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from ES4S This month's focus is ...
Our e-articles are written as a stimulus to promote professional dialogue. We hope they can be used in professional learning communities, staff meetings and other similar CPD situations. Questions to support dialogue: • Which of our current classroom interventions are having the greatest effect on improving learning or raising standards? • How do we know? • Which interventions are having little or no impact and how do we know? • How could we increase our confidence in engaging in deeper professional analysis around classroom interventions? • How, as a whole school, are we explicitly sharing our professional reflections to help us engage in more accurate evaluation? • Which CPD interventions are having the greatest effect or influence on professional learning?
Professional development for this year ES4S can support you in promoting and developing outstanding classroom practice within a strong, vibrant professional culture. If you have been interested in the article on the analysis of classroom interventions, you might like to consider the CPD session .....

Are you wasting time?
Perhaps the more important question should be ...... Are you wasting your pupils time? Over the past decades, in their desire to improve learning for every child, schools and individual teachers have changed the way that teaching and learning occurs in classrooms. On a regular basis, new initiatives are introduced into the professional practice of teachers, across the country, because of the urgency to raise standards. These classroom interventions, which may have been seen on a training course, or at a conference, or may have been introduced by a visiting member of the local authority are adopted with willingness and enthusiasm, by teams of passionate and conscientious professionals. But are they making a difference and how do you know? Ability groupings, working walls, VCOP, plenaries, learning outcomes, AFL, BLP, reduced class sizes, thinking skills and 1-to-1 tuition are just a few examples of the hundreds (if not thousands) of interventions that have found their way into our education. But which have little or no impact on raising standards, which have an average impact and which make a significant difference? For many schools, the answer is unknown, mainly due to a lack of deeper professional analysis or the rush of introducing too many interventions too often. If a school notices a significant improvement in pupil learning, are they able to pinpoint which intervention has had the most significant impact on this improvement? It would be fair to assume that almost every intervention will have some form of positive impact on pupil learning, but a school should be seeking out those interventions that have an impact 'greater than average'. If a school is to ensure it is offering the very best education to every child, a professional culture of action, reflection, analysis and learning must exist, in which teachers, in professional learning communities, search for and analyse evidence of impact. It must start with this mindset of analysis, with teachers seeing themselves as evaluators of their own actions, efforts and effects on learning. The challenge, for any school and individual teacher, is to allocate more classroom time to those interventions that really do have a significant effect on improving learning and less on those that do not. Professional development time should be allocated to engaging all staff in meaningful, professional analysis of classroom interventions and then to helping them in mastering those interventions that make a real difference. The outstanding school is vigilant to what is working and what is not working in every classroom and each teacher is continually vigilant to the consequences of their actions.

What really makes a difference?
If ES4S can support you with this or any other future developments, please contact us. Alternatively, you can view our new CPD ebrochure at

Recommended website ....... A wonderful, easy to use tool for designing interesting, interactive posters. A really motivational tool for young learners Recommended book ...... An excellent book that considers issues around creativity and passions. The Element (Sir Ken Robinson) ISBN - 978-0141045252

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May 2013