Weekly Development Meetings: key topics

In their English Handbook, your trainee has a list of these topics which are to be discussed at some point during a Weekly Development Meeting. Please encourage them to ‘tick them off’ as they are addressed, but also to come back to them as relevant. While the questions are intended for the trainees to answer, they will find it helpful if you could share examples from your own practice. Please note that there are two compulsory agendas included, on Communicating with Parents and Carers, and Working with Support Staff in the Classroom.

  • Curriculum design. How have you designed the curriculum at KS3? Who has decided which texts/ topics you teach and how the course is structured? What has influenced these choices, and choice of assessments?
  • Formative assessment. How are you embedding this in your lessons? How are you using it to inform your planning?
  • Summative assessment. What opportunities are there for you to set and mark summative assessments at KS3 and GCSE? This should include some GCSE exam questions and Spoken Language assessments, and may involve ‘shadow-marking’ at GCSE.
  • Supporting Pupil Premium students, and students with SEND/EAL. How are you monitoring and catering for these students? Is there enough support and challenge for them in your lessons?
  • Using and recording data. What data does the school keep and how is it recorded? How does your PST use it to inform their teaching? How might you use it to inform your teaching? What opportunities are there for you to access and use the school data systems (you may only be allowed to do this under supervision)?
  • Working with support staff in the classroom. How are you making use of LSAs (or the class teacher) to support students effectively? This must be the focus of one agenda before Seminar Day 3.
  • Communicating with parents and carers. What opportunities are there for you to be involved in report writing and/or parents’ evenings? How else are you communicating with parents (e.g. homework diaries, postcards or phone calls home)? This must be the focus of one agenda before Seminar Day 3.
  • E-safety and English. How does the department develop students’ understanding of e-safety? What opportunities are there for you to embed e-safety teaching into your lessons?
  • Numeracy and English. How can you embed numeracy effectively in your lessons?
  • KS2-3 transition. How does your year 7 teaching build on students’ prior knowledge and the Key Stage 2 curriculum? What does the department do to support transition?

Key priorities: Where possible, please make time to ask trainees about how they are managing their workload, and discuss with them the strategies that you use to help you.