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Published in Using HOW2s, Learning Matters and Professional Learning

Supporting teachers, reducing workload and the EIF

So how, exactly, do you… deliver high-quality education and training, develop pedagogy, evidence impact and reduce teacher workload in a way that ensures that every learner can access what is being taught? Ian Harris, CEO of HOW2s, met with Frances Rippin, Assistant Principal at Gateway college.

As a result of much improved planning and teaching, students pass their qualifications and gain better grades than might be expected given their starting point.

Gateway Ofsted Report November 2019. Gateway is good.

Why HOW2s? How have you found working with us?

We were a Grade 4 college.

Teaching and learning needed to be a conversation across the whole institution. We wanted staff to collaborate across departments. That was part of the motivation to get HOW2s. From a quality assurance viewpoint, I needed a way for HODs to quickly give their teams actions following observations. The HOW2s provided structure and meant we could do things instantly. 

The HOW2 team is responsive, professional and supportive. They are very experienced in our sector, and their support is invaluable. The regular contact with our professional learning lead keeps it alive for me.

HOW2s offers a personalised approach to CPD that works and is reducing teacher workload.

Frances Rippin, Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning

How do you use HOW2s?

HOW2s make a personalised approach to CPD a reality. Teachers use them to support planning and to consider how best to sequence delivery of subject content. They trial new techniques to, for example, revise and revisit materials, reinforce learning, and assess and provide feedback. HOW2s make it easier for teachers to learn, support each other, and share their learning with colleagues.

HOW2s form part of all our staff training relating to pedagogy, including action planning following observations, cross curricular collaboration, one-on-one support, and we use them across the college to drill down to look at particular teaching strategies.

I use them with new teachers to help integrate them into the college.

They have provided training that has enhanced teachers’ subject knowledge and their teaching skills.

Ofsted Report November 2019

What’s different about HOW2s?

Everything is less stressful and they’re always available. Before HOW2s, we didn’t have an ongoing structure to support teaching and learning. Our big one-off events had to last the whole year. HOW2s allow you to have variety and adapt teaching as required – it’s a more realistic and useful approach.

We no longer need to spend time (or money) looking for pedagogical solutions or travelling to courses — we can get support to staff in minutes.

Josette Moss, Head of Quality

How have you found the online platform?

Intuitive and dynamic. Staff are positive and the more you use it, the better it is. Putting resources together to support teaching learning and assessment (TLA) used to cost us significant time and money. With HOW2s, the thinking and research around TLA have been done for you. All staff can use the structures provided by HOW2s and adapt it to their context. The fact that it’s online gives us consistency across the college.

What are the benefits of HOW2s for staff?

It’s reduced workloads. Teachers don’t have to look for solutions or attend courses. Teachers love the 247 support. Professional learning really can be led by teachers. HOW2s have given teachers confidence to develop their own practice.

We have seen good improvement in our teaching. And great resources have been developed and shared between departments such as Science, Business and Law.

...teachers now reflect on and share their practice, and revise their plans, methods and resources to improve the quality of their work.

Ofsted Report

What are the benefits of HOW2s for learners?

HOW2s have helped establish an aspirational culture at the college. Students want to achieve; teachers have high expectations. Our classrooms offer a wider variety of meaningful learning experiences.

They’ve given confidence to learners and teachers. Students’ long-term memory has improved and they engage more meaningfully with feedback.

Would you recommend HOW2s to other organisations?

Absolutely! They are 100% focused on helping students learn. Lessons are more exciting and it’s digital, so always accessible. CPD was expensive — £500 per CPD? HOW2s cost a tiny fraction of that per teacher — a few Pounds for a year’s 247 CPD. And the techniques can be used alongside the new framework.

The HOW2s are very easy to learn which means we have more time to focus on considering their use in our personal context.

Georgiou Panayiotis, Curriculum Leader

With the new EIF in mind, what specific benefits do HOW2s bring

HOW2s support us as leaders in supporting our staff to improve the quality of teaching, learning and assessment. I’ve already said how we use HOW2s to do this. Inspectors will check that this is something real, not conceptual. HOW2s meant that all staff had the same understanding of, and access to, the pedagogical support being offered. So I was confident to talk to Ofsted about HOW2s in terms of improvements made to pedagogy. I was also confident that any conversations with teachers would reflect what I was saying about HOW2s reducing workload.

Anything else you would like to mention?

Staff are glad to have the HOW2s, some have commented that they can’t imagine teaching without them. I don’t know if people fully realise the potential of it yet. But we aren’t planning to take it away anytime soon!

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