Professional Development

Lynda Swinbourn

The core business of a school is teaching and learning. As teachers, our classroom practice has to be rigorous and meaningful. Professional development, therefore, is an integral part of the academic’s staff programme at Inanda Seminary.

The professional development programme at the school is been driven by:-

  • The theme of year
  • Our educational objectives
  • The TWO Big Rocks from the Peer Review conducted in 2012 ( writing across the curriculum and integration of ICT in teaching and learning)
  • Some of the quick hits from the peer review (incorporating peer observation for teachers, independent learning and helping students take meaningful notes).
  • The data provided from the benchmarking tests conducted by the Centre for Evaluation and Assessment at the University of Pretoria.
  • Our own student data that is collected from our assessments over the year. From this data, the strategies that need to be implemented in classrooms are devised.
  • We place a strong emphasis on classroom observation. The HOD’s in the school spend a good deal of time observing lessons taught by members of their departments. In this way, we gauge if lessons learnt in theory are being carried out practically in the classroom. Where this is not happening, strategies are put in place to help and mentor teachers.
  • In mid-2010 we embarked upon a pathway of looking at different techniques advocated by Doug Lemov in his book Teach like a Champion.
  • Over the past years, we have adopted many of the Lemov techniques in our classrooms. Various members of staff practised the technique in their classrooms and then presented it at the professional staff development sessions.
  • We have seen over the last few years a change in the teaching and learning practice in our classrooms with staff embracing these changes. Our aim is to offer consistent good management in the classroom which then translates into good teaching and learning.
  • The Professional Development of our Academic Staff is an important priority. It is structured as follows:
    (i) at the beginning of each year before the students return to school the staff attend an intensive three-day development session. In these three days we concentrate on professional and personal development,
    (ii) the academic staff attend a 35-minute professional development session every week, and
    (iii) once a term they attend a two-hour session.
  • Teachers also attend various out of school workshops and seminars throughout the year. We use the professional development sessions to feedback to the staff on their experiences.