To bolster the professionalism of teachers, three staff conferences were organized in each academic year. In addition, all staff meeting times were used for professional conversations related to teaching and learning or school operations. As well, teacher professional learning teams were established to provide opportunities for classroom based action research, sharing and support for teacher learning.
Staff Conferences and Seminars
In line with our school’s Annual School Plan 2012-2013 to become more adept at incorporating information technology into regular lessons, the school has purchased 44 iPads for classroom use. At staff development sessions held on the 30 August and 28 September 2012, teachers were encouraged to incorporate apps for learning into their lessons. In the first session, Steve Wilmarth, a North American educator, spoke about the importance of using this new technology. In the second session on 28 September a team from the Apple corporation introduced teachers to some very useful functions and apps for iPads.
On 13 December 2012, teachers updated their professional skills and engaged in relationship building activities at a staff conference. The first session was dedicated to understanding the aims and objectives of PISA, an international study that was launched by the OECD in 1997. The second morning session was a practical workshop based on applying the principles of Academic Conversations in the classroom. Teachers spent the afternoon participating in a range of enjoyable, recreational activities in an endeavor to develop closer collegiate relationships.
Progressive Staff Meetings
Staff meetings have taken on an innovative structure which allows teachers to select from a range of professional development workshops presented by their colleagues. The 15 April 2013 Progressive Staff Meeting offered six choices of workshops, all of which were relevant to the school’s academic mission. After the Assessment Policy and Practice Committee shared the school’s newly drafted Assessment Policy and discussed how it emphasized consistency in grading across departments through criteria referencing and alignment to DSE criteria, teachers attended two workshops of their own choice.
All in all, this style of staff meeting is progressive in more ways than one. Not only does staff move from workshop to workshop but teachers also increase their understanding of how other subject areas are meeting the same needs and aspirations of our students in the education we offer here at SSGC.
Assessment Teacher Learning Team
With members from different departments, different approaches to formative assessment have been studied. Members meet during the term to review progress.
Assessment Policy and Practice Committee
The Committee was established and held 11 meetings in the year 2012-13. The work of the committee includes the setting up of a new assessment policy for the school by providing a set of guidelines for students, teachers, heads of departments and school administrators on the use of assessments. Committee members acted as group leaders in staff meetings to help teachers understand clearly how to employ formative assessments in their teaching. In addition, the committee commenced their work on revising the present assessment (especially the report card) system and some proposed ideas have been drafted for teachers’ comments and modifications. It is expected that a new system, which will better enhance student learning quality, will be ready for implementation in 2014-2015.
Academic Conversations Teacher Learning Team
In 2012-2013, a Teacher Learning Team comprised of seven teachers from different disciplines, namely English Language, Geography, History, Biology, Liberal Studies and Home Economics worked on how to best support students in the classroom through developing their academic conversation skills to foster their critical thinking and content understanding.
A staff appraisal system was set up in St. Stephen's Girls' College in 1998. The aim of the system is to improve and develop quality education in the school. A working group was formed in June 1998 to work out a schedule for the appraisal system. Stage One of the system was tried out in the 1999-2000 academic year. Lesson observations and discussions were carried out throughout the whole year. Stage Two of the system which involves appraisal on policy-making and functional committees and teams, is to be tried out throughout the year 2000-2001.
Induction Programme and Mentor System for New Teachers
An Induction Programme and a Mentor System are tailored for new teachers every year. New teachers to the school are helped by experienced teachers in
teaching and other related activities through the mentor system. Experience-sharing sessions and teaching references are also organised and
planned for new teachers through the Induction Programme.
Last revised: December 2013