Whitley Academy: Professional Exploration Groups

On Wednesday 22nd June, Whitley held their annual CPD celebration event. This event showcased the wonderful range of activities that Whitley staff have done throughout the year, including many fascinating action-research projects. Below is an explanation from CPD lead Matthew Purslow on how the programme works.

Professional Exploration Groups (PEG) received ‘dedicated’ calendared CPD time throughout the academic year with the emphasis very much on a collaborative and supportive approach to enhancing and developing classroom practice; each PEG was led by a ‘mentor/ambassador and the PEGs culminated in a whole school feedback event in June 2016, where colleagues ‘shared’ results and celebrated the transformation of practice and improvements in student outcomes throughout the year. The PEG groups met on 5 occasions points with the 6th session being the celebration event. Each member of the PEG completed a ‘reflective’ analysis of their research -this was linked to Performance Management and will form a part of colleagues’ T&L targets for 2015-16.

This element of staff CPD further allowed colleagues an opportunity to focus on ‘whole school priorities’ from department improvement plans and brought together the excellent expertise of all Whitley staff. The success of the PEGs is at the centre of driving forward whole school standards in Teaching & Learning.


A PEG Case Study – Maria Roberts, Associate Teacher and Rewards Coordinator

I have been at Whitley Academy for three years. My highlights in teaching and learning at Whitley so far have been many but the one I am most proud of include the pro forma I developed for use in cover lessons enabling staff to leave detailed information on all aspects of the lesson being covered, now used by the whole school for planned absence cover.

My ‘helping hands’ and the ‘question cube’ I developed during my last PEG investigation enabled me to have an effective tool for questioning and differentiation during cover lessons, allowing me to check learning, progress and understanding in lessons where I am not a subject specialist.

I have been very fortunate to attend many excellent CPD opportunities this academic year, not only the Teacher Training days and other all staff training we have the chance to attend, but I have also been to some Partnership Plus Showcases also the conference, and Teach Meet events throughout Coventry and the RSA Family of Academies, had training on facilitating excellent CPD, attended coaching and mentoring course with colleagues from Whitley and attended the excellent Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants.

All of my CPD has helped and is helping me to improve my teaching, have a more defined lesson for a cover and therefore raising expectations of staff and students. It has given me the tools to be a more confident and effective practitioner, whether I am supporting colleagues during their own PEG investigations, or delivering a lesson to students. I intend to continue on my learning journey at Whitley improving the quality of cover lessons for us all.