Continuing professional development (CPD) is a requirement for success in any field, and international schools are no exception.
Exemplary EAL Provision can only be achieved through life-long learning. CPD plays into this greatly. Indeed, the development of educators is of paramount importance, for only those who never forgo their learning can truly pass their knowledge on to their students. And that is why we are extremely proud of our outstanding CPD at BISL.
Continuing Professional Development is embedded in our School Development Plan and is an integral part of many policies at BISL. All of our teaching staff go through various CPD sessions throughout the academic year, focusing mainly on 8 Teaching and Learning Fundamentals:
- Learning Objectives & Success Criteria
- Student-led Learning
- Assessment Techniques
Prioritisation of EAL as one of the eight learning and teaching fundamentals is evident in the CPD programme, which achieves transferablilty of EAL strategies into the practice of teachers and TAs across the school for the benefit of pupils using EAL.
We hold CPD sessions for all teaching staff every 2 weeks throughout the academic year. This year, we have focused on various themes, including Health and Safety, Data and Assessment at BISL, Elaboration, Retrieval Practice, Metacognition and Spaced Learning to name but a few.
Also, many of the topics included in the CPD plan, while not directly related to EAL, have great potential for enhancing the practice of teachers and teaching assistants in relation to supporting pupils using EAL.
As more than 90% of students that come to BISL have English as a second or third language, multiple CPD sessions also involve the use of various EAL Strategies. As such, we also host dedicated CPD sessions, led by our Specialist EAL Team, which focus specifically on EAL strategies, differentiation, reducing teacher talk time, giving instructions, using games, etc.
Mr Nino KokaljPrimary CPD Lead
Each year we look forward to the collective exploration of best practice teaching strategies and continued research on the most innovative teaching and learning techniques in order to provide an outstanding learning environment for our students.
When planning for future CPD sessions, we take into account all the gaps that we discovered in our teaching and learning fundamentals. One of these tools are Performance Management sessions - each member of our teaching staff is observed by the leadership team at least twice a year and EAL is one of the key areas of focus.
Other staff are also encouraged to observe their colleagues' lessons, and our BISL EAL Strategies guidance sheet has been configured to act as a resource for observations. Any teacher can go on a learning walk around the school to see and learn from colleagues about the strategies they are using in the classroom.
The school uses a variety of multimedia materials for EAL CPD, including excellent videos capturing the students' experiences and of lessons where the target EAL strategies are being implemented, as well as student packs, links to blogs, etc. These materials provide multiple opportunities for staff to engage with CPD.
In addition to internal training, teachers are encouraged to attend further training sessions through various courses and webinars online, including those provided by the Bell Foundation. The Bell Foundation offers further training courses and webinars for staff, specialising in different areas such as how to support learners, adapt teaching and embedding the EAL assessment to track student progress. Just last year, our teaching staff attended more than 25 Bell Foundation Courses.
BSO PENTAInspection Report
A full range of opportunities are provided for staff to attend relevant professional development opportunities. Staff welcomed these opportunities and felt they contributed to their continued professional development and encouragement to be effective practitioners.