Canford Heath Junior School forms part of the TEACH Trust and provides education for 480 children in Poole.
Through The National College’s award-winning video update service, Year 3 Leader, Ben Watt, has been able to enhance his own personal development and keep abreast of all the latest changes to statutory guidance and policy.
He kindly took the time to speak to us and provide a further insight on the positive effects our in-depth programme has had on both himself and fellow colleagues.
Could you tell me about the background of your school and your position within the school?
I am the Year 3 Leader at Canford Heath Junior School, which is a 4-form entry junior school in Poole, Dorset. It is part of the 4-school trust (TEACH Trust) with Canford Heath Infant School, Ad Astra Infant School and Haymoor Junior School, which are all within close distance of one another.
We work very closely together, often meeting with our colleagues once or twice a week.
Why did you choose The National College?
It was recommended by my Head of School who signed us up to it. He has completed a few of the webinars and found them really good.
How have you found the service from the National College?
It has been really good and simple to use. Finding the webinars has been easy to do and they have been very interesting and helpful.
How much of a benefit have The National College’s resources been to you and your school?
For me personally, I have watched webinars and have found them very useful. When teaching returns to something resembling normal again, I will endeavour to put these things I have learnt into action. I have also been sharing the webinars with my colleagues, encouraging my year team in particular to watch them as well.
How beneficial has our 100% remote learning platform been during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Hugely important – it has enabled me to do CPD whilst at home. I have 2 young girls to look after when my wife (a TA) is at work. I was able to do 15 – 20 minutes of learning at a time which has been so helpful.
We’ve partnered with industry and education experts to deliver our webinars – how important is it to you that the information you are getting is 100% accurate?
This is massive part of why the National College is so good. If the information was not accurate, then it would be a waste of time and unhelpful in my CPD. The fact that these are leading experts make the CPD completed so very valuable.
If you could draw one positive from The National College’s resources, what would it be?
That they are so easy to use and dip in and out of, especially for me with my girls are home! It means that I can complete the courses in my own time.
How much of a benefit has the ability to undertake courses and training on an online platform, in your own time been?
Again, similar to my previous answers. When I have my girls to look after, my 5-year-old needs homeschooling and my 2-year-old wants to play all of the time. The fact that they are easy to drop in and out of means I can come back to it when I need to stop.
What has been the staff’s reaction and feedback to using our platform and enhancing their own personal development?
Particularly in this current climate, they have found it very useful as they have the time to do it. Some are like me, with young children at home and so have had a similar experience to me.
Furthermore, how much of a benefit has it been to not have to arrange supply cover, which you would have had to in the event of a staff member(s) being away on a training course?
In the normal world, this would have had a huge positive impact, as cover has been slashed due to budget constraints. This is such a positive part of the National College. The CPD is short and useful and simple to access.
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