‘Satisfactory’ is no longer good enough. Bell is a well-known provider of language courses in the UK and overseas, and as a management team we decided that our goal should be to achieve excellence in language teaching and learning in every classroom. Here is an outline of some of the ways in which we are working towards making outstanding the norm.
Students expect an excellent learning experience when they study in a language school. This talk will look at the practical initiatives which we have recently introduced in order to show the teachers in our schools what we expect of them, to encourage them to be reflective in their practice, to strive for excellence, and not simply be satisfied with ‘ok’ lessons.
These are linked to each other and include:
- The Bell Way’ – 6 principles underpinning our approach to teaching and learning and demonstrating our commitment to our learners. These feature in each new teacher’s induction programme.
- A comprehensive CPD programme, which takes into account the fact that some teachers are newly qualified with a CELTA, while others may be teacher trainers or have 30 years’ experience.
- Annual quality assurance observations, which set the agenda for the year in terms of the performance management process for individual teachers. Analysis of the results of these informs the future direction of INSET sessions.
- Developmental and peer observations, which play an important part in helping teachers to focus and reflect on specific aspects of their current practice.
- A programme of teacher research, mainly in the form of supported experiments conducted by individual teachers. Every year each teacher chooses a research question and devises a robust cycle of experimentation / research which seeks answers to it. Conclusions are shared with colleagues.