Evidence of improved collaboration and changes in organisation practices
As the organisation operates on a number of venues it was critical to bring staff together to develop ownership of the project and create a sense of identity leading to more collaborative working and improved practice. This was facilitated through joint training and meetings.
It was difficult to find time and space for shared meetings as frequently as we would have liked due to timetabling and distance issues, but teams on different sites communicated via email and a shared Padlet (Figure 10a-2) where resources, reflective diaries, project updates, meeting minutes etc were stored and shared.
Teams within centres began to work more collaboratively, sharing resources and teaching ideas with project progress being a regular item on meeting agendas. Two members of the team in particular, one teaching English and the other both maths and English, worked closely together to ensure learning was transferred between the subject areas.
As a result of the project the organisation invited the project mentor to lead a CPD session for vocational tutors whose learners were struggling with spelling complex terminology. This was extremely successful and vocational staff have begun to use the approaches with their learners. They have been supported in this by the project’s LSAs who work with both English and vocational staff.
Team members who work on teacher and LSA training courses have introduced their learners to the principles of phonics-based approaches, enriching their experience and introducing them to a new field of learning.
Further work, however, is needed to ensure effective collaboration; joint planning, meetings and resource sharing are frequently difficult to manage in the frenetic working environment team members are engaged in. Nevertheless, the team have made progress with channels of communication being more overt than previously.