RSA Academies’ TSA NQT Conference 2020

On Saturday 9th November, RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance (TSA) held a conference for their cohort of newly qualified teachers (NQT) across the RSA Family, providing delegates with an opportunity for career development, reflection and practical resources for the classroom.

Sessions were led by Specialist Leaders in Education from across Church Hill Middle School RSA Academy, Abbeywood First School RSA Academy, Arrow Vale RSA Academy, Holyhead School (an RSA Academy) and Whitley Academy. Themes were wide-ranging, from teacher wellbeing to social justice through education.

The RSA Academies’ TSA recruits and trains new entrants to the teaching profession every year. The TSA also develops leadership potential and school-to-school support to transform outcomes for young people and bring about positive social change.

The RSA has a long history of supporting education innovation. In 2008, The RSA made the decision to directly sponsor schools through the RSA Academies Family. This decision came from the RSA’s commitment to social justice and providing an inspirational education to all pupils. RSA Academies’ TSA was also founded on these same principles. This is particularly important for our school who serve communities with high levels of social and economic deprivation.

Research conducted by The Sutton Trust found that schools located in deprived areas are more likely to have recruitment difficulties and teacher shortages. The research also found that 85 per cent of teachers in the most deprived state schools think that recruitment issues are affecting the quality of education their school. The RSA Academies’ TSA plays a vital role in attracting passionate teachers with a commitment to social justice to our schools.

During the social justice workshops, NQTs shared the importance of challenging stereotypes and potential assumptions around disadvantaged pupils in term of their ability and aspirations. The best teachers are knowledgeable and mindful of the communities their schools serve and adapt teaching practices to ensure that all pupils can thrive in the school environment.

Other parallel sessions looked at student engagement and creative questioning techniques that can be used to assess learning. Another looked at tried and tested positive behaviour management practices for the classroom.

During the morning agenda, discussions also centred around self-management tools to help balance the busy workload of an NQT and support positive wellbeing. RSA Academies has a particular Commitment to supporting positive mental health and wellbeing. The RSA Academies’ TSA forms part of a key network for teachers to ensure that they feel supported and constructively challenged in their roles.

The day proved to be a purposeful and insightful as staff had the opportunity to meet new colleagues across the trust and reinvigorate their own practice. The cohort will continue to meet regularly throughout this academic year in order to develop professionally and strengthen this important peer network.

“I continue to be proud of the achievements of all of our early career stage staff and their commitment to personal development; their enthusiasm and participation throughout the morning was both purposeful and valuable to making an impact on the learners with whom they work. I am also especially grateful to our experienced colleagues who shared such insightful and practical classroom strategies. The morning reflects the ‘family’ approach of our teaching alliances and we look forward to the next session in March.” – Matthew Purslow, Director of the RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance

“It was a practical morning full of tangible strategies to implement on topics ranging from student engagement through to pupil premium and social mobility. It was great to hear about what the RSA do and how they came to be involved in education and academies. The access to experienced leaders gave me great guidance and the whole morning reminded me that I am in the right job and that I am doing well. Meeting with other NQTs and networking made this CPD activity incredibly worthwhile.” – NQT

You can find out more about the RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance by visiting their website.

Related project: RSA Academies’ Teaching School Alliance