What is a Teaching School?
Teaching Schools allow outstanding schools to take a leading role in the training and professional development of teachers, support staff and headteachers; as well as contributing to the overall raising of standards through school-to-school support.
Teaching Schools form alliances with other schools and higher education institutions to ensure that we are taking a fully comprehensive approach to school improvement. Some of the alliance schools are strategic partners who are commissioned to play important roles in fulfilling key priorities set by the Department for Education. Amongst our group of schools are our Key Strategic partners: Fortismere School, Christ’s College Finchley, Haringey Education Partnership and University College London. These partners deliver fundamental aspects of our alliance’s role; both by commission and in line with their individual areas of expertise.
Teaching School Roles – The Big 3
1. School-Led Initial Teacher Training in Partnership with Universities
We love our profession as teachers. As a Teaching school, we aspire to find and recruit passionate individuals who share our vision and who want to work to make a difference in their local areas. Through the New River Teaching Alliance, partner schools can recruit trainee teachers specifically for their school; enabling them to build strong relationships with their trainees with the view to employing them at the end of their training. This continual cycle of recruitment, training and eventual employment goes a long way towards alleviating the overall recruitment and retention crisis being faced by the education profession.
2. Professional Development, Leadership and Research
Our aim is to maintain a continuous thread of excellent professional development courses; supporting teachers from the recruitment stage and then continuing throughout their careers. We collaborate within the alliance to offer a range of targeted CPD programmes, as well as a full NQT CPD programme. We have a strong coaching mentality throughout the alliance and have built up a reliable network through which we can share good practice and gain access to specialist providers.
The teaching alliance acts as an NQT appropriating body, offering the service across both primary and secondary settings. The appropriation includes the offer of training and in-school support.
Teacher Development Courses
We all progress in this profession at different speeds. To accommodate these idiosyncrasies, we run a number of development courses for early career teachers designed to facilitate progress for all. These include, The Creative Teacher Programme and the Outstanding Teacher Programme (both of which are accredited and quality controlled by Olevi).
Leadership Development Courses
Should they choose to do so, we want our teachers to have the opportunity to progress into leadership roles. We believe in creating a culture of growth and success and offering guidance at middle and senior leadership levels is essential.
To this end we offer 2 courses:
National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership and the National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership.
This includes shadowing opportunities for staff to extend this experience of leadership outside their ‘home school’ environment and access to a series of senior leader conferences; encouraging reflection on our profession from alternative perspectives.
Our experience as a Maths and Science Specialist School means that over the years we have built up experience and contacts across a broad spectrum of providers and specialists. We now have an established STEM Training offer which includes supporting non-specialist colleagues towards becoming Maths and Physics teachers, in addition to developing Heads of Physics.
3. School-to-School Support
Every school (even those judged to be outstanding) should be open to giving and receiving support in order to continually pursue excellence. We aim to facilitate greater collaboration between schools to allow them to share good practice and offer support between colleagues.
The New River Teaching Alliance has a team of expert teachers/managers known as Specialist Leaders of Education and National Leaders in Education, who are available to be booked by schools for specific support. These are not solely teachers from Alexandra Park School, but are colleagues drawn from a wide pool across the alliance; including those with primary school business management expertise. There are always opportunities for experienced teachers to join this group of experts and for them to develop from the experience of providing support to others.