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Continuing professional development in schools

In addition to the accredited programmes, the School of Education, Theology and Leadership (SETL) organises workshops and professional development programmes with teachers of varying specialisms and disciplines, enhancing their existing capabilities and resources in areas such as mathematics, religious education and modern languages.

For example, a new National Curriculum for September 2014 insisted on advances in teachers’ IT capabilities; St Mary’s responded with a suite of twilight sessions delivered directly to teachers to improve their computing abilities, including to eleven teachers through the Woking Learning Partnership at West Byfleet Primary School. Similarly,

SETL recently organised and hosted a one-day training session with an internationally-recognised expert, Joe Dale, on using iPads for effective teaching and learning in modern languages. The participants ranged from trainee teachers to Heads of Department and university tutors.

Marrying St Mary’s specialisms of sport and physical education, the University has also taken steps to promote health and sport in primary and secondary schools. As one of only three HEI providers for the new PGCE Primary PE specialist route into teaching, SETL successfully provides additional continuing professional development (CPD) for primary physical educationalists; areas include Subject Knowledge Enhancement, Strategic Development and Reviews of Quality of Teaching and Learning.

As a Catholic institution, St Mary’s continues its commitment to supporting the Catholic education sector through its CPD portfolio. A bi-annual training programme for Newly Qualified Teachers culminates in a day of celebration in June each year. The day includes a service of celebration, a session on career development, opportunities to experience both the Catholic Certificate of Education and Master's-level learning, and focuses on using the bible and the physical environment of the church as teaching and learning tools.

The recent Catholic Sixth Form Conference provided an opportunity for more experienced teachers and school leaders to come together to discuss current issues in education. The day covered practical strategies for teaching sixth form religious education, and exploring the spiritual landscape in the sixth form common room.

Dr Maureen Glackin, Head of SETL, said, “It was delightful to spend the day with so many committed colleagues reflecting and discerning as to how faith informs the manner in which we realise our professional vocation as educators.”

St Mary’s continues to build on its outstanding education programmes with further development training for Teaching Assistants working in special schools.

The course (Teaching Assistants – Supporting High Quality Learning in Special Schools) provided at Marjory Kinnon School, Bedfont to provide Teaching Assistants working with pupils with challenging circumstances, specific training to benefit the educational journey of both the pupil and the education provider.

The course offers the opportunity to improve relationships, communication and engagement with classroom teachers and pupils in a special education environment. On completion of the course, Teaching Assistants are awarded a certificate of attendance or a certificate of verification reinforcing the positive outcomes for pupils.

St Mary’s also provides subject knowledge enhancement courses in Maths and Physical Sciences.

What’s Next?

The School of Education, Theology and Leadership continues to develop its portfolio of training offerings for Teaching Assistants, teachers of all levels, school managers and leaders, and governors in the UK.

Discussions are being held with several overseas partners who require bespoke specialist training.