At CHHS we understand that joining a new school can be a daunting prospect, regardless of whether you are new to the profession or an experienced teacher. In order to enable a smooth transition to life at CHHS we have a coordinated induction programme of support to enable new teachers to hit the ground running. Before joining the school, new teachers are invited to an induction day where we try to convey the vision and ethos of the school, it also provides a great opportunity to network with colleagues in a similar situation and meet with some key staff.
A senior leader coordinates the induction of all new teachers and remains a key contact throughout the first year and beyond. A further professional learning programme is designed with sessions targeted specifically at new teaching staff, who are encouraged to attend regular sessions. New experienced teachers also join an Action Research Community working with a range of colleagues across departments which help to develop a sense collegiality across departments. Crucially though, this provides teachers with a platform to consider their own strengths and developmental needs so that they can use the time and resources available to them to research and make positive improvements to their classroom practice.
Additionally, each cohort of new teachers meets half termly to discuss their experiences and share thoughts and ideas. During these sessions there is always opportunity to provide feedback on the induction experience so that senior staff can make adaptations to meet the needs of the cohort. All new staff are also given the opportunity to take learning walks around the school with members of the senior leadership team. Importantly, new teachers are observed by a senior leader within the first half term to provide developmental feedback and to start a dialogue around teaching and learning.
Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) at CHHS receive tailored individual support to enable them to meet the challenges that the NQT year often presents. Each new NQT is invited to an induction day prior to their start date. This day focuses on understanding the vision and ethos of the school, as well an opportunity to understand some key procedures and policies, such as behaviour and rewards. During the day, NQTs have some dedicated time with their Induction Mentor (IM) and their Curriculum Mentor (CM). Throughout the NQT year the IM and the CM will meet regularly with their mentees to ensure that all NQTs feel fully supported and on target to achieve their individual goals. Recently Qualified Teachers (RQTs) also provide support offering guidance and advice from a different perspective and sharing their experience of the year.
NQTs at CHHS have lesson observations twice per half term in order to provide ample developmental feedback opportunities and to create meaningful dialogue on which to improve practice. All NQTs agree action plans with their mentors which are reviewed at least half termly. The NQT cohort have an ‘essential’ initial induction programme which focuses on vital content such as safeguarding and inclusion. Furthermore, NQTs have specific dedicated further professional learning sessions throughout the academic year. NQTs are welcome to attend all sessions, although they are expected to attend all ‘First Principles, ‘Professional Practice’ and ‘Current Issues’ sessions. The NQT cohort also form an Action Research Community led by the Deputy Headteacher responsible for leading Teaching and Learning, this involves reading educational literature and discussing and acting upon implications for the classroom.
Our NQTs also receive more centralised support through our appropriate body St. Patrick’s RC High School. Through this set up, NQTs receive support that can be drawn upon from outside of CHHS should this be required. This includes network meetings with other NQTs working in different contexts and specific training sessions.