When I led INSET for 109 staff (The tipsy edit).


@astsupportaali @staffrm @mrlockyer 

I delivered an inset, to motivate and inspire our teachers/TAs. Our teaching profile is currently hovering around49% good or better; I needed to build on recent positivity to give staff the extra nudge to get us over 50%, tipping point. I also launched a new collaborative, non-judgemental system of planning/observing, based on ‘Triads’ which I rebranded ‘Quads’, mapping TAs to each group. They are teaching gangs, supportive clubs, positive mobs. 

I love running inset &CPD. I’ve done it for years but never before had I delivered a whole day to a staff body who were so openly divided over their view of me. You see 49% of my staff support,thank,appreciate me, whilst others associate me with difficult conversations,a firm approach to consistency, marking and quality teaching and a small number with formal support.

I have never planned a day so thoroughly, thought so carefully about resources, activities, phrases I would use. I couldn’t sleep, often on the ipad or skype until the early hours. I felt like I was a lamb to the slaughter, opening myself up to a whole lot of hate and criticism. Some wanted me to fail. It was bad.

The day was fab- better than expected. I felt the buzz, bribed them and involved other (popular) staff in the delivery.

Afterwards, I felt relief. I also felt I needed to build on the momentum and overwhelming response. I felt grateful to my T&L team who put up with my obsessing over details, delegating jobs and 'rehearsing' for the week(s) before. Two of my T&L team cried with positive emotions on the day- so something must have been right.

It was a resounding success. Got some of the most positive evaluation forms the school has had for training- no mean feat as it was entirely internally led. I was overwhelmed by emails of gratitude and tweets of thanks. Staff reflected on their practice honestly and openly. The positive of being an in house training meant I had insight into every person present @ASTsupportAAli would’ve been impressed by my differentiation and inclusion! Teachers can be the toughest audience! The best bits were the quads- some even branded themselves, a video of the kids saying thanks, tips led by my TDs. The hardest bit was the afternoon session; the graveyard shift. I did the noble thing and let them go 15 minutes early.

What helped? Knowing staff, pace, breakfast, coffee, biscuits, lunch, carefully planned quads, my TDs, the ‘T&L Bidding Battle’ and references to Roberts& Kidd’s works- amongst others.

Hinderances? Preconceptions, that some staff came along with, attitudes of a couple towards me, the refusal to engage from a vvv small minority, technology failure. I was also very tired as had taken staff to #TMSOTON and dinner the night before.

I was so prepared (read obsessive) that logistically and planning wise it was pretty good. The tasks worked. The only thing I'd tweak would be to shuffle the activities, to do more ‘fun stuff’ after lunch. With greater notice I'd have booked a keynote speaker to captivate our staff with their wit, charisma and charm.

I changed the focus/dates of our CPD& twilights. I have given staff more time planning. I have booked two inspiring speakers to do my follow up day, building momentum, revisiting priorities. 

I need to look at logistics& plan a drop down day, to free up staff to work with these speakers.

Author Profile

Natalie Scott

Natalie Scott

Teacher of children, lover of T&L & high heels, SLE and TES blogger of the year 2016.

31 stories


Stephen Lockyer Stephen Lockyer @mrlockyer 2 years ago
I want to know more! Thanks for sharing!
[Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] [Retired Colleague] 2 years ago
Sounds like a top range of activities here. I'd be interested in the feedback from quads over the longer term, especially the TAs. Thanks for sharing.
Sarah Stephenson Sarah Stephenson @sarahstevo 2 years ago
Sounds inspiring! Well done! Any chance of more details?
Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
@sarahstevo Sure! I only wrote this as a response to the post added by @astsupportaali yesterday on Gibbs/reflecting. What are you after? I'm happy to share and write up the overview of activities?
Sarah Stephenson Sarah Stephenson @sarahstevo 2 years ago
I'm just interested in triads/quads and have suggested it at school. Anything that would help convince or implement would be great. Could you do an overview in a post? I'm sure others would be interested!
Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
@sarahstevo Happy to- the quad bit was recieved really well, by teachers and TAs- staff were far more on board than I expected. I want to sit here and write it up for you now... Sadly, I am currently preparing for HMI on Tuesday/Wed but how about I write something up for you on Thursday? Rationale, planning the quads, the launch, resources, how it is going so far, how I plan to evaluate etc?
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 2 years ago
A great read and totally empathise -we have similar roles, contexts and approaches.

AsI moved to SLT my then LM said to me:

"The move you raise your head above the parapet, the more exposed to attack you become".

Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
@misswilsey Couldn't agree more. I always try to lead by example and would never ask staff to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. Would be good to network with you a bit more? I've loved some of your writing- we both have red heels too!
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 2 years ago
Yes was thinking the same - where you based? We could create an networking event in summer 2? There are a few people who I have linked with who I would like to meet. I failed to be around for @shornym - we had been chatting on Twitter. Once Year 11 have gone? My work email: H.Wilson@HarrisMorden.org.uk
Shorny Malcolmson Shorny Malcolmson @shornym 2 years ago
That would be good - I'm keen to meet with people and when year 11 have gone and I've finished marking for an exam board would be best. Should be done penultimate week of June. :)
Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
@misswilsey Other than the 6/7 when I have a T&L drop down day with visiting speakers and workshops I am pretty free. I'm based in IoW at the moment (not sure whether you read my '3am alarm' or 'big idea' pieces here- it's a v long story!) But... I'm hoping to be London based from Sept and although no paperwork signed yet I have been talking to heads this week. Let's talk summer term dates! I will drop you an email now. What do you think @shornym? Thanks @staffrm!
Shorny Malcolmson Shorny Malcolmson @shornym 2 years ago
I'm based directly opposite you on the mainland ATM but more than happy to meet in London - love a good day trip to the big city!
Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
Maybe @misswilsey fancies a trip to the seaside instead then?! Especially in the summer!
Hannah Wilson Hannah Wilson @misswilsey 2 years ago
Do you two know each other already? I love the seaside, would be happy to drive down one weekend day in late June/ July. Why don't we do South Coast in summer and the next one can be London? It could be a termly thing? (as an aside, can you edit comments as I am seeing errors in mine as was doing on my mob! Also I cannot change the # on my I am or upload images???)
Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
No, I'm only here a year helping school improvement, so my networking has been pretty lame! Sounds like a fab idea. I can't edit comments but you should be able to edit your own posts with the pen button on the top right?
Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
Of course. Drop me an email and I'm more than happy to share. And as for #womeninleadership #womenined, we have indeed! @misswilsey @helenamarsh and @vivienne have been chatting and tweeting and emailing and we are hoping to arrange an event, supporting and inspiring women into leadership roles, in the autumn term. We are very excited and will definitely be looking for input, support and ideas in the coming weeks and months! Please do get in touch and spread the word... The more the merrier :)
Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
Ohhhh I can't change my comment! Apologies Viv- I'm adding your handle here until I learn to edit! @LCLL_Director
Hannah @misswilsey just added someone else thinking it was me too- women in need of tech support session required? Hahaaaa
Jill Berry Jill Berry @jillberry 2 years ago
Well done, Natalie. It sounds like the experience of planning and delivering this will have helped the positive development of your relationship with the staff group as a whole, and, I'm sure, your status within the school. Hope so!
Natalie Scott Natalie Scott @nataliescott 2 years ago
Thank you @jillberry. It has, the shift has actually been a very humbling experience. I will be sad to say goodbye to many of the amazing 'Dolphins' and 'puppies' that I have the current pleasure of working alongside. I'm very much looking forward to the follow up day when I get @astsupportaali and @hywel_roberts in to do their stuff and inspire them even more.
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