A continuous journey of improving teaching
Woodlands School are a 11-16 academy based in Basildon, Essex. They have been using the ProgressTeaching platform over the last couple of years to support them on their teaching improvement journey. Originally in “Special measures”, they are now rated “Good” by Ofsted.
To constantly develop their teachers and improve the standard of teaching delivered in the classroom, they needed a platform that could reduce administrative burden whilst streamlining their processes and giving their teachers high quality, rapid feedback.
The success and efficiency of their new approach to teaching and learning is highlighted in their latest Ofsted report:
“Senior leaders undertake frequent and systematic checks on the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. Their online system, which records their 10-minute unannounced observations, shows that nearly 600 visits to classrooms have been made since September. This gives leaders a clear picture of the quality of teaching and learning across the curriculum”
Woodlands Ofsted report 7-8 March 2018
Prior to using ProgressTeaching, Woodlands school had multiple systems to store and analyse their data. Lesson observations were carried out via a paper-based system which then had to be manually added to an excel spreadsheet.
This process was time consuming and meant that teachers didn’t get the high-quality feedback they deserved in a timely manner.
Initially Woodlands school used the ProgressTeaching platform to track progress data and carry out weekly, five-minute lesson observations. They used a simple colour coding system to quickly highlight whether a teacher was “Strong”, “Secure” or “Needs improvement”. This gave leaders an instant view of who needed support and who was strong in certain areas.
As the school’s priorities changed over the years so did their way of working. Woodlands school changed their lesson observations model to move away from the “tick box” colour coding system to instead using a more formative approach.
They now give their teachers regular, in-depth feedback to drive long-term improvements. The observation notes and how teachers are tracking against their targets is now also discussed at every SLT meeting.
By being able to quickly triangulate all of their key data and instantly see their strengths and areas for improvement in the ProgressTeaching platform, the teachers at Woodlands school now have the tools they need to constantly improve their practice whilst getting back valuable time.
“Thanks to the ProgressTeaching platform time is used much more effectively and we can monitor how we’re improving and developing our teachers across a broader range of areas.
As we’ve changed over the last few years so have our objectives and focus areas. ProgressTeaching has supported us with our goals every step of the way in terms of what functionality we require from the platform.
It saves us so much time being able to triangulate student data, lesson data and self-evaluation in one place, rather than jumping between different systems.”
Nicola White, Assistant Head at Woodlands School