At Nower Hill we are committed to ensuring all new colleagues feel welcome, are known personally and fully supported in the school. Members of support staff have a dedicated induction and probationary period when they start their career with us. We hold an induction day for all new but experienced teaching staff in July, and an induction procedure for those who begin at other points during the academic year. We have a proud tradition of ‘growing our own’ which includes training both School Direct and PGCE trainees with the goal of appointing them to permanent positions. The school-based programme for NQTs includes, where possible, a three-week intensive initial induction in July for which payment is made. This is followed by dedicated support and a comprehensive programme from both a faculty and whole school mentor throughout their induction year. The pedagogy of teachers in the second year of their career is further developed within a Y2TD (year 2 teacher development) programme through Lesson Study, a powerful, professional learning approach that dramatically improves learning and teaching and the practice and subject knowledge of teachers.
To encourage the sharing and development of good practice, 15 minute whole-school training ‘Briefings’ take place each Wednesday at 8.30 am; regular faculty and student support meetings are held as part of the school's twilight cycle of meetings. Furthermore, colleagues are actively encouraged to observe each other teaching both within and outside their faculty areas. All heads of faculty are responsible for their own training budgets and use these to enable teachers to make best use of both external and in-house training opportunities. A central CPD budget is held by the CPD co-ordinator to provide training opportunities over and above these individual faculty needs for all school support and teaching staff.
As part of our drive to ensure we are both a research-informed and research-engaged school, 6 pedagogy leaders have been appointed for the 2016-2017 year to develop particular aspects of teaching and learning as well as to present and disseminate their action research to colleagues and governors. Areas of research focus in the last few years have included: effective questioning; pre-teaching; metacognition; use of video to support self reflection and flipped learning. 3 out of our whole staff INSET days begin with a 90 minute carousel of different training opportunities which change annually to reflect and help embed current priorities within the school's evaluation and improvement document.
Our CPD room within the virtual staffroom on Fronter contains a wealth of advice, information and support to enhance the 'live' training opportunities available. Furthermore, we place great emphasis on the professional development of all staff and provide a very wide range of high quality in-house CPD programmes to complement our PAD (progress and development) process which includes a dedicated line manager for each adult. Please click HERE for the full range made available in 2015-2016. Teachers' line management meetings provide termly opportunities for discussion about pedagogy and career development. Members of support staff have their own performance management meetings.
We were awarded the gold standard pan London CPD quality mark in 2011 in recognition of our work. Moreover, Ofsted described the leadership of both Teaching and Learning and CPD as ‘exceptional’ in our 2012 inspection report. In addition, Nower Hill High School has an excellent track record in developing leadership: Ofsted graded our leadership development as ‘outstanding’ in 2009. As a founding member of the Harrow Teaching School Alliance (HCTSA) all Nower Hill staff have access to the full range of development opportunities it provides. Full details of all the opportunities offered in 2016-2017 by the Harrow Teaching School Alliance (HCTSA) can be found HERE and via their website at: hctsa.org.