Transformational Learning…..

“Constantly improve…….”  



Today we had Diana Pardoe come in  and deliver her training on Assessment for Learning, the 3rd generation.

Like I said to everyone there, her training is not a one off session that you leave from and don’t remember in a few weeks, it is transformational.  It sticks….it forces you to make changes and truly impacts upon what you do as a school.

After reading her book, Towards Successful Learning (found here: I knew that Diana was exactly who I needed to get into school.

I had been looking at booking her for almost three years now, but I just wasn’t able to at my previous school (due to different priorities), however, before I even took up the post as head, I e-mailed her to see when she was available to come into my new school.  She wasn’t available during any of our Inset days but I was determined to get her into the school before the next academic year…..I knew the school needed to begin her ‘learning’ journey to improve outcomes for all of our children and I did not want to  put it off longer than I had to.  So, we were creative and covered supply in all the classes, had the year six pupils work with different classes throughout the day on special projects and all the teachers met in the year 6 class to have the training!  The cost was pricey as we had to hire in additional supply on top of the cost of the Inset, but every penny was worth it and I would do it again and again.

Everything she talks about makes sense and it is all aimed towards truly making children independent learners who understand what they are learning and why they are learning.  Further, it creates children who seek out knowledge and understand how to find it and access it.

Her training fit in perfectly with our ‘Be the Best You Can Be’ program that we had this week.  I knew it would, as Diana raises the bar with what is expected of children in terms of achievement and  taking risks.

Resilience has come up in a number of posts, which was one the the key areas I felt that our ‘Be the Best You Can Be’ program could tackle.  However, resilience is also a key concept of Diana’s.  Therefore, I think that the teachers are now understanding the importance of actually teaching and modelling this to the children and allowing them to understand that ‘failure’ is crucial to learning.  Moreover, giving children the skills  to persevere no matter what is thrown in their direction.

This term has ended with true sense of excitement and a real ‘buzz’ as teachers came up to me to say how fantastic the training was.  After most sessions, teachers don’t normally seek the headteacher out to compliment the training, it is often the other way around.  There wasn’t one person from the training who didn’t come and tell me how useful Diana’s session was.  I think that speaks for itself.   One of the teachers, who had already written the day off, went up to Di at the end and said that it was the most useful training he had ever been on as a teacher.

I have already ensured that Di is booked for the 1st of September where we will be having a partnership training with some of our local schools.  I am looking forward to working with her for many years to come – empowering our children to achieve beyond what they expect, pushing themselves to be the best learners they can be – giving our teachers the tools and skills they need to encourage this process naturally in their classrooms allowing every pupil to have a voice – while pushing our school to excel, modelling excellence in all that we do.

Thank you Di Pardoe for getting us started on this ‘transformational’ learning journey.  I cannot wait to see the changes unfurl in the classrooms and see the impact that you will have within our school community.

Transformational learning…….what all training should be……or what really is the point? If a training session doesn’t change what we do in the classroom, or alter any aspect of what we do – then ‘learning’ has not taken place…..

Think about the CPD that you send your teachers on…….before teachers attend they should clarify what they expect the outcomes to be then when they return from the training they should evaluate the impact.  This simple activity will  highlight very quickly, the training that has been useful and that which has been a waste of time and money……..

CPD should be evaluated very closely…….it is what keeps our teachers inspired, motivated and constantly working towards outstanding practice.  Therefore, it must be ‘outstanding’ itself.

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