When Ercall Wood Academy’s English Curriculum Leader Samantha Morris was given access to our state-of-the-art learning hub, she revealed it transformed her learning experience.

Through concise but essential knowledge from industry experts and an ever-evolving portfolio of webinars and courses on prevalent education topics, she feels the platform and service is unrivalled when it comes to video CPD.

Starting a journey

Being a curriculum leader, a large part of Miss Morris’ satisfaction came from the fact that she had the ability to disseminate snippets of our webinar content out to staff within her area of responsibility.

She said: “In May, our new principal joined the academy. He arranged for us to have access to The National College, because he believed that the quality of resources available would give us as middle leaders a greater foundation to understand what’s required in order to build exceptional departments.

“He’s a huge believer in how transformational engagement with academic research and professional learning can be, and he wanted us have access to these high-quality resources, so that we could direct staff in order to help with their own professional development.

“It’s really easy to use and manage, and it’s suitable for staff at all stages of their careers. There’s that credibility. It’s research-based and it’s delivered by experts who you know you can trust.”

A curriculum overhaul

A big feature for Samantha has been our subject-specific webinars, which help headteachers, curriculum leaders, subject leaders, teachers and practitioners to reflect on current curriculum choices and provide ways in which they can look to deliver on Ofsted expectations whilst at the same time ensuring high-quality and effective practice.

“This is my fourth year here and, when I started my role, the curriculum needed overhauling,” she explained.

“Even though I’d already established my intent, implementation and knew what my impact should look like, I used the sessions as a reflection tool. They were a useful reflection point for me to see where I was up to, what was working and whether there were any areas which needed greater development.

“If you’ve got an expert who is delivering on curriculum generally, it’s not as valid to me as listening to someone who’s an English expert. I think that’s what works really well – you have access to that subject specialism.

“I have a close friend who works in another school and is interested in moving into curriculum leadership. I’ve said to her that it’d be really beneficial if she watched the science intent, implementation and impact webinars.”

Flexibility in learning

Naturally, teachers sometimes have to deal with disruption to schedules, particularly in a world impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

So, with that in mind, she feels the way in which The National College platform is tailored to suit a busy educator stands us out from other providers.

She stated: “That ability to watch them in your own time is great.

“It’s almost impossible to watch them consistently in a school day, you might get 20 minutes of quiet time here and there. But the chance to watch the webinars in my own time or a quiet period which I’ve carved out was important.

“Also, the sessions gave time to pause for thought too. So, there’d be occasions where a question would be posed and I could then pause it, think and then subsequently make my notes.”


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