As per task instructions above, I have identified ‘Ensure consistent high quality teaching and learning for all learners’ as the focus for my reflections.
GTCS Standards for Leadership and Management
As I have reflected upon previously, the concepts of teaching and learning are intricately linked. Quality teaching results in quality learning and quality learning is a reflection of the quality of teaching. For some time I mistakenly assumed that if a teacher was delivering a well-planned lesson then pupils were, by default, going to learn. However, there is much more to learning than simply being a participant in a good lesson. Likewise, a well-planned lesson is only as good as what the teacher has planned for. Plan a tight set of activities and tasks, with clear success criteria will ensure pupils are busy and engaged for an hour but they may not actually learn anything.
Based on the GTCS Standards, I am particularly drawn to the statements under section 4.3.3 and the necessary practices that I will need to develop and enhance to ensure I sustain processes and develop pedagogic practices across the school.
As Headteachers, we have a responsibility to ensure two main things: firstly that our teachers plan for the right stuff and, secondly, that they plan for how their pupils will learn, not just do. Peps Mccrae (2018) has written a very helpful paper that summarises the key research and recommendations for improving pupil learning.
There are a number of considerations for my and my teacher’s practices including identifying the key concepts to be learnt, planning for the best ways to focus attention and purposefully revisiting concepts to build long-term memory.
It is interesting to note that the statements within Standard 4.3.3 don’t mention learning at all. I think this is wrong. Teaching and learning cannot be separated. To do so suggests that all our practitioners have to think about it how they teach, not how their pupils learn.
Whilst developing my understanding of these components, I also need to be thinking about how I disseminate the implications to my teaching staff. My practice of leading learning will impact on their practice of leading learning.
GTC Scotland (2012), The Standards for Leadership and Management: supporting leadership and management development, GTC Scotland.
Mccrae, P. (2018), Learning: What is it, and how might we catalyse it?, Institute for Teaching.