No travel for me, but remote working instead as Halifax was a little too far to go in a day. Using Skype, I managed to link up with David Weatherly (http://davidweatherlyeducation.co.uk/), who was on site at Parkinson Lane Community Primary School (https://www.parkinsonlane.com/) to deliver some bespoke CPD related to the Geographical Association’s Primary Geography Quality Mark (PGQM) award.
David has worked with the school over many years, largely to develop their geography and history offering within the whole school curriculum. The school have made great progress over time and now feel confident to have their hard work recognised with a formal award. David asked me if I would support him with delivery of this bespoke CPD since I have helped many schools submit PGQM applications and gain either bronze or silver awards over the past few years.
After some formal introductions, we began by looking at Pebble Pad (https://www.pebblepad.co.uk/), the platform that is now used to help schools collate and present their PGQM evidence. In order to become more familiar with the layout and capability of this tool, we watched a few short movie clips within Pebble Pad’s Learning Centre (https://v3.pebblepad.co.uk/spa/#/learningCentre?type=start). Next, we explored the content of the PGQM Workbook (https://v3.pebblepad.co.uk/spa/#/workbook/q6d5G5xznhp95b8k3nZd9W3j6Z?historyId=OplahoGpZ1&pageId=920df432-8432-44df-a927-42e525aef6de). There is comprehensive support and guidance for the whole PGQM process provided here; it is well worth spending a couple of hours accessing some of this material to formulate a clear idea as to what you are aiming for. We talked through the ‘Introduction’ and then spent time completing three documents within the ‘PGQM Data Dashboard’ together, namely ‘Our School’, ‘Self Review’ and ‘Audit Checklist’. There were a few statistics that the Geography Subject Leader needed to add; a job for later once she had liasied with relevant staff in school. After completing this documentation, it was unilaterally agreed that the school should aim for a silver award.
Next, we explored the ‘PGQM Application’ and ‘Application documents’, spending time considering ‘What makes a good application?’ and reviewing the plentiful guidance and examples. There were three multimedia presentations that had been submitted by schools hoping to attain a gold award, and they were very impressive too. Having perused each one, we were able to identify the most effective means of showcasing the excellent geographical teaching and learning that has taken place, and still continues to go on, at Parkinson Lane Community Primary School. There were elements of each multimedia presentation that we liked; a combination of all of these features should produce an impressive collation of evidence to support their PGQM application. Also within this area of the Workbook is a section entitled ‘Getting started’. This has a tremendous amount of useful information, not just for the PGQM, but also in preparation for a potential ‘deep dive’ from Ofsted in the, perhaps, not too distant future? The school gained an ‘outstanding’ in their last inspection back in 2011, so are expecting a visit from Ofsted before too long.
In addition, time was allotted to viewing ‘Section A: Quality of Geography’, which has strong links to the content of Ofsted’s new Education Inspection Framework (EIF). We discussed each of the criteria that had to be met in turn and I gave suggestions as to what they might use as evidence or what else they could do over the next few months in order to meet the requirements of the PGQM. Staff found this incredibly helpful.
The school has now made a good start on their PGQM journey and, hopefully, feel less daunted by the whole process. In fact, I think they will find it incredibly worthwhile and rewarding. It is intended that I will ‘touch base’ with the Geography Subject Leader at regular intervals to answer any questions, provide further advice, etc.
I look forward to re-visiting Pebble Pad with them again in a few weeks’ time to see how their evidence is growing. Good luck, Parkinson Lane Community Primary School!