Why Work with Us
Join us on our journey delivering exceptional education at the heart of the community
“Whatever stage of your career you are at, we passionately commit to providing high-quality, bespoke CPD and instructional coaching in order to allow all staff to thrive in their roles.”
Emily Cook - Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning
Why work for Oasis Academy Oldham
At OAO, the delivery of the curriculum and quality of instruction is key to our school improvement. According to Berliner, there are five stages of skill development in any area: Novice, Advanced Beginner, Competent, Proficient, Expert. In order for any teacher to be confidently in the competent range for instruction, we would expect a commitment to self-improvement and deliberate practice. It is only when we put ourselves outside of our auto-pilot teacher default, that we will improve our practice in the classroom. We will support staff to continually develop through a well-structured yet flexible CPD programme, instructional coaching, weekly line management and simplified yet effective Quality Assurance procedures.
Effective implementation at OAO is cemented by our Teaching and Learning Habits, which serve as a framework for consistently good teaching. They include a detailed success criteria and explanation of key terminology with examples of what good looks like.
Following Kennedy’s idea that we must all master routines and behaviour within the classroom before we can deepen the learning of our students, the first strand of the habits encompasses our ‘Teacher Absolutes’. All staff will ensure that these habits are understood, evident in all lessons and practised regularly through instructional coaching and CPD, including that lead by faculty/subject leaders. The other four strands: Feedback, Questioning, Literacy and Modelling are the pedagogical areas we expect staff to regularly build into their delivery of the curriculum. It is within these areas that we believe teachers can personalise, differentiate, and adapt the OCL curricula to ensure it suits the needs, and promotes deep learning, for all pupils at OAO. Quality Assurance observations will use the language and success criteria of the habits, to ensure a shared language of implementation and promote consistency across all faculties.
We provide bespoke CPD for all staff in the Academy with a focus on Instructional Coaching as a key lever for improvement.
Continuous Professional Development at OAO is based on two key areas: The Teaching and Learning Habits, as above, and Instructional Coaching. We are, however, committed to ensuring a wide range of bespoke CPD and external CPD where necessary for specific staff (for example where someone might teach out with their specialism) or specific staff groups such as support staff and pastoral staff. For teaching staff, we offer a range of fully-funded NPQs through the National Institute of Teaching
The Academy CPD plan is loosely planned across the year to cover key Academy priorities, including but not limited to the T&L Habits.
We are also committed to engaging with trust CPD half-termly and empowering our middle leaders to use built in Joint PPA time to deliver subject-specific CPD to develop their teams and promote responsive and collaborative planning.
The CPD calendar is a flexible document that can and should change depending on the needs of the Academy and staff at any given time. There is time planned in each half term to specifically respond to key findings from Instructional Coaching or Faculty QA and we will of course consult with middle leaders regularly around the CPD needs and requests of staff within their subject areas.
Instructional Coaching is based on the belief that we as teachers learn the same way as our students do, incrementally and over time. We understand Willingham’s model of memory and the need to rehearse, repeat and revisit to make knowledge stick or move it from the short-term memory to the long-term memory. Whilst we must understand this and take this into consideration when it comes to planning for our lessons, we should also consider this when it comes to our own development.
Instructional Coaching is rooted in the most up to date educational research which states that granular and frequent feedback will yield the greatest improvement in teacher performance over time. Here at OAO, we understand that teaching is a performance profession and that deliberate practice is key to learning and codifying a new skill in the classroom. We need to rehearse and practise to move this new skill to our longer-term memory where we can retrieve it more easily when needed.
In 2023-24, we will continue with our Reciprocal Model of coaching, meaning all staff will get experience of coaching and being coached. Instructional Coaching is a fortnightly process whereby a 15 minute drop in (either live or via video recording). takes place and precise, granular feedback is given. Time for this has been factored into the Directed Time budget, and morning briefing slots will be designated, although feedback meetings may take place at other times upon agreement of colleagues.
The coaching observation is logged on Steplab which will support all coaches to select the most appropriate and granular action step based on the evidence seen in the lesson. Coaching feedback conversations are based around the four areas of Praise, Probe, Agree Action Step and Plan and Practise.
Instructional coaching is a bespoke CPD offer for all staff and is in no way linked to Quality Assurance procedures.
However, staff may wish to use their feedback overtime for their own evidence.
Would you or someone you know be interested in working or volunteering at Oasis Academy Oldham? If so, we would love to hear from you!