A thriving learning culture in schools across Wales is essential if our new curriculum is to be successfully implemented. A pilot group of schools, supported by the OECD has been developing a model to achieve just that.
The ‘Schools as Learning Organisations’ (SLO) model for Wales has been designed to help schools adapt to change by working with other schools and consortia to explore new ways to improve learning and outcomes for learners. Identifying teachers’ professional learning needs and working together to provide solutions as part of a self improving system is integral to this approach.
The starting point for schools is to self-evaluate against seven dimensions of good practice and use the results to plan for improvement and development. Each dimension is linked to the four purposes, with well-being at the heart.
The model provides practical guidance on how school staff can individually and collectively learn together as schools evolve into learning organisations.
From this term, regional consortia and schools identified as ‘early enablers’ will raise awareness of the SLO model with the wider schools network.
Schools will be encouraged to begin to explore the SLO dimensions to increase their capacity to understand and deliver the new curriculum within and beyond their own institution.
The seven dimensions of the model are:-
- developing a shared vision centred on the learning of all learners;
- creating and supporting continuous learning opportunities for all staff;
- promoting team learning and collaboration among all staff;
- establishing a culture of enquiry, innovation and exploration;
- embedding systems for collecting and exchanging knowledge for learning;
- learning with and from the external environment and wider learning system;
- modelling and growing learning leadership.
The full model can be seen here
The SLO will link with Welsh Government’s national commitment to continuous professional learning, reflected in the new professional standards for teaching and leadership and will complement the emerging assessment and evaluation framework.
From September 2017, Estyn’s new inspection arrangements consider to what extent leaders have created a culture and ethos to support the professional learning of all staff. This self-evaluation model will help schools to evaluate the progress they are making in developing as a learning organisation.
A formal launch of the model, including the showcasing of exemplary SLO practice across Wales, will take place in the Summer term 2018.