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Voyage Teachers Share Best Practice

Teachers from Voyage's Primary academies have joined together during innovative collaboration sessions to discuss and challenge assessment, share successful ideas and change, and resources.

The aim of Voyage’s Agreement Trialling sessions is to explore both expertise and best practice while keeping pupils' learning as the main priority at the heart of the discussions.

A number of excellent professional dialogues have taken place throughout the sessions, giving our teaching staff the chance to share some fantastic ideas.

Clare Willerton, Voyage's Chief Education Officer, said: "It is well known in education that collaboration between lead practitioners and teachers is a powerful professional development activity, and is well documented by educational leaders and organisations such as EEF and EDT.

"TALIS 2013 highlighted that teachers using collaborative practices are more innovative in the classroom, hold stronger-efficacy beliefs, and have higher job satisfaction.

"The Voyage Education Strategy seeks to use collaboration and system leaders where possible to bring about professional development and improvement within our academies."

A group of educational professionals across the Trust, including Headteachers, worked together on best practice and a consistent approach to assessment, focusing mainly within Primary practice.

This work culminated in a framework for the Trust: the Primary Core Subject Assessment Protocols. Part of these protocols made provision for Agreement Trialling, a collaborative activity also designed to support accuracy in assessment of learning.

As a result of this, teachers from all Primary Year groups ranging from EY to Y6/7 have been meeting to carry out these important activities together.

Clare said: "The Agreement Trialling sessions have allowed teachers to explore what constitutes good evidence of learning, share ideas and concepts with other teachers, engage in professional dialogue with peers, challenge each other professionally as to learning and assessment, and feel confident with their own judgements about learning and assessment.

"It has provided validity for Headteachers that assessment is accurate. It has enabled us as a Trust to identify where there are trends across Voyage and we can therefore use this to plan future CPD, as well as provide assurance that assessment is used effectively to move learning on - indicating progress that learners are making within their age-related expectations.

"It has also empowered professionals to question learning and to be confident with dialogue around learning in a professional yet supportive platform."

Feedback received from teachers includes:

- "Thank you, it is really good to have our professional opinions and judgements respected and valued."
- "A really insightful day. Useful to magpie creative ideas from other teachers on how to maximise learning opportunities."
- "A very useful day to work with colleagues with same age groups, etc."
- "The day was very useful and allowed me to see other academies' books, learning, and good practice, which I could then apply and use in my own practice."

Clare concluded: "I am keen to explore the feedback from leaders and Headteachers, to evaluate how useful Agreement Trialling is for them and their priorities within school for ensuring assessment informs teaching - and that teaching moves learning on.

"Thank you to all the teams, including the maths and English teachers from Haven High Academy, who have committed and engaged - it has been fabulous!".