Coaching at Coleridge
Coaching at Coleridge
At Coleridge, we feel passionately about the impact Instructional coaching can have on our practice. We have fostered a coaching approach due to the impact it had on our phonics practice and also to ensure that all our teachers have access to high-quality CPD. We were conscious that the new ECF is steeped in research and as Klassen and Chiu suggests, Teacher development is not a linear process it is a lot more complex and experience is one factor (Klassen & Chiu 2010) but there are many other things at play as well as experience.
Therefore, to ensure teachers stay abreast of the most up-to-date research, we wanted to adopt Instructional Coaching and be able to refer to a teaching and learning rubric that would be a base of evidence that all teachers could draw upon.
We also felt that our approach of using high-stakes lesson observations were outdated and not supportive of teacher’s practice. Some of the issues we had with termly lesson observations are:
- Annual lesson observations are not effective in developing teachers.
- They are stressful and high stakes.
- Teachers are often overwhelmed by the number of actions.
- There are often no follow up actions.
- These don’t always give an accurate representation of day-to-day practice.
The diagram below perfectly illustrated how we arrived at our Coleridge Coaching approach.
Once we had decided to use coaching within Coleridge, we needed to read more into Knight’s research. We are extremely fortunate to have extremely talented practitioners at Coleridge and, as a result, wanted to start having purposeful professional dialogue after observing sessions. Knight suggests that a dialogical approach (see diagram below) gives staff more autonomy and gives the teacher more opportunities to decide on their professional development path. After speaking with staff, they felt the dialogical approach would be most supportive and helpful.
We knew that our approach to coaching was going to be a long process and as a result, felt that using an EEF implementation plan would help leaders have real clarity on our rationale and be able to map out our journey into coaching. Below is our link to our EEF Coaching Implementation Plan.
Once we had decided on our coaching approach, we knew that to develop staff, we needed a platform that teachers could work on a goal. As a result, we spent a long period of time developing a teaching and learning rubric. The rubric is split into 10 sections from Behaviour to Retrieval Practice. This resource has a raft of supportive CPD videos on to ensure teachers have access to the latest research and have clear instructions on how to use this effectively by their coach. Staff now have access to all areas of the rubric and also have a clear teaching and learning structure. Examples of the rubric and our protocols are below:
Once the rubric and protocols have been created, we knew we could begin the coaching approach. We had an approach to coaching that we knew staff would buy into; we had a clear implementation plan for all stakeholders to follow; we had resources available to set goals that are steeped in current research and we had training linked to all the research to support staff. At this point, we knew we could follow the coaching cycle below.
All staff have really clarity that coaches will focus on pedagogy and ensure that the standard of teaching remains high. Subject Leaders can still drop in and observe sessions but their feedback should only be focused on subject knowledge and not linked to any areas of the rubric or teaching and learning protocols, as these are areas only covered by a coach and the coachee should have at least 2 weeks practice on each goal.
Whilst the teaching and learning rubric at Coleridge helps support coaching, we also use the book, The Teaching and Learning Playbook by Michael Feely and Ben Karlin. This book and video library will help teachers learn and master over 100 teaching techniques. It gives them the tools to identify how they can improve their teaching and helps them practise with absolute clarity on what they need to do next.
Each technique is clearly explained in the book, outlining why it is important, the effect size and a four-step guide to how it should be performed. Over 100 videos show each technique in action and include audio commentary to explain the key elements for success. During our coaching sessions, the coach and coachee will observe the video together and have professional dialogue about the step. The class teacher will then have 2 weeks deliberate practise time to implement the strategy effectively.
If you want to know more about our approach to coaching, click on the link to see our Coaching Policy.
If you would like to see our Teaching and Learning protocals click the links below: