Stanford-le-Hope is a friendly and inclusive Primary School and Nursery, situated in the town of Stanford-le-hope in Essex. The school’s vision is for ‘every child to become a successful, independent and resilient lifelong learner’ – an ethos that is also championed within the professional development of staff.
We spoke to Headteacher of three years, Lisa Glandfield, to find out more about how this school encourages staff and students to be the very best they can be.
After the nation-wide lockdown was imposed and schools closed in March, Ms Glandfield and the other members of her senior leadership team had to consider new ways to roll out CPD to school staff.
“When we were in lockdown during the last academic year, most people were doing online learning – especially support staff, as their roles are not as easily completed from home.” She said.
“At that point, we weren’t signed up [with the National College] yet, and we were using other sources and were trying to find a range of good quality CPD.
“The SENDCO team were trying to send a range of courses around, and many were mainly focused on health and safety courses – it wasn’t necessarily the best CPD to help people improve their practice in school, although still valuable.”
After purchasing a membership with The National College, Ms Glandfield was relieved to have a solution to her CPD problem.
“I think with so many emails from companies and trusts running training, you never really know the quality of that training,” She explains.
“It’s always a bit hit and miss – we’ve done a couple of webinars from other places. Some have been good, some have been not so great.
“Obviously now we have this platform, it’s helpful because it can link to any role really, and we know it’s going to be really high quality, because it will have been checked and quality assured before it’s put out.”
After purchasing a whole-school membership in September as part of the Osborne Co-operative Academy Trust, Ms Glandfield introduced The National College Learning hub to her team.
“I ran an introductory training session around it, and it was all fairly new to us then,” She said.
“I just showed people around, told them that there was a wealth of information on there, and then we asked people to do one of the prevent courses, and one of the mental health courses, as part of their inset training.
“So staff had a reason to use it, but they could also get their head around [the platform].
The headteacher quickly found that her staff were eager to take professional development into their own hands.
“Since then, most people have used it off their own back really, because they’re finding it so useful.” She explained.
“With the teachers especially, once they have found a really good course, they’ve been emailing each other and saying ‘I just found this really great course, have a look!'
“My teaching and learning lead has also watched a few webinars and then summarised them for other staff, so it’s just developing naturally. I think staff are really seeing the value of using it.
Whilst Stanford-le-Hope may be a primary school, it is unique in that it caters to students with a diverse range of needs. As well as a nursery which includes a resources base for children with high special education needs, the school has resource base for children with visual impairments.
So, has a membership to the National College assisted the SEND team? Ms. Glandfield believes it has.
“If there’s any children in a teacher’s class with a specific need, the SEND team or the teachers have been looking through The National College to see if there’s anything that links to that need, then they use that as an extra resource.” She said.
“What we’re in the mindset of thinking is, ‘we need some training on this – has the national college got anything we can use?’.
“So The National College is our first port of call to go to now, instead of trying find other courses.”
In the coming months, the headteacher and her senior leadership team hope to continue using the National College and the learning hub to keep track of CPD across the school.
“I’ve only just explored the analysis side in the last few weeks, seeing who has done which courses.” Explained Ms. Glandfield.
“I needed a report from there to find out how many people had done the prevent training - so now we know it’s there, we can use that to our advantage.
“That side of things looks really good, and I think it’s something we’ll explore more."