Stratton has been a Training School since September 2003. Our work focuses on excellence in Initial Teacher Training (ITT) and Continuing Professional Development (CPD). We access a number of networks and local opportunities, working closely with local Teaching Schools and training providers. We have contributed locally and nationally to initiatives including National College Leadership programmes. We also encourage school and classroom based research.
Head of Training School: Mrs Sandy Wood
Initial Teacher Training (ITT)
We host trainees from various training providers including SCITT (The Bedfordshire Schools Training Partnership) and the University of Bedfordshire. We support in a number of ways, such as: offering advice, guidance and also work experience to help with ITT applications. We offer training the School Direct – PGCE route in a number of subjects as part of our partnership with Redborne Upper School and UoB. The time a trainee spends at Stratton varies from one week to a whole academic year. During this time, trainees are involved in all aspects of school life and are supported by a full programme of Professional Studies sessions delivered by expert school-based practitioners. They observe and teach lessons, work with form groups and work with students. All trainees have individual trained mentors and feedback tells us that the induction they receive from staff at Stratton is warm, helpful and makes placements very effective.
Newly Qualified Teachers (NQT)
All NQTs work with trained induction tutors and meet weekly, to discuss, track and support progress. They are allocated a 10% timetable reduction to support induction activities focusing on the Teachers’ Standards. In addition, informal advice and support is offered by the Training School. We run a formal and structured NQT Induction Programme. The programme involves a Peer Coaching project, allowing collaborative work on various development themes. We provide support for local NQTs via our Enrichment Programme and work with the local Teaching School to provide experts who deliver Core Training for Induction Tutors and NQTs – whilst also supporting the Central Bedfordshire NQT Conferences. We are currently working on a pilot project on the ECF.
All new staff have an induction programme that runs for the first few weeks of the academic year. This includes Safeguarding and Prevent Training and focuses primarily on the routines and systems that are used in school.
We organise and co-ordinate 4 INSED days a year in line with the School Improvement Plan. We disaggregate 1 INSED day per year, with the agreement of Unions, to support the CPD Programme. Staff are obliged, as part of directed time, to attend 5 CPD sessions from the CPD Programme on offer to support their Performance Management targets and focus on whole school priorities. The usual pattern of INSED days is:
Day 1/Day 2 – September – whole school issues
Day 3 – November OR January – personalised INSED/department issues and PM target setting
Day 4 – April – personalised INSED/department issues
Continued Professional Development (CPD)
We arrange a CPD Programme that allows staff to personalise professional development and support performance management, by giving choice. This programme is based on twilight CPD seminars. The programme is aimed at all staff and complements INSED days and is published separately each year. We offer leadership development programmes and coaching experience via the NCSL’s First and Next Steps into Leadership schemes. Each year the school arranges a number of TeachMeet sessions and Teaching and Learning Briefings as part of our meetings structure where we share good practice. We also arrange Subject Leader Conferences for Middle Leaders to allow learning conversations, action research, review of school policy/procedure etc. We also offer professional development in a more informal manner through discussions and organised meetings.
School Based Research
The Training School is keen to develop practice through research and members of staff are encouraged to follow their own interests in fields of research.
Stratton Learning Partnership (SLP)
This is a Partnership of local schools from the East Beds area that formed to support CPD. This outreach activity is an important element of the Training School’s work. We plan and co-ordinate the programmes based on needs audits. The outreach programme includes access to our twilight seminars and to the expertise of our Specialist leaders in Education. The Programme aims to meet the needs of our whole workforce and is also available to Stratton staff.