Wilson's School

Teaching and Learning

The goal is the change effected in the thinking and practice of our colleagues so that change improves the experience and learning of the students

— Vivienne Porritt

Securing consistently outstanding teaching at Wilson’s is an overriding priority and we strive to ensure that professional development for all staff is as stimulating as possible, creating as many opportunities for discussion and debate about teaching as we can.
Our approach to professional development has evolved significantly over recent years so that we now take a highly personalised approach to match each teacher’s expertise and enthusiasm with suitable training.

Evaluating the impact of professional development and pedagogical approaches is core to our approach and all staff are given an insight into high quality classroom research methodology. Almost all PPD takes place within the school day.
We are always delighted to answer any questions about our approach to professional development.

Developing Classroom Independence and Resilience

Tasks may be inherently challenging, but unless the student invests and engages in the task, it may not be challenging for them … [the] positive creation of tension underlines the importance of teachers in encouraging and welcoming error, then helping the students to see the value of this error to move forward

– John Hattie

Our Teaching and Learning focus for this year is developing practical strategies in each subject area to boost independence and resilience in our students. Our starting point will be the Learning Challenge Model (Concept > Conflict > Construct > Consider), with colleagues integrating wider reading and classroom research of their own in order to discuss and debate a range of associated principles.

Teaching and Learning Mentor for new staff

Professional development of all new staff (regardless of experience) is coordinated throughout the first year by an experienced Teaching and Learning Mentor. One-to-one discussions about classroom practice are planned on a fortnightly basis in tandem with a programme of developmental observations.

Sharing Teaching and Learning Excellence

Maintaining a culture of Teaching and Learning development relies upon engendering a genuine interest in classroom practice. As well as our PPD programme requiring all staff to share their practice in some way and to engage in Action Research, we also encourage members of staff to share good practice by opening the doors to their classroom for those in other departments.

Supporting New Middle Leaders

Any member of staff taking on a middle leadership role will receive support, guidance and perhaps most importantly a sounding board for ideas. New Heads of Department are allocated an experienced mentor.

Aspiring Middle and Senior Leaders

We are proud that so many of our staff have gone on to become middle and senior leaders within the school and beyond. As well as sessions focusing on how to prepare for a middle leadership interview, we also offer a programme for aspiring senior leaders, entitled ‘Developing a Whole School Mindset’, involving a problem solving exercises that mirror the challenges faced by school leadership teams!