Regular readers of my blog may recall that in a previous post, I shared news of our designation as a National Teaching School. A year has now elapsed since “The National Forest Teaching School Alliance” was established and we are currently working hard to both review our progress in that time and formulate the action plan for the forthcoming twelve months. With regard to the review, John Taylor is supporting Arthur Terry Teaching School’s annual review, and they will be assisting us with ours. Collaboration and partnership is very much at the heart of National Teaching Schools – both within our alliance of schools, with other schools with whom we work, and with other neighbouring Teaching Schools.

As we work quickly and purposefully throughout the year, it is sometimes only when we look back and take stock that we can really appreciate what has been achieved: We see the 24 participants from 11 different primary, middle and secondary schools that have engaged in our Improving Teacher Programmes, and a further 22 participants from 9 primary and secondary schools who have been through the Outstanding Teacher Programme.

At the time of writing, we have had 1153 bookings onto training courses run by or hosted at John Taylor and the National Forest Teaching School Alliance. During this academic year, we have trained ten new secondary and six new primary school teachers, and we have plans to expand this further next year (in fact, we are still recruiting for places in Maths, Design Technology, Art, Biology, Physics, Geography, and RE). We’re also working across the region on research projects and developments in the National Curriculum, organising fantastic events at the National Memorial Arboretum for primary colleagues who are developing the History and Geography programmes for the forthcoming year.

Staff from our alliance schools have been working in a number of schools to support their work – in Staffordshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham, and the feedback has been that they’re making a real difference.

We’re really proud of this work that we do. We’ll be showcasing some aspects of our work at the Staffordshire County Council “Impact and Innovation” event on 30th June at the Staffordshire Showground.

However, there is an appetite to do more – research and development work, collaborating with other Staffordshire Teaching Schools to create a “Maths Hub”, and many other plans in the pipeline. John Taylor’s “outstanding” Ofsted Report from our inspection in March gives us greater confidence to develop this work further. Watch this space!

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Mike Donoghue
National Leader of Education – National Forest Teaching School Alliance

Posted by JTMAT