Bespoke offering for Teaching Schools and their associated Alliances
Star Lesson has developed a bespoke offering for Teaching Schools and their associated Alliances. Star Lesson’s app, mobile unit and cloud-based best practice repository enables Teaching School Alliances to easily and cost effectively share best practice across the entire Alliance regardless of geographical location. Please email us at TeachingSchools@starlesson.com for further information.
Star Lesson to help Iraqi Teachers perfect their teaching skills
Star Lesson is delighted to be working with a UK partner school and the British Council to help Iraqi teachers to perfect their teaching skills via the use of Star Lesson’s World leading App. The Star Lesson team have worked very hard to develop new elements for the app to enable the solution to work with or without a stable wireless network. The project is due for implementation this coming summer – watch this space for the World’s most exciting Video Learning Observation project. We will provide regular updates as they happen.
Star Lesson in the Kent Business Awards Final for second year in a row
Everyone at Star Lesson is absolutely delighted that we have reached the West Kent Business Excellence Awards final for the second year in a row. Our place in the finals is within the Innovation category. This achievement cements Star Lesson's place as one of Kent's most innovative companies. The whole Star Lesson team is greatly looking forward to the awards ceremony on November the 24th
Outstanding Teaching and Training at King Alfred's School, Wantage
King Alfred’s School is a Specialist Sports College with Training School status. We spoke to Adam Arnell, Assistant Head at King Alfred’s, to ask him how Star Lesson’s video lesson observation system is providing innovative solutions to their school’s Staff Development and Initial Teacher Training programmes.
Video Lesson Observation Identifies Outstanding Teaching
A Professional Development initiative at King Alfred’s school is helping to identify aspects of lessons that make them outstanding. Senior Leaders at the school approached their outstanding teachers and asked them to video their lessons using the Star Lesson mobile system, which can be placed in any classroom and used wirelessly to video lessons.
Star Lesson’s video editing software enabled whole lesson videos of 75 minutes to be quickly edited. By simply clicking the start and end of outstanding clips in the lessons, which were then seamlessly edited down, teachers were able to capture and identify the outstanding aspects of each lesson.
Senior Leaders together with the observed teachers reviewed the videos and collectively discussed the exemplars of outstanding features of the lessons. The teachers then took the role of Lead Coaches and embarked on a programme of peer observations using the Star Lesson system.
Teachers are able to request Star Lesson and have it placed by a school technician in their own classroom. A swipe card is provided to each teacher to record whole or parts of lessons, which can then be watched and assessed by the teacher and also shared with their Lead Coaches. The video lesson observations provide the opportunity for self-evaluation and for Lead Coaches to give feedback to the teachers to further develop outstanding approaches in their lessons.
Positive Impact on Initial Teacher Training
King Alfred’s School has Training School status and uses Star Lesson to help trainees understand how they can improve their performance.
A group of 19 student teachers from Oxford University had a session on the best principles of behaviour management with King Alfred’s behaviour management expert Andy Browne. The students were then able to combine the Star Lesson concept with Behaviour Management in action by:
• Connecting to Andy’s live lesson from a training room 1 mile away from the classroom through the school’s network
• Controlling the Star Lesson cameras and observing the whole class
• Communicating with Andy both during and after the lesson through the use of a mobile phone and earpiece.
Adam Arnell said “The impact on the student teachers seeing Star Lesson in action was that they all saw the value of video lesson observation. The students subsequently booked the system for a sequence of lessons to use the videos in reviews with their mentors, therefore greatly enhancing their professional development”
Spotlight On – Strategies to Demonstrate Outstanding Learning
King Alfred’s School is using Star Lesson to demonstrate examples of when outstanding learning takes place. With an emphasis on 20 minute ‘snapshot’ observations by Ofsted, teachers need to be able to modify their lesson to demonstrate outstanding learning by:
• developing and sharing strategies to demonstrate outstanding aspects
• evidencing understanding and progress by learners during their lessons
• allowing the observer to understand that outstanding learning is taking place
Adam Arnell says “King Alfred’s School is committed to listening to teachers and students about how outstanding learning is developed in all lessons. Using Star Lesson enables our teachers to capture their best practice and share this with other teachers and their students.”
Adam Arnell, Assistant Head Teacher
Video Lesson Observation at Thomas Telford School with the SSAT
Star Lesson has been commissioned by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust to produce a film on video lesson observation as part of their CPD toolkit and training services, including a showcase on how Star Lesson is being used at Thomas Telford School.
Widely recognised as an outstanding, high performing school, Thomas Telford School, a City Technology College, promotes the importance of video lesson observation to its teachers.
Star Lesson provides Thomas Telford School with Professional Development which is real to teachers, allowing them to reflect on what's going on in their lessons. Seeing their lesson through the eyes of their students, teachers can review the learner experience and make changes to improve their teaching and performance in the classroom.
Paul Halcro, Deputy Head Teacher at Thomas Telford School, spoke to us about his vision for using Star Lesson, seeing it as a way to personalise Professional Development for teachers by:
- Evaluating and improving their own teaching practice
- Enabling departments to review and share lessons
- Engaging groups of teachers to develop pedagogical approaches
- Evidencing and sharing good quality starters, plenaries and active learning techniques
Personalised Professional Development by Teachers
We spoke to two teachers at Thomas Telford School who use Star Lesson, Jeremy Tudor and Gary Boyles. They are enthusiastic about the benefits that video lesson observation brings to improving their teaching and the learner experience.
Using Star Lesson to record their lessons means that another teacher does not need to be present to observe them teaching, which can often change both their own behaviour and that of the students in their classes.
Jeremy Tudor spoke of the importance of using video lesson observation to improve his teaching by:
- Discovering and identifying his own targets
- Reflecting on lessons and analysing his performance
- Making changes to improve his teaching and students' learning
Gary Boyles recognised that he can become a student in his own lessons and gain real insight into how he can improve his own teaching by:
- Assessing the level of student engagement and learning in lessons
- Critiquing his teaching and reassessing his teaching approaches
- Reviewing peer observations and his self-assessment to improve his performance
Researching the Impact of Video Lesson Observation
Deputy Head Teacher, Paul Halcro is currently completing his Masters Degree thesis on "Investigation into teachers' views on improving teaching and learning, through enhancing reflective practices using video stimulated recall"
Everyone at Star Lesson is exceptionally excited about the outcomes of Paul's thesis - we already have our product development team ready to implement any new features that the thesis flags up as being important for the future development of video lesson observation.
""So far we have piloted star lesson with 8 teachers, who have recorded their lessons and watched them back to set themselves targets. The feedback has been very positive and all the teachers have commented on how it has helped them develop their practice. We have found it to be a valuable and meaningful CPD exercise for the teachers. We are convinced it will help all teachers to improve and develop, therefore in the summer term we will be introducing it to all teaching staff in the school.""
Paul Halcro, Deputy Head, Thomas Telford School
Star Lesson partners with the Kent Teacher Of The Year Awards
Star Lesson is delighted to be involved with this year's Kent Teacher of the Year Awards.
Hamish Chalmers, Star Lesson's Managing Director, is greatly looking forward to sitting on the panel of judges that will be analysing the most innovative teaching from across the county and helping select the eventual winners. The judging is taking place on Thursday the 24th of March. Star Lesson wishes all the teachers the very best of luck.
Star Lesson in Kent Business Awards Final
Star Lesson has reached the finals of the West Kent Business Excellence Awards and is up against one other company for the crown of Kent's most innovative company.
The awards ceremony is on October the 21st at the Spa Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
The whole Star Lesson team will be in attendance and we all have our fingers crossed for a victorious evening
Star Lesson short listed for Kent Business Awards
Hamish Chalmers, Star Lesson’s MD, was delighted to hear that Star Lesson has been shortlisted for the Innovation sector in the West Kent Business Awards. The judges are visiting the offices next week to see the system in action and to meet Hamish. Updates on the awards will be posted here as they happen.
Customer wins TES School of the Year Award 2010
St. John Plessington Catholic School, a long standing client school of Star Lesson, has won the coveted TES Outstanding Secondary School of the Year 2010. Star Lesson would like to send a huge congratulations to Paula and the rest of the team at SJP for their achievement.