Research School Network: Leading Learning 2018

Leading Learning 2018

by Huntington Research School
on the

Leading Learning head

Across the country schools spend hundreds of thousands of hours every year planning and delivering important sessions that address complex topics such as assessment, curriculum, metacognition, feedback and pupil outcomes. Everyone wants these hours to feel valued and useful, but as practitioners we sometimes might not have the time, information or best resources to go about planning a truly meaningful CPD programme, whatever our best intentions.

Leading Learning’ is a 3‑day programme designed to support schools to develop evidence-informed CPD in order to improve teaching and learning and student outcomes. It is for staff who have a responsibility for and/​or interest in improving continuous professional development opportunities.

Leading Learning‘ is founded upon the best evidence that has been gathered by globally renowned researchers and cohered in the excellent DfE Standard for Teachers’ Professional Development, with a particular emphasis on how professional development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise”, with expert challenge”.

The programme is three days, beginning this January:

Wednesday 17th January: Investigating the evidence base for great teaching

Wednesday 25th April: Translating evidence to have high impact in the classroom

Wednesday 20th June: Sustain high-impact practice through evidence-based CPD

We were delighted, in our recent Huntington School OFSTED inspection to commend our CPD work, which links directly to our programme:

The school’s approach to teachers’ professional development is exceptional. The schoolsResearch School status has had an extraordinary impact on teachers’ understanding of how to improve their practice”.


All staff are supported by the school’s highly effective performance management process. Teachers have a deep understanding of how pupils learn. They are supported in testing out theories of how to improve their teaching further through the excellent work of the Research School. Leaders are innovative in using an evidence-based approach to checking that changes to teaching or the curriculum are firmly grounded in evidence and linked to appropriate research.”


What did teachers think about the programme last year?

Leading Learning was first offered as a programme at Huntington School earlier in 2017 and I caught up with a few of the delegates to find out what impact the course has had on CPD and teaching and learning in their educational context so far this year:

Rob Newton, Deputy Headteacher Pickering Community Infant and Nursery School – Leading Learning helped me to work with our in-school change group to evaluate our current CPD offer, understand what quality CPD would look like and develop plans that were more likely to meet the standard. The result has been a much more focused, coherent approach to CPD for all staff which has clear and purposeful links to the school priorities – answering real problems in real time. Leading Learning was instrumental in making this change and feedback from staff so far has been overwhelmingly positive. They are much clearer about what we are doing and why and continue to take more ownership of their own CPD. Within our school specific’ CPD we have also built in time for the whole staff team to stop and reflect on what CPD is, how we use it and what we expect from it. The level of engagement with appropriate research (both action and theoretical) continues to increase.

In summary, I would highly recommend that programme to others but particularly those who are willing, able and motivated to make changes to their CPD as a result of their learning.

Sue Watmough, Manchester Communication Academy – MCA first connected with Huntington Research School through a desire to engage teachers in real evidence-informed practice that leads to real student improvement. The Leading Learning programme gave us a great opportunity to go back to the start and question why we were offering CPD in its existing form and what difference it was having on student performance. The research team at Huntington were open, honest and true experts in this field of work. As a result, the professional learning model at our Academy has been overhauled. Our training sessions are focused around pedagogical approaches that are grounded in recognised educational research. These are explored, challenged, applied and regularly returned to so that the offer has a rhythm and provides sustained improvement. The performance development process has also been modified ensuring that all teaching staff conduct a disciplined inquiry to provide that crucial golden thread’ from staff development to student outcomes. Our never ending mission is to find the best ways to improve our teaching so that our learners reap the benefits with the best possible outcomes. Huntington Research School have become crucial partners on this journey.

Lead&Learn Sept 17 Back V5Lead&Learn Sep 17 Front V5

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