CPD: Tewkesbury District Partnership (TDP)

'What makes an effective Subject Leader (geography and history)?' - Part 1


Towards the end of Term 2, I was approached by Jane Farren, Head Teacher at Norton C of E Primary School and Co-Chair of the Tewkesbury District Partnership (TDP), to see if I was available to deliver two, virtual CPD sessions for Geography/History/Humanities Subject Leaders in local primary schools.  It was agreed to focus on ‘What makes an effective Subject Leader?‘ and to make the session as interactive as possible to encourage collaboration and sharing of best practice among partnership schools.

It was lovely to see a few familiar names and faces among the various schools attending our CPD session this afternoon (several are regular attendees of our virtual Primary Humanities Network meetings).  Perhaps, after today’s session, I will have encouraged a number of other Subject Leaders to join us for our termly virtual network meetings too?

I began by introducing myself, as well as outlining the aims and structure of the afternoon.

We then attempted the below activity, which encouraged a degree of interaction, albeit virtually via the chat feed or by unmuting themselves, from the start:

Next, I shared a number of websites and resources which I recommended Subject Leaders familiarise themselves with.  These included:

  • Ofsted’s presence on the web and social media;

I paused for ten minutes to give delegates some time to explore the suggested websites and resources, bookmark any as favourites, etc.  It also gave me an opportunity to address comments added to the chat feed or answer questions raised by individuals.

The main part of the afternoon’s CPD session looked at subject leadership in some depth.  Whilst there was a focus on geography, I did endeavour to highlight comparable materials that were available to support History Subject Leaders.  Firstly, I projected a copy of an article that had appeared in Teachwire’s magazine recently, which discussed how to be a great leader (https://www.teachwire.net/news/subject-leadership-in-primary-schools-how-to-be-a-great-leader) and shared a link to the GA’s EYPPC’s GeogLive3! event centred upon subject leadership (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGNqCpG1V2U&t=17s).  Next, we explored the GA’s guidance on leading primary geography (https://www.geography.org.uk/Geography-Subject-Leadership-in-Primary-and-Secondary-Schools/Leading-primary-geography).  We also considered establishing a vision for geographical learning, incorporating the below activity.  I included some thoughts and examples from the GA, RGS-IBG and David Weatherly’s recent training event too (https://www.geography.org.uk/eBooks-detail/71c435a8-c548-4e38-80db-2305275fbee5, https://www.rgs.org/schools/teaching-resources/developing-primary-geography/leading-primary-geography/ and http://www.davidweatherlyeducation.co.uk/geography-training.html).  It will be interesting to hear and see what transpires between now and our next CPD event on 17th February 2022.

Mention was made to the GA’s Primary Geography Quality Mark (PGQM) at this point (https://www.geography.org.uk/The-Primary-Geography-Quality-Mark-PGQM), along with their advice as to the structure and content of the Subject Leader’s file contained within PebblePad once a school registers to apply for the award.

Participants were encouraged to complete the following activity, which resulted in some lively discussions in our ‘breakout rooms‘ too.

Later, we spent some time thinking about action planning and two important documents, the geography policy and geography action/development/improvement plan.  I pointed individuals towards some exemplar policies and useful templates to employ in the process (https://www.geography.org.uk/Primary-geography-action-planning and http://www.davidweatherlyeducation.co.uk/geography-training.html).

I proposed that delegates spent some time perusing the RGS-IBG’s website too, especially the following web-links:

So that they did not feel left out, I gave History Subject Leaders some ‘go-to’ web-links for guidance and support, namely:

After a break for refreshments and fifteen minutes or so of independent investigation, we reconvened for two final activities:

Some of their ‘concluding comments‘ can be found below:

Sum up today’s online CPD event in five words/a sentence or two (you could take the approach WWW/EBI):

Great links and interesting resources! 

A really helpful grounding in what I should be focusing on as I take on the Geography Subject Leader role.

Informative, full of useful and relevant documents and links to look at/read through.

Informative; comprehensive; key documents highlighted.

Clear direction for developing subject leadership with lots of resources to support.

Informative – great to hear about all of the latest updates from the relevant agencies (Ofsted, GA, etc).  I look forward to reading the documents and feeding back to staff!

It has been really useful in helping me to reflect on development areas.  The resources and links have been really useful.  Good to have a geography focus rather than history.

Very useful signposting of key texts to be well versed in, plus RGS-IBG and GA resources.

Very informative – really useful as Subject Leader and we now feel like we have an idea of where to go next.

Very informative; lots of resources and websites to look at; Ofsted information.

Thank you very much for this session – we found it really useful.  See you next session.

Thank you, Emma.  It was all very useful.

I just wanted to thank you for hosting tonight’s training.  I found it very informative. … Thank you for providing us with a good overview of geography subject leadership.

Thank you so much for today’s session.

Thank you so much for today’s CPD.  It was so useful and has given me lots of thing to think about.

Thank you for a really informative training session on Thursday.  I look forward to hearing more at the next one in February.

Identify possible themes for future TDP CPD events:

  • Assessment.
  • Fieldwork.
  • Geographical skills.
  • Mapping activities and opportunities.

A productive and enjoyable way to spend a wintry Thursday afternoon it seems!

Looking forward to seeing TDP Subject Leaders again for Part 2 on Thursday 17th February 2022.

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