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Welcome ……….. to the first CPD Newsletter of 2012 live on the MLE. As we are trying to use less paper I have decided to produce the CPD Newsletter in future on the MLE with only 10 copies made available in paper form in the staffroom. With the successful introduction of the T + L project on Friday 21st October 2011 it is pleasing to hear from colleagues on how the collaborative groups are working and developing. I wish to thank all staff for completing Evaluation Form 1 after each session and I look forward to the completion of Evaluation Form 2 during the summer term for all staff Development sessions where staff will be able to say how they have used material in their lessons and/or implemented different ideas obtained from the sessions. Whether CPD is external where colleagues feedback to their department or internal on a whole school basis through Staff Development sessions it is so important that we share all positive ideas and learn from each other to work together for the good of all our pupils. Should you have any articles for the next newsletter or opinions on how to improve the CPD Newsletter please email me Thanks Patrick

Articles on the following are in this edition: Coaching Gifted and Talented WordShark EAL Collaboration Exams Develop wellbeing at work Holism

My grateful thanks to all the staff who have contributed to this newsletter.

What ……. Sir John Whitmore gives some idea as to what can be gained by working in a coaching partnership: “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.”

What not ……. 

NOT a judgemental process

NOT a collection of techniques or strategies

NOT telling somebody how to do it

Why ……. 

Coaching works where more traditional methods of professional development have failed

Coachee’s agenda counts

Helps people to think through their issues themselves

How……. The coachee decides upon his/her goal Sessions have open and honest conversations between the coach and coachee The coach—listens and questions The coachee—freely explores a range of ways in which he/she may move forward towards his/her goal Talking about weaknesses and obstacles but also highlights the coachee’s strengths

Who is an ideal coaching partner? 

Do I need this person’s specific knowledge or will I gain from their thoughtful insight and questioning?

Are we both in a position to offer support to one another or will this be a one-sided relationship?

Do we both have the time to commit? Surprisingly a good coaching relationship may only require 10-15 minutes a week to help focus on your aims and keep things moving forward

Would I benefit from working with somebody that I know well or would somebody from outside my department or year team may work with me more objectively?

Good Questioning and Listening 

The most common problem that occurs in coaching is that coaches believe they have to do all the talking. This is not the case as the coachee should do most of the talking!

Also silence is valuable thinking time: You don’t always have to fill silence with the next question!

If you arm yourself with some of the proven techniques, find opportunities to practice and learn to trust your instincts, you can become a better coach, and so enhance your teams performance

Goal (where are they going?) First, with your coachee, you must define and agree the goal or outcome to be achieved. You should help your coachee define a goal that is specific, measurable and realistic.

In doing this, it is useful to ask questions like: 

“How will you know that you have achieved that goal?

“How will you know the problem is solved?”

Reality—(Where are they now?) Next, ask your coachee to describe their Current Reality. This is a very important step: Too often, people try to solve a problem without fully considering their stating point.

As the coachee tells you about his or her Current Reality, the solution may start to emerge.

Useful coaching questions include: 

“What is happening now?”

“What, who when, how often”

“What is the effect or result of that?”

Options—(ways of making the journey. Once you and your coachee have explored the current reality, it’s time to explore what is possible—meaning, all the many possible options you have for solving the problem. Help your coachee generate as many good options as possible, and discuss these.

By all means, offer your own suggestions, but let your coachee offer his or hers first, and let him or her do most of the talking .

Typical questions used to establish the options are: 

“What else could you do?”

“What if this or that constraint were removed?”

“What are the benefits and downsides of each option?”

“What factors will you use to weight up the options?”

Will—by examining Current Reality and exploring the options, your coachee will now have a good idea of how he or she can achieve their Goal. That’s great—but in itself, this may not be enough! So your final step as coach is to get your coachee to commit to specific actions, In so doing, your coachee will establish his or her will and motivation.

Useful questions:

“So what will you do now and more importantly when will you do it for?” “What could stop you moving forward.?” “How will you overcome it?” “Will this address your goal?” “How likely is this option to succeed?” “What else will you do?”

Coaching— Questioning and Listening

Session Objectives:


To understand the importance of good questioning and listening when involved in coaching.


To introduce the ‘GROW’ model so you can structure coaching sessions effectively

Good/Bad Questioning 

Effective coaching requires the ability to ask good questions!

The other most important element of coaching is


Coaches are not necessarily ‘experts’ in all areas, but most coaches will have experiences and abilities to offer suggestions and ways forward

Gifted and Talented Gifted and Talented Pupils Can have/be: 

Good all rounder

High ability in 1 area only

High in ability, low in motivation

Good verbal ability, poor writing skills

Very able with a short attention span

Very able with limited interpersonal skills

Keen to disguise abilities


G & T Activities Activities, ideas and tasks to challenge G &T students across the curriculum

Random Words Give students a list of five random words, e.g. Box, Cow, Sunshine, Beyond, Fence and ask them to: 

Show how any or all of the words connect to one another.

Explain how they may influence one another.

Suggest how they might link to the learning.

Create a story encompassing all the words.

Mind-map the connotations of each word and then analyse the links between them

CPD Newsletter  

CPD NEwsletter, January 2012

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