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Professional Learning

The Flexible Route offers a variety of ways to accumulate teaching service. In light of this, there is a range of experiences, provisions and support available to you.

It's vital that you tell the headteacher of your school that you have a probationary period to complete. The headteacher may be able to make arrangements to have relevant support put in place for you.

PL experiences

As part of your probationary period you are required to carry out a range of professional development activities which should be documented.

You should identify the development opportunities offered by your employer (the local authority or independent school), your school and other providers that you have access to.

Types of PL experiences

You can engage in a variety of PL experiences. You should seek to divide your PL between the following areas of experiences:

Classroom-based research

Classroom-based research is one of the many valuable types of CPL and is popular with teachers as it is based on what you are already doing in the classroom.

Many teachers have found research projects to be very effective personal learning experiences, developing their knowledge within a particular area of interest and having positive influences on the teaching and learning experiences of their pupils.

Existing research projects have been carried out on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • researching assertive discipline
  • researching Asperger's Syndrome
  • left-handed research
  • encouraging better pupil relationships

Fore more information, read Ian Matheson's article on the benefits of early career research.

Recording your CPL

Evidence of professional development during your probationary period should be gathered into a comprehensive PL portfolio and kept for your own reference.

Your portfolio will include:

  1. details of relevant supply days/short term temporary service, accumulated through your teaching service, contributing to your PL experiences and evidencing your teaching practice
  2. your Professional Development Action Plan allowing you to identify PL requirements
  3. supporting evidence, discussed in how to meet the SFR, including plans and materials used during observed teaching sessions and other PL experience
  4. a copy of your interim report (at the end of your second term, or equivalent) or final report (at the end of your fourth term, or equivalent)

You will keep hold of the portfolio and use it to plan your professional development beyond probation.