Class of 2018

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We are delighted to announce the first successful graduation of our School Direct trainee teachers.  A teacher training year is a tough ask, but they have coped admirably and all developed into great teachers ready to join the profession. 

It is excellent also that all have secured jobs, many in local and partner schools in the area. 

One of the biggest advantaged with School Direct is that the trainees and school bound a close working partnership and we can say this has been especially true with this cohort of trainees.  As well as training them, we have benefited ourselves from the experience and learnt new ideas and approaches to teaching.

Roll on next year with more trainees and the start of our primary school direct course too!

Stretching the Highly Able in a Comprehensive School

We were pleased to host a day of in school training looking at how, we in a county with grammar schools, stretch our highly able students.  The day included opportunities to see best practice, discuss with pupils their perceptions and two workshops, one looking at extra curricular activities and the other at classroom techniques.

It was fascinating to see how the focus drifted towards good, generally teaching and learning and therefore the importance of stretch and challenge for all.  We dislike labelling pupils as 'gifted', 'talented' or 'highly able' but nonetheless there is a huge wealth of opportunity and challenge at The Cotswold School.

Hanley Castle Research Visit

We were delighted today to host three excellent middle leaders from Hanley Castle School keen to find out more about the secrets of our success.  We spent the day talking about and seeing in practice the ways that the ethos and culture of the school are formed.  We went on to study different aspect of the school's leadership including data, pastoral care and teaching and learning.  It was also a great opportunity to discuss and collaborate with colleagues and the start of future partnership work together, we hope.

Highly Able Research Group

We are delighted to be working in partnership with two other local schools (Balcarras and Winchcombe) on a project to research and then implement better provision for our highly able students.  As genuine comprehensive schools, we aim to stretch and challenge all students whilst making provision for our very most able both in terms of what they can do in the class room as well as outside learning and extra curricular activities.

The group has been involved in interviewing pupils, study trends and patterns and comparing different ideas used in the three schools in order to try to reach some consensus on a best approach that can be implemented to the advantage of all our pupils. 

We are pleased as a Teaching School to be able to support this initiative.

School Direct Recuitment

It has been a delight over the past couple of months to have met, interviewed and recruited a great bunch of new trainee teachers for our School Direct course, starting in September.  We are now almost full, so no recruiting crisis here!  It has been wonderful to see a variety of applicants, from ex-students and teaching assistants, to a number of career changers, moving to teaching from high ranking jobs in a variety of sectors.

Our Primary School Direct course, starting for the first time this September, is up and running.  We have our first recruits and are actively encouraging more to apply.  The thought of training a bunch of new teachers, using the skills and expertise of this local area, is very exciting and we hope it will be a springboard for future developments as a teaching school. 

We are likely to close our application window for primary at the end of March.  Please get in touch if you are intending to apply, but think you can't make this deadline.

We are still more than happy to receive applications or just to support people looking into teaching with taster days or advice and guidance.  Please do not hesitate but to get in touch.

School to School Support - Beaufort Cooperative Academy

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Our partnership with Beaufort Cooperative Academy in Gloucester has continued to grow this year and we are pleased with the partnership we have developed.

Recent events have included running a training course for unqualified teachers to help them to teach full time tables.  We have been focusing on assessment, questioning, lesson planning, behaviour management.  Each teacher has been helped with observations from an experienced coach and given tailored advice on how to improve their practice.  The effectiveness of these teachers, and their growing confidence, is a delight to see.

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Our Physics department have been supporting Highly Able students in Year 11 at Beaufort to gain the very top grades with a series of after school lectures and presentations about maximising their understanding.

History has been another subject area recieving support, especially as the two schools teach the same GCSEs and have been able to share resources and ideas to help get the best grades possible.

Senior teachers have also been helping the leadership team at Beaufort with their internal reviews and systems to help guide them on their road to progress and improvement.

Gary Bloom - Dealing with the adolescent brain

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We were really pleased today to have Gary Bloom, famous for his TalkSport radio programme and work as a Harley Street clinical psychotherapist, speak to our staff and guests about his work with teenagers to help support and guide them through difficult times at school.

We learnt about how the adolescent brain develops and how it responds to certain stimuli, based upon the psycho-therapeutic theories he bases his work on.  Explained in an engaging and understandable way, it gave us a bit more of an insight into how we work with teenagers, but also how useful his work can be with these pupils.  Gary is currently engaged in a project with some pupils in Year 9 and he was able to give some feedback on how this is helping.  He also gave some great tips and tricks he has learned during his work with adolescents that we can take away and try.

It was a delight to welcome guests, especially from Warrinor School.

Cleeve School Professional Visit

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We were delighted to host 5 teachers from Cleeve School on a Professional Visit Day. 

With the focus being especially on challenge and engagement, our guests did a learning walk around the school, observed lessons in their own subject areas and others, and had the chance to chat and share ideas with colleagues here. 

We are always very happy to host visitors from other schools on similar events. 

I just wanted to say a big thank you on behalf of all of us, for having us yesterday.

It was a brilliant and very useful day.

Barry Hymer - Growth Mindsets Conference

We’ve all heard about the importance of encouraging growth mindsets.  Schools value grit, determination, resilience and adaptability as being key to deep learning.  But how do you put these values into practice?

All staff from The Cotswold School and a large number of guests from across the county and beyond attended a stimulating and highly thought provoking CPD day led by Barry Hymer on the topic of mindsets.

This one day conference for practitioners in all key stages focused on contemporary research findings in the fields of motivation and high level achievement, and how these findings can be converted into classroom practice.

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Barry Hymer is an experienced teacher in both primary and secondary schools, educational psychologist and academic.  He has authored or co-authored ten books and numerous articles in the field of learning and teaching.  He has been a freelance trainer and educational consultant for over fifteen years, and in this role has made keynote and workshop contributions to over a thousand national and international conferences.

The training will have a clear impact on our practice as we hope to develop more intrinsically motivated and confident young learners.  Our use of praise and reward and how we give feedback to pupils and especially relevant ways that the training will lead to new approaches.

 

15 wannabee teachers hit the Cotswold School

Recruitment crisis?  We were delighted to host 15 wannabee trainee teachers at the Cotswold School for our second annual Teacher Taster Day.  Crossing nearly all subject areas, with plenty of interest in mathematics, science and geography to name a few, we were delighted to see so many in school wanting to find out if teaching might be for them.

The day included the opportunity to see the job on a normal day, warts and all, and to give our visitors the chance to imagine if this might be their next career.  Discussions with current School Direct trainees and much more experienced teachers gave our guests the chance to really get to grips with what the career entails.

The range of visitors was vast.  Ex-students of the school, parents of school children, recent graduates, slightly older career changers.  Many were here and enjoy the day.

Mark, one of our visitors in English said, "the day was rewarding in so many ways and it was a delight to see how engaged the pupils were in lessons, which is testimony to the inspiration imparted by their teachers."

If you missed out on this taster day but would like a similar experience, please get in touch.  We regularly hold individual days for potential trainees or, with high demand, might organise another in the Spring term.

Taster Days are also available in our partner primary schools.