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Lauren Parkes is a Year 6 teacher, Maths and PE leader who was an NPQML participant on a blended learning cohort.
Lauren took part in the programme which ran over 12 months with online learning modules supported by a number of twilight sessions, all of which were delivered by the same facilitator team to ensure continuity.
We caught up with Lauren to ask her about her experience on the programme, what she learnt and what impact the NPQML has had at her school.
“I chose WAT for my NPQML following a recommendation from my Assistant Headteacher, who had used Windsor Academy Trust courses before. I knew a little about the programme beforehand, but not huge amounts if I am honest. However, the course gave me an opportunity to reflect on my leadership so far. The programme most certainly exceeded my expectations.”
“A lot of the learning was really useful, particularly interacting with colleagues and sharing practice. It is so useful to hear about other people’s experiences and have time to reflect. Just having the time to think ‘Why do I do what I do?’ is so useful. The topics we covered were all relevant and I really enjoyed it. I got lots out of it. It made me feel confident in the job that I do and gave me a real boost!”
“It was the right amount of everything. It was a really good balance. I did feel a bit overwhelmed by the online learning the first time, but I soon got to grips with it. The face to face sessions were well planned and thought through, giving them a good flow. The sessions were well executed, kept you engaged and really got you thinking. It was also a great opportunity to speak to other teachers and leaders about their schools and practice. The facilitators, online and face to face, are helpful, clear and knowledgeable. Lesley is welcoming when you arrive, which is a really nice touch.”
“There was lots of new learning, such as leadership styles, budget planning and risk registers. I hadn’t really thought about these areas before, so it was useful to explore them.”
“I had really good support from my in-school coach and during our weekly SLT meetings, I could discuss elements of the course that I wanted to put into action. This enabled me to get on and implement what I needed to. It also helped me to understand staff more effectively and communicate successfully.”
“It raised the profile of maths and had a very positive effect on the culture of maths within the school. Pupils felt proud of their successes and confident to talk about their achievements. I also saw them successfully applying their knowledge of times tables (the focus of my project) in other areas. The children gained increased confidence and started to enjoy the element of challenge and competition."
Interested in taking the next step on your leadership journey? Find out more about our NPQs and leadership courses for teachers here.