This academic year has seen many and varied opportunities for professional development. The British Schools of the Middle East organization has offered a wide range of PD courses including an Early Years Conference, coaching and mentoring, classroom management, the National Professional Qualification for Headship and subject specific training. There have been school based sessions run by our own teachers covering areas such as bilingualism, Moodle training, phonics, art techniques, library training for a new database and 21st century schools, as well as feedback sessions given by those who have attended other courses. Various members of staff have also completed on line courses too. Some routes lead to further qualifications (such as NPQH or an MA) whilst others are aimed simply improving practice.
In addition to all of these there are local groups running courses and conferences for teachers. Our staff has always been active in their support, both as delegates or presenters, as these groups reach out into the wider community and give an invaluable opportunity to interact with teachers from other schools.
Whilst professional development is a matter of personal growth there is also school driven involvement in some instances. As a school accredited by the Council of International Schools we need to constantly review our action plans and provide specific PD to support them. BSME is developing its own accreditation system and some staff members have completed training for this through an organization called Penta.
International Schools Group held a conference in November leading to cohorts in each ISG school ‘Looking for Learning’. At DBGS we have a large number of teachers actively involved in this initiative from across the key stages prompting further collegiality and a new way of interacting with each other in a professional manner. It will continue in the new school year.
In house professional development sessions are open to all, but we also run a specific program for our teaching assistants to ensure that their needs are also met.
It has been a highly successful year in terms of staff development.
Professional Development Coordinator