More than 600 staff have collaborated on the One Thing initiative since it was introduced as part of CCCG’s Teaching, Learning and Assessment Development Policy in 2021.
The One Thing encourages teachers to take voluntary ownership of their career development by improving one aspect of their jobs with coaching support from their peers across the Group known as Expert Practitioners (EPs).
CCCG comprises City and Islington College, Westminster Kingsway College and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, and apprenticeship and training provider Capital City College Training.
Developing skills in digital, teaching strategies, behaviour management, online assessment and college IT systems are among the areas teachers have put forward as their One Thing.
Tamara Lesniewska, Curriculum Manager for Creative and Digital Media, has been an EP for the One Thing since it started and coached 10 teachers this academic year.
“Meeting with other teachers enabled me to be self-critical and create action plans for any new areas for my own personal development,” she said.
“Examining feedback, teaching and learning strategies, digital skills and lesson planning and delivery helped identify opportunities for me to improve professionally and enable both myself and the teachers I was supporting to achieve better outcomes for our students.”
English teacher Stefanie Agternkamp, who was among three tutors to benefit from Tamara’s coaching to help her speed up students’ development of ideas.
“It’s helped my students to develop more varied ideas faster over the course of the academic year. The students feel more confident in tackling writing tasks and have benefitted from working with different students in sharing and developing ideas,” she said.
English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher Tueybaha Salhuddin supported five teachers as an EP this year.
She said: “As an EP I’ve grown in confidence, helping colleagues to become braver by exploring new teacher, learning and assessment strategies. I’ve also gained new ideas, enabling me to take risks with my own teaching and learning. It has been highly rewarding to support colleagues achieve their career development goals.”
EPs coach up to 10 teachers across the academic year. They are often teachers themselves and benefit from the coaching of their own EPs in a cross-collaboration across the Group.
A survey found 96.3 per cent of EPs and 91.5 per cent of teachers agreed it had provided them with relevant professional development, while 92.8 per cent and 87.7 per cent respectively agreed it had improved their teaching practice.
Nearly 30 EPs have gone on to study for Level 3 Certificate in Effective Coaching and Mentoring, which they have implemented into their support for teachers.
An Ofsted report published ahead of CCCG being rated ‘Good’ earlier this year, noted that “teachers value the individual support they receive” and speak enthusiastically about the One Thing.
Torcato, Heads of Teaching and Learning, said: “The impact of the One Thing has been hugely positive and successful in terms of supporting the teachers participating and the EPs’ own development, so it really is a win-win on both sides.
“The rewards are very tangible, because the EPs can not only see the progress the teachers they are supporting are making, but also the progress they are making, which results in better pedagogy and efficiency, and ultimately better learner outcomes.
“Our aim is to get to the One Thing to a point where is grows organically and becomes the norm across all our colleges in the Group, and we are using the same model for managers and the rest of the staff at all levels. Then we will be in a fantastic place.”