition.

Contact us

If you would like any information about the partnership please contact us. Several schools have joined the partnership in the last year and we are open to the possibility of new members joining. Equally if any of the programmes we run interest you please do get in touch because several of them have been attended by non-partner schools.

Liz Cullis, Assistant Headteacher: ejc@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk
Roxanne Adams, Assistant Co-ordinator of Teaching School: ra@balcarras.gloucs.sch.uk

The partnership has its own website which has more detail about our members and our programme.

www.balcarrasteachingschool.com