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Rosie Burns, NPQLTD: Designing & Delivering CPD across the county

Rosie Burns, a Year 5 class teacher, Science Lead, and Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leader at Histon & Impington Brook Primary School, and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Science Learning Partnership Primary Lead, recently completed the NPQ in Leading Teacher Development (NPQLTD). Here we speak to Rosie about her reasons for undertaking the programme, her experiences on it, and its impact on her practice.

Why did you sign up for the NPQ, and what were your original learning objectives?

“My role as a mentor for both trainee and early career teachers, and prior to beginning the NPQ as part of a pilot of the Early Career Framework (ECF), endorsed my interest in developing expertise in the complex area of teacher development. I was excited by the fresh approach of the NPQLTD, as it afforded in-depth consideration of the essential knowledge and skills required for successful leadership of teacher development whilst referring to the same evidence base as the ECF and other NPQs.

I felt that participation in the NPQLTD would provide the opportunity for me to hone my understanding of effective professional development whilst learning how to design, deliver, and implement a range of professional development approaches. I hoped to develop the skills and knowledge to become an inspiring and effective leader, promoting best practice and equipping my fellow teachers with expertise to make a positive impact on school practice and pupil outcomes. I also believed that participation in this programme would afford opportunities for me to progress my career whilst still focusing on in-class practice and my aim (as Science Lead) to encourage great teaching of primary science.

My objective was to contribute to sustained provision and implementation of high-quality professional development in my school (the designated Teaching School Hub for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough schools) and have a transformative impact on teaching and pupil experience across a wide network of schools. I also wanted to develop leadership skills to assist teachers when things do not go to plan and to productively manage more challenging situations to support them as individuals and within the wider school context.”

How have you applied the learning from the NPQLTD in your day-to-day activities, and what has been the impact on you/your school?

“At the beginning of this school year, about three quarters of the way through the course, I took on a new role as a member of the SLT, working as an Upper Key Stage 2 Phase Leader (Leader across Year 5). This has been an exciting opportunity and a challenging one. The NPQ provided a platform to work with people who were already well established on their leadership journey – to meet and regularly discuss ideas/challenges we were facing was one of the most valuable aspects of the course.

At the second NPQLTD conference, we had a workshop on ‘Emotion and Educational Leadership’. I found this really thought-provoking as I could easily relate to various scenarios that I had experienced, particularly in recent months whilst leading a team of teachers and teaching assistants. It was incredibly helpful to take a step back and consider how best to approach challenging conversations and support your team in feeling positive and valued.

In my new role as Science Learning Partnership (SLP) Primary Lead for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, I have made great use of the Designing and Delivering Effective Professional Development modules. The idea of triangulation when determining priorities has been important when considering CPD needs across the county but also more specifically within individual schools. Analysing data and getting feedback from teachers, in addition to looking at broader research carried out e.g. by the EEF or Ofsted Review Series, has helped ensure that the courses we provide are built upon robust evidence.

Utilising expertise was also widely discussed, and it has been a pleasure to book and work alongside a range of STEM facilitators whose expertise e.g., in Space or EYFS, enriches our CPD offer. Considering the needs of ‘expert’ v ‘novice’ teachers was also interesting and I enjoyed thinking about how different approaches of delivery could benefit groups of people at different stages in their careers and the reasons behind this.

More widely, all Meridian Trust primary schools have now signed up to an SLP subscription package, which has allowed them to participate in a range of CPD and local network meetings. This has encouraged a shared dialogue to build across our schools and for great science practice to be shared and celebrated. Ultimately, I hope the long-term impact of this will be a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards science (both pupils and staff) in addition to strong substantive and disciplinary knowledge acquisition.”

Would you recommend the NPQ to others and, if so, for what reasons?

“I would definitely recommend the NPQLTD if you have an interest in designing and delivering CPD and/or are keen to progress into leadership via a fresh approach. The opportunity to meet like-minded people, have rich discussions and access to high-quality learning materials was excellent. I found the flexibility of self-directed study essential – I could fit in online modules at times that suited the busy work life of a full-time class teacher.”

Click here for more information on the CPTSH NPQ in Leading Teacher Development.

Please get in touch with Rosie directly, via, to discuss the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Science Learning Partnership’s Primary CPD programme.