Heartlands Academy is proud to be a Teaching School and we strive to develop the skills of our own staff and those of other academies at every stage in their career. We have a comprehensive professional learning calendar that enhances the skills of trainees, NQTs and leaders, whether they be teaching or support staff.
Training to teach as part of the Heartlands family is an exciting and carefully nurtured first step on the career journey and we are proud to be in partnership with four Higher Education Institutions to offer training in a vast range of subject areas. Our team of mentors is highly trained; with many of them studying at Masters level here at the academy themselves. Our senior mentor leads the team and encourages a climate of research through the Educational Doctorate she is herself currently engaged in.
Newly Qualified Teachers are highly valued at Heartlands; indeed we often recruit from our extensive group of trainees each year. Our NQT Induction Programme covers all of the areas teachers new to the profession require, ranging from Active Learning and Stretch and Challenge to PREVENT Training and Behaviour for Learning. Meeting together weekly fosters a strong bond between our NQTs, each of whom is supported by a subject mentor, a senior leader and full access to Birmingham City Council’s NQT package.
Developing strong and effective leaders is core to our values and our staff have access to a variety of leadership programmes including: Teaching Leaders, National Award for Middle Leaders and Leaders for the Future, further details of which can be found under the leadership development section of our website.
With so much outstanding practice across the academy, the staff come together once a week for Talking SHOP (Sharing Heartlands’ Outstanding Practice) where departments and year teams take turns to wow us with an aspect of their area that works brilliantly for our students. To date, we’ve been treated to musical clips of the Rock Band performing in London, how to make our Challenge Objectives more interactive and Detention Conversations, to name but a few.
There’s no sitting in the hall all day, zoning in and out on a Heartlands’ Training Day! We make best use of our expertise by offering a programme of bespoke workshops from which all staff can select, making sure that their individual professional learning needs and interests are met. Often, we pair up talented, less experienced staff with our seasoned deliverers to further embed our culture of developing each other.
Being a Teaching School is a great privilege as it enables us to take an active role in school to school support and make a real difference to children’s learning well beyond Heartlands Academy. We have a growing number of Specialist Leaders of Education, including both subject area and whole academy experts who provide coaching and training across the West Midlands and beyond. Typical examples of the outreach support we offer are new teacher or inexperienced Head of Department coaching, departmental reviews and moderation of assessment. Colleagues from other academies have regularly attended our Outstanding Teacher Programme and Improving Teacher programme, with highly positive evaluations.