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Pre-school 

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Pre-School Language


Demystifying Phonics

For the longest time, the concept of phonics has been rather a mystery, a much-talked about but little understood topic that has bewildered and confused educators worldwide. This webinar aims to take the mystery out of phonics. Starting with a discussion of different types of phonics instruction, it will move on to help teachers develop the ability to hear, recognise and correctly pronounce the phonic sounds, before exploring a variety of multi-sensory methods and materials that will make learning phonics applicable, meaningful and fun. Practitioners will emerge with a better understanding of teaching phonics, and a toolkit of practical ideas that they can use with their students to make the teaching of phonics come alive. 
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Differentiating Learning

Meeting the needs of ALL learners is not an easy task, particularly given all the other things teachers have to do. Yet we all know that differentiated instruction is the key to successful learning. An outstanding teacher makes sure that every student in their class achieves their potential, no matter what their starting point. This inspirational workshop offer practical advice on how to ensure your lessons meet the varying needs of all your learners. Through a clear analysis of what differentiation is and how it works, an exploration of effective differentiation strategies and techniques, and lots of practical examples, you will be provided with the tools and knowledge for differentiating instruction that will help ensure that all your students succeed.
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Monitoring progression among very young learners

When we think of assessment and monitoring progression, we automatically think of tests! Yet there is so much more to progression that tests!  This webinar takes a close look at the topic of assessment and progression within very young learner contexts. We will consider different ways of assessing students, and will look at a variety of methods for recording and communicating student progress in order to improve student learning outcomes and increase parent engagement with their child’s learning.
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Using puppets in the classroom

Puppets are an engaging classroom resource which, when used effectively, can significantly improve student learning outcomes. Yet many teachers lack the confidence to use them. During this lively webinar, participants will be introduced to a range of ideas on how to use puppets effectively in their classroom teaching practice. We will examine ways to use puppets for developing language and assisting with behaviour management, and participants will also share ideas for creating  own puppets.
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Using Stories as a Springboard for Language Learning 1

Stories are one of the oldest, most effective yet most under-used language teaching resources in classrooms today. They provide a uniquely powerful linguistic and psychological tool through which children can listen to and interact with language in meaningful and enjoyable contexts.
 
This enlightening webinar looks at the benefits of using stories as language learning tools in primary classrooms, and provides examples of how stories can subsequently be used a springboard for language learning. Participants will share practical ideas on how to create interesting, story-based teaching materials for their primary students based on the stories they share in class.
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Scaffolding Children’s Writing

How many teachers have heard their class groan when they announce that it’s time to write a composition? And how many spend a long time explaining a writing task only to find that when they walk around the classroom, there are some children who  still don’t know how to get their first sentence down on paper.
 
Writing is often one of the least popular classroom-based activities among primary-aged children, and one with which they often struggle. In this webinar, you will learn about some tried and tested strategies that you can use to support and scaffold children’s writing, and will discover a variety of interesting resources and activities that will motivate your students to want to write.
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POSITIVE DISCIPLINE SERIES: Understanding and Connecting with Children 1

 This ‘live’ webinar-workshop will discuss the main principles of understanding children misbehaviour and connecting with children. 
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POSITIVE DISCIPLINE SERIES: Understanding and Connecting with Children 2

This ‘live’ webinar-workshop focuses on the positions of control of the adult-caregiver-teacher and the alternatives to punishment.
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POSITIVE DISCIPLINE SERIES: Understanding and Connecting with Children 3

 This ‘live’ webinar-workshop focuses on the dos and don’ts in our interaction with children in the context of children misbehaviour, and how to engage willing cooperation from children. 
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POWER ENGLISH: Communicating with Confidence for Early Childhood Educators 1

This ‘live’ webinar-workshop will unpack the science of voice production, along with the understanding of phonetics and the use of the IPA system for articulation and pronunciation, such as tongue twisters and other fun activities. 
More >


POWER ENGLISH: Communicating with Confidence for Early Childhood Educators 2

 This ‘live’ webinar-workshop will focus on the articulation of long and short vowel sounds, single and double consonant sounds, and voiced and unvoiced consonants, as well as common errors in pronunciation through drama, story-telling and art activities.
More >


POWER ENGLISH: Communicating with Confidence for Early Childhood Educators 3

This ‘live’ webinar-workshop will look into the developing proper sentence structures in the classroom, including modelling and reinforcing positive speech patterns and vocabulary for young children and developing language activities for them.  The focus of this webinar is to help develop in young children proper speech pattern structures thus laying a strong foundation for primary education and beyond.
More >

 

 

Pre-school Mathematics

Design Thinking in Early Childhood Education 1

 This live webinar discusses the concept of design thinking and its relevance in today’s world. It also explores other types of thinking related to intentional design.
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Design Thinking in Early Childhood Education 2

 This live webinar will talk about the design brief and how to plan for a design brief in the context of early childhood education.
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Design Thinking in Early Childhood Education 3

This live webinar will take a focus to incorporate the design brief in a numeracy and literacy early childhood education classroom.
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Differentiated Instruction for Young Learners 

 This Live Webinar will explain how to use Anchor Tasks to different ability learners and achieve the same learning outcome.
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Fundamentals of Teaching Numeracy 

 This webinar will highlight the what, how and when of basic numeracy concepts to be introduced in early childhood education. Through discussions and activities, participants will gain insight into how numeracy lessons are taught in an engaging and effective way to help children understand numeracy concepts.
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Mathematics Conceptual Understanding For Early Childhood Educators 1

This ‘live’ webinar will discuss the fundamental mathematics concepts in early childhood education, and the mathematics vocabulary that children need to develop and use in the classroom. 
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Teaching Numeracy to Preschoolers through Meaning Play 1

This live webinar will unpack the concept of meaningful play, its importance and application in the early years programme.
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Teaching Numeracy to Preschoolers through Meaning Play 2

 This live webinar will explore a range of manipulatives and how to use them to inspire children to explore concepts in counting, patterning and recognising shapes.
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Teaching Numeracy to Preschoolers through Meaning Play 3

This live webinar will look into the planning stages to crafting a numeracy lesson with reference to effective lesson planning.
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Mathematics Conceptual Understanding For Early Childhood Educators 2

 This ‘live’ webinar will focus on the various ways in which the fundamental mathematics concepts can be taught and experienced in the classroom. These include helping students apply a particular concept across various topics such as number, shape and measurement.
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Progress Tracking of Young Learners 

 This webinar will help participants  understand the theories and rationale behind pupil’s progress tracking, and see how it is connected to learning. Participants will review samples of different modes of assessment, identify and analyse the pros and cons, and how they can be improved. This Live Webinar will review samples of different modes of assessment for numeracy learning and how to improve and contextualise for your young learners.
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Primary

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Primary Language

                                      

Foundational Skills of Language Learning: Writing 1

 This live webinar explains and demonstrates the Genre Approach to Writing. This includes what a genre, also known as a text type, is, the purposes of each of the various genres, and the language features of genres. Teaching writing via a genre approach fits well with the Process Approach to Writing. 
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Foundational Skills of Language Learning: Writing 2

This live webinar looks at the pros and cons of peer feedback on writing. Ways to overcome the cons of peer feedback on writing are explained and experienced. Integrating ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in the learning of writing are explored. 
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Foundational Skills of Language Learning: Writing 3

 The live webinar explains and demonstrates the phases in the Process Approach to Writing. These four phases are generating ideas, drafting, editing for content and organization, and proofreading. The first three phases often occur multiple times, and all four phases can combine with language skills other than writing. 
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POSITIVE DISCIPLINE SERIES: Understanding and Connecting with Children 1

 This ‘live’ webinar-workshop will discuss the main principles of understanding children misbehaviour and connecting with children. 
More >


POSITIVE DISCIPLINE SERIES: Understanding and Connecting with Children 2

This ‘live’ webinar-workshop focuses on the positions of control of the adult-caregiver-teacher and the alternatives to punishment.
More >


POSITIVE DISCIPLINE SERIES: Understanding and Connecting with Children 3

 This ‘live’ webinar-workshop focuses on the dos and don’ts in our interaction with children in the context of children misbehaviour, and how to engage willing cooperation from children. 
More >

 

Cooperative Learning 1

This Live Webinar discusses the concept of cooperative learning and its prominence in today’s education scene. It also explores eight cooperative learning principles and how to implement them. 
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Cooperative Learning 2

This Live Webinar explains and demonstrates a range of cooperative learning techniques that can be used in any area of language learning.
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Cooperative Learning 3

This Live Webinar addresses difficulties in implementing cooperative learning and how to attempt to overcome these very real difficulties. The webinar also offers suggestions for teachers who are just getting started with cooperative learning.
More >

 

POWER ENGLISH: Communicating with Confidence for Early Childhood Educators 1

This ‘live’ webinar-workshop will unpack the science of voice production, along with the understanding of phonetics and the use of the IPA system for articulation and pronunciation, such as tongue twisters and other fun activities. 
More >


POWER ENGLISH: Communicating with Confidence for Early Childhood Educators 2

 This ‘live’ webinar-workshop will focus on the articulation of long and short vowel sounds, single and double consonant sounds, and voiced and unvoiced consonants, as well as common errors in pronunciation through drama, story-telling and art activities.
More >


POWER ENGLISH: Communicating with Confidence for Early Childhood Educators 3

This ‘live’ webinar-workshop will look into the developing proper sentence structures in the classroom, including modelling and reinforcing positive speech patterns and vocabulary for young children and developing language activities for them.  The focus of this webinar is to help develop in young children proper speech pattern structures thus laying a strong foundation for primary education and beyond.
More >

 

Extensive Reading 1 

This Live Webinar discusses the concept of extensive reading and its relevance in today’s world. It also explores how extensive reading fits with other types of reading programs and with other language skills.  Guidelines and tips on how to choose appropriate extensive reading materials will be covered. 
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Extensive Reading 2 

This Live Webinar will focus on the assessment of student motivation and stamina as well as strategies to keep students on track in extensive reading.
More >


Extensive Reading 3

This Live Webinar explores guiding students to create their own extensive reading materials for themselves and peers.
More >

 

How children learn, and how they learn language 1

This live webinar explains what current theory and research says about how people learn their first languages. Participants are invited to share their own experiences in learning their first language and how their experiences compare with what the theory and research say. Implications for building and maintaining students’ first language proficiency are discussed. 
More >


How children learn, and how they learn language 2

This live webinar begins with presentation of a range of theories on second language acquisition. Participants then compare these theories with their own experiences in learning and teaching second languages. How to apply these theories is discussed. 
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How children learn, and how they learn language 3

The live webinar contrasts first and second language acquisition. In particular, it asks why first language acquisition is almost always successful, while second language acquisition often succeeds at a much lower rate, especially in the case of instructed second language acquisition. Ideas are discussed for what second language instruction can learn from first language acquisition.  
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Reading Aloud to Students with Dialogue 1

This live webinar will begin with the facilitator explaining and demonstrating how to read aloud with dialogue. Next, participants have opportunities to discuss how they might involve students in the reading of another book.  
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Reading Aloud to Students with Dialogue 2

This live webinar expands on Webinar 1 by exploring more ways to involve students in dialoguing about books read by teachers. Participants have opportunities to consider how to apply these ways to their own teaching contexts. 
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Reading Aloud to Students with Dialogue 3

This live webinar will look into how teachers can lead students to dialogue about books they have read silently. This can be done when students have all read the same book, blog post, article, etc., or when they have each read something different. 
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Student Centered Learning 1

This Live Webinar explores the concept of student centered learning and its similarities and differences with teacher centered learning. It also presents basic principles of student centered learning.  
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Student Centered Learning 2

This Live Webinar explains and demonstrates a range of strategies for implementing principles of student centered learning. Webinar participants are encouraged to discuss application of these strategies in teaching their own students.
More >


Student Centered Learning 3

This Live Webinar asks participants how they can apply principles of student centered learning to their own professional development. In other words, how can teachers move away from over-reliance on outside experts for their professional development, and, in this way, experience student centered learning as they learn to become even better teachers.
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Speaking the Language for Positive Character

  
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Look for the Lessons

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Primary Mathematics

Demystifying Heuristics 1 

 
In this webinar, we will look at basic bar models, i.e. part-whole models and comparison models. We will also look at how this can be applied to solving Math problems. We will also explore advanced techniques such as drawing bar models to solve fraction, ratio and percentage problem sums. 
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Demystifying Heuristics 2 

 
There are over 16 different heuristics which can be broadly put into four categories - To give a representation, to make a calculated guess, to go through the process, to change the problem. We will look at the different techniques for these heuristics and how bar models can be used as a technique to solve some of the problems.
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Designing Activity-based Lesson in Primary Mathematics 

 
Jerome Bruner’s theory of representation provides an underpinning for an activity-based lesson.  In this webinar, we address key aspects of an activity-based lesson to make it purposeful and not simply going through the motions of activity.
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Mathematical Problem Solving

 
Problem solving is central to mathematics learning.  At the same time, it also challenges the minds of the students, especially on solving non-routine problems.  In this webinar, we identify key components and skill sets required in problem solving and address how all these can be integrated to enable students to solve problems more effectively.
More >


Teaching of Arithmetic Operations on Fractions

 
Fractions in general is a harder concept for students to grasp especially when it comes to the arithmetic operations on fractions.  In this webinar, we address some teaching points that help students understand the rationale of arithmetic operations on fractions so that these arithmetic operations will make better sense than merely a routine mechanical process.
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Teaching of Whole Numbers

 
In this webinar, our expert trainer will go through the various aspects of the teaching of whole numbers including the different uses of whole numbers: ordinal and cardinal numbers, the concepts of number bonds, place value and regrouping. Teaching the operations of whole numbers including mental strategies will also be covered. 
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Primary Science

Alternative Conceptions: A Dense Dilemma: Will It Float or Will It Sink?

 
 In this webinar, we explore the alternative conceptions surrounding our understandings of Density.  A simple and yet profoundly cognitively disturbing experiment will be shared as an illustration of the kind of alternative conceptions we may hold of Density.  More experiments will be suggested to study what makes objects float or sink.
More >


Alternative Conceptions: A Forceful Story that Spins Out of Control

 
 The concept of a force seems to elude many learners of science.  While many students could calculate forces involved in problem solving, most may not be able to articulate the conceptual understanding of what is a force.  In this webinar, we seek to define a force, conceptually and examine the scientific conceptual depths of understanding an action-reaction pair.
More >


Alternative Conceptions: When Thinking You Are Right Can Be So Wrong

 
Often, children learn science, influenced by their daily experiences that may lead to them having alternative conceptions (as distinguished from scientific conceptions or misconceptions).  When these alternative conceptions are not addressed, they hinder the learning of scientific conceptions.  In this webinar, we explore 5 sources of alternative conceptions and use the A.B.B.A. approach to engender conceptual change.
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Primary STEM

Teaching Nature through Play Based Science in Early Childhood Classroom

 This live webinar will teach about the science of plants, how they draw water up, and why they have different colours followed by showcase of hands-on science experiments.
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Secondary

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Secondary Language

Cooperative Learning 1

 
This Live Webinar discusses the concept of cooperative learning and its prominence in today’s education scene. It also explores eight cooperative learning principles and how to implement them.  
More >


Cooperative Learning 2

 
This Live Webinar explains and demonstrates a range of cooperative learning techniques that can be used in any area of language learning. 
More >


Cooperative Learning 3 

 
This Live Webinar addresses difficulties in implementing cooperative learning and how to attempt to overcome these very real difficulties. The webinar also offers suggestions for teachers who are just getting started with cooperative learning. 
More >

 

Extensive Reading 1 

This Live Webinar discusses the concept of extensive reading and its relevance in today’s world. It also explores how extensive reading fits with other types of reading programs and with other language skills.  Guidelines and tips on how to choose appropriate extensive reading materials will be covered. 
More >


Extensive Reading 2 

This Live Webinar will focus on the assessment of student motivation and stamina as well as strategies to keep students on track in extensive reading.
More >


Extensive Reading 3

This Live Webinar explores guiding students to create their own extensive reading materials for themselves and peers.
More >

 

Student Centered Learning 1

This Live Webinar explores the concept of student centered learning and its similarities and differences with teacher centered learning. It also presents basic principles of student centered learning.  
More >


Student Centered Learning 2

This Live Webinar explains and demonstrates a range of strategies for implementing principles of student centered learning. Webinar participants are encouraged to discuss application of these strategies in teaching their own students.
More >


Student Centered Learning 3

This Live Webinar asks participants how they can apply principles of student centered learning to their own professional development. In other words, how can teachers move away from over-reliance on outside experts for their professional development, and, in this way, experience student centered learning as they learn to become even better teachers.
More >

 

How children learn, and how they learn language 1

This live webinar explains what current theory and research says about how people learn their first languages. Participants are invited to share their own experiences in learning their first language and how their experiences compare with what the theory and research say. Implications for building and maintaining students’ first language proficiency are discussed. 
More >


How children learn, and how they learn language 2

This live webinar begins with presentation of a range of theories on second language acquisition. Participants then compare these theories with their own experiences in learning and teaching second languages. How to apply these theories is discussed. 
More >


How children learn, and how they learn language 3

The live webinar contrasts first and second language acquisition. In particular, it asks why first language acquisition is almost always successful, while second language acquisition often succeeds at a much lower rate, especially in the case of instructed second language acquisition. Ideas are discussed for what second language instruction can learn from first language acquisition.  
More >

 

 


Secondary Mathematics
 

Bar Model Method and Algebra

In this webinar, our expert trainer will talk about different problem-solving heuristics and demonstrate how to use apply for different grade levels.
More >


Developing Visual Skills in Secondary Mathematics

Concepts in secondary mathematics are generally more abstract than those in primary mathematics and the mathematical language is more symbolic.  In this webinar, we talk about how students can develop their visual skills in learning secondary mathematics.  Through visualisation, students will understand concepts better and retain the knowledge longer than going through rote learning.
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Teaching of Algebra

Algebra is widely used in higher-level mathematics.  It is a tool and a language at the same time.  Students generally find algebra abstract to learn.  In this webinar, we focus on making sense of algebra in teaching and learning from a very basic concept of an unknown to more complex concepts of functions, equations, inequalities and identities. We demonstrate activities related to teaching and learning algebra.
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Mathematical Problem Solving

 
Problem solving is central to mathematics learning.  At the same time, it also challenges the minds of the students, especially on solving non-routine problems.  In this webinar, we identify key components and skill sets required in problem solving and address how all these can be integrated to enable students to solve problems more effectively.
More > 

 

Secondary Science

Alternative Conceptions: A Dense Dilemma: Will It Float or Will It Sink?

 
 In this webinar, we explore the alternative conceptions surrounding our understandings of Density.  A simple and yet profoundly cognitively disturbing experiment will be shared as an illustration of the kind of alternative conceptions we may hold of Density.  More experiments will be suggested to study what makes objects float or sink.
More >


Alternative Conceptions: A Forceful Story that Spins Out of Control

 
 The concept of a force seems to elude many learners of science.  While many students could calculate forces involved in problem solving, most may not be able to articulate the conceptual understanding of what is a force.  In this webinar, we seek to define a force, conceptually and examine the scientific conceptual depths of understanding an action-reaction pair.
More >

Alternative Conceptions: When Thinking You Are Right Can Be So Wrong

 
Often, children learn science, influenced by their daily experiences that may lead to them having alternative conceptions (as distinguished from scientific conceptions or misconceptions).  When these alternative conceptions are not addressed, they hinder the learning of scientific conceptions.  In this webinar, we explore 5 sources of alternative conceptions and use the A.B.B.A. approach to engender conceptual change.
More >

 

 
School Improvement

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How to Plan for and Achieve Effectiveness and Sustainable School Improvement

Determine your Vision - School Improvement Strategies

 
Set a meaningful and empowering Vision that supports the formulation of: Objectives, Goals, Targets and defines the relevant Metrics. These are essential and foundational as starting points for evaluation and improvement. Improvement strategies need to produce clearly defined, measurable, achievable, diverse, and encompassing targets and goals. It is critical to know what you want to achieve and be able to determine whether or not you have been successful.
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Recognise that every Sch is an ‘Eco-System’ - School Improvement Strategies

 
 Real and informed knowledge of what drives and shapes a school’s performance starts by acknowledging a school’s dynamics; its interactions and the key interdependencies between its ‘component parts and elements’. To do this, it is necessary to undertake an extremely broad and comprehensive survey of the school to ensure (a) all important aspects are investigated and (ii) the school’s systems and processes are considered in context and in relation to one another. A common trap when evaluating an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses is to assume systems, processes and practices are ‘linear’ and that cause, and effect are always in close proximity. This often leads to superficial evaluations and misleading conclusions. A school must be understood for what it is, a dynamic and evolving eco-system.
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Understand your school’s Data and Findings- School Improvement Strategies

 
 Equipped with a wealth of broad, deep information and data from the BSfS’s surveys, the school can proceed to review their report to determine (a) the extent of alignment between the school’s policies, programs and local practices and international benchmarks (b) use the report data and findings to analyse the extent of agreement of respondents by reporting group and domain and sub-domain, and, most importantly (c) review the endorsements and recommendations in the report that will provide targeted, detailed and very specific advice on how the school might plan for improved (as well as sustained) performance across the five BSfS domains.
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‘Get Below the Surface’

 

Schools are complex, fast moving, and dynamic. They also contain varied and diverse people with different goals, perceptions, and understandings, Furthermore, there is an equally diverse range of personalities and behaviours (among school leaders, teachers, students, and other members of the school community). This makes for a complicated ‘mix’ of individuals and a challenge to driving positive change. This session explores how this complexity and richness of differences can be better understood and made potentially more manageable. A range of approaches and strategies are considered including, for example, investigating the role and impact of the following: Mind Maps and Mental Representations; Experience, Prejudice and Bias; Mindsets; Personal Style; Expectations and Explanatory Style; Quality of Communication; the Will to Succeed, and Resilience – among and between the school population and how these must be used to influence strategic planning for school improvement.
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Organise for Change - School Improvement Strategies

 
 Having explored in depth and detail the data, information, endorsements, and recommendations of the BSfS individual school report, the school is positioned to design, develop, and deploy its strategic improvement plan. The organising template and process for creating the plan is described and explained in the next and final session in this program (6. Bring it All Together). Before creating the detailed plan, it is advisable to consider how resources will be allocated to the improvement project. The most important decisions relate to the process for Delegating to others, Empowering them, Defining individual and group Roles and Responsibilities, Identifying opportunities for Leverage, and Setting the Improvement Schedule. The schedule should include at a minimum: Specific dates for Monitoring, Milestones and the Metrics that will be used to measure progress.
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Bring it All Together - School Improvement Strategies

 
 Using the School Improvement and Development Plan Template – address the details of the process that focusses around the five key questions of: Why? What? How? When? And How Much? The template is organised around the five domains of the BSfS but clearly recognizes the interactivity and interrelatedness of each to each other, and the part each play in the school’s eco-system. Participants will be invited to work together to devise and develop their improvement plans, focusing on the process and component parts at this stage, rather than seeking to achieve a final working plan.
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Key Lessons Learned from International Research, Experience and Best Practice

Look Outwards – Learning from International Research

 
 Looking particularly at organisations like the OECD and the massive data sets and analyses produced for the PISA and TALIS surveys specifically, and also rich secondary level analyses, commentaries, and major research-based publications. Through the use of a broad base of expert researchers, analysts, writers and thinkers in education, participants will identify those countries that have high-quality policies and practices leading to high-performance, and ones that are largely culturally neutral, and contextually equivalent or compatible. The material selected will be broad-based - sampling key elements from across the BSfS’s five domains. This session will focus more on the ‘macro’ elements of school and system improvement through international benchmarking. Sessions 4 and 5 below focus more on ‘micro’ solutions and practices – at school level.
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Avoid ‘cutting and pasting’ from one system to another – Instead, Explore

 
 A key risk and criticism associated with looking for examples and models in other places (systems or nations) is that cultural and contextual differences are too great to allow for successful ‘importation’ of policies and practices. While this is an important cautionary note, it is not an accurate nor compelling reason to avoid looking elsewhere for inspiration and best practice. It is noteworthy that high performing systems like Singapore, Finland, Korea, and Shanghai all borrowed freely (though wisely) from others. Learning from the best has both face validity and substantial merit when the content is chosen astutely, carefully matched to and evaluated against, the ‘host’ country, and when it is modified and adapted to local needs and contexts. Participants will be introduced to extremely specific examples of where countries and systems have successfully adopted the policies, programs, and practices of others. Emphasis will be on those elements of teaching and learning that are especially ‘universal’ and less dependent on context, climate, and culture. A range of policies and practices that are of this type will be introduced and studied.
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Debunk Education Myths


It is always important and professionally valuable for educators to be familiar with the more common and so-called “myths” of education. Many of these myths have been debunked by the OECD’s PISA findings. It is important to know why these are myths and what in fact the data really show. Participants will be (i) introduced to the main myths which (ii) will then be thoroughly examined, including through the use of examples, and then (iii) provided with compelling evidence to discount them.
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Bringing International Practice into the Classroom 1

 
Leading and relevant international best practices and techniques are high-lighted and explained in this session, so that participants can become equipped with an ‘inventory’ of best practice to employ as part of their school improvement strategy. (Of course, for BSfS clients, many elements of this content will have already been presented to the school in the form of the content of the school’s BSfS report and its Recommendations, and in this way will be self-reinforcing.) 

The focus here is very much on the particular and the specific.

This is a somewhat unique feature of the BSfS program which seeks out content from the international literature that can be adopted in the classroom. It is less common for the results of programs like PISA to be used to inform classroom practice directly, even though a good deal of the content from PISA reports and the OECD’s analyses, for example, relates directly to teaching and learning. This session, therefore, seeks out key content that can validly and successfully influence and guide classroom practice. 
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Bringing International Practice into the Classroom 2

 
Leading and relevant international best practices and techniques are high-lighted and explained in this session, so that participants can become equipped with an ‘inventory’ of best practice to employ as part of their school improvement strategy. (Of course, for BSfS clients, many elements of this content will have already been presented to the school in the form of the content of the school’s BSfS report and its Recommendations, and in this way will be self-reinforcing.) 

The focus here is very much on the particular and the specific.

This is a somewhat unique feature of the BSfS program which seeks out content from the international literature that can be adopted in the classroom. It is less common for the results of programs like PISA to be used to inform classroom practice directly, even though a good deal of the content from PISA reports and the OECD’s analyses, for example, relates directly to teaching and learning. This session, therefore, seeks out key content that can validly and successfully influence and guide classroom practice.
More >

Prepare students for the challenges of work and life in the 21st century? 

This session considers a range of factors. It explores how confidently the school and its teachers understand (i) the needs of 21st century life and work (ii) what is involved with 21st century-focused knowledge and skills (iii) how they are best taught, and (iv) how they are effectively assessed. To this extent, this session covers the three foundations of teaching and learning in 21st century content – curriculum content, pedagogical content, and assessment (and reporting).
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Essential Teaching Techniques to Improve Student Performance and Well-Being

Identifying the Core and Essential Knowledge, Skills, Understandings

 
This program is based on the fundamental principle that it is possible to distinguish between different levels of quality and standards in teaching. ‘Leading’ teachers are those who have developed their professional practice of teaching to a standard that is highly effective and can be used as a guide to less experienced, less expert teachers. This session emphasises the value of mentoring, collaboration, and the sharing of professional practice between expert and less expert teachers. This session highlights some of the key features and behaviours that characterize the practice of leading teachers, features and behaviours that all aspiring teachers can emulate and adopt. There is a strong emphasis on practical and achievable methods. The session also ‘looks behind’ the practices to explore the thinking and understandings that inform them.
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Understanding the critical role of content pedagogical knowledge

 
Teaching comprises a combination of subject content knowledge and subject pedagogical knowledge. While subject knowledge is carefully detailed and commonly understood, pedagogical knowledge is often less well known and understood, even though it is of the utmost importance. It incorporates: the philosophical, theoretical, and practical approaches, sets of events, activities, processes, practices, and methodologies that guide teaching and learning. It includes knowledge of teaching strategies and knowledge about teaching, Specifically this includes an understanding of how particular topics, problems, or issues are organized, presented, and adapted to the diverse interests and abilities of learners and the ways of representing and formulating the subject that makes it comprehensible to others.  This session explores and explains the importance of teachers developing expertise in both dimensions of the disciplines they teach. It also includes consideration of the management and effective delivery for students with special education needs.
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Prioritising the Findings of Neuroscience for Education

 
The major importance and value of neuroscience findings to teaching, unfortunately, are just not being matched by a level of interest and a rate of adoption appropriate to the value of this new-found knowledge. This session focuses on how neuroscience has developed and made a huge contribution to ‘education science’ – the science of how we learn. The principles and understandings that are embedded in education science can powerfully inform teaching and learning. Enhanced teacher understanding, for example, of principles such as ‘transfer’ in knowledge acquisition and the role of prior knowledge is key to improved teaching and learning. Teachers and students benefit greatly from a better understanding of what motivates students, from spacing lessons over time, utilizing cognitive tutoring (especially, for example, in mathematics), employing repetition and varied approaches to get the most out of learning, exploiting the value of facilitating learning as a social activity thereby boosting student engagement, knowledge and skill acquisition, and of increasing importance, a growing understanding of the nature and impact of student learning difficulties and conditions (such as autism). This session is designed to highlight the key findings and add them to the teacher’s ‘toolbox’ of professional knowledge and skills.
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Understanding the link between Student Well-being and Academic Success

 
We now know beyond any doubt about the critical link between student well-being and their capacity to learn. Enhanced student well-being equals an enhanced propensity to learn. Having established the link, it then becomes key to understand what enhances and what threatens student well-being. Recently, there has been an upsurge in research and literature, especially from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), focusing on student well-being . This session systematically explores the leading dimensions to student well-being, the important factors that influence it, and how teachers and school leaders can proactively promote and enrich student experiences at school, including about feeling safe, being included, having the confidence to venture out in their learning and not be afraid of making mistakes, and developing a ‘growth mindset’. It explores the important features of the learning environment that promote well-being, and what international policies, programs and practices are achieving significant success in this dimension of student welfare and development. 
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Exploring and Understanding the Optimal use of Technology to support

 

 
Technology has transformed virtually every area of human activity, impacting the way we do things, the speed with which we do them, the sophistication of what we do, and the breadth of what we can do. Noticeably, however, technology has not had the same degree of penetration into classrooms. School-based technology is evident in the use of computing power, audio-visual presentations and mechanization of processes (for example, the use of the internet for information gathering and processing, computing power for animation, simulation and design, PowerPoint presentations and even the use of drone technology), however, in few places has technology fundamentally affected the teaching and learning process. There are very few technological paradigm shifts in learning in schools. The main reason for this is that there is less of an imperative for change in schools compared to industry and lifestyle, there is an absence of competition which seeks a market edge, and a commonly held concern or skepticism prevails among many teachers around the most fundamental principles of the role for technology in learning. As a result, opportunities for some transformative learning experiences are being lost. This session explores the most fundamental principles and guidelines that need to apply to the use of technology in the classroom. It analyses the essential difference between technology-leading instruction and principles of sound instruction dictating how technology should be applied to learning. The session is designed to equip teachers and school leaders with a solid understanding of how technology must conform to how we learn, while also potentially enhancing learning as a social activity, and much better matching the student’s learning experience to the content of what is being learned through technology solutions. In summary, the session focuses on prioritizing learning in the learning-technology mix while at the same time maximising the benefits of using technology in learning.
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Using Assessment to Maximise the Potential for Student Learning and Development

 
The distinction between assessment of learning, assessment for learning and assessment as learning is becoming increasingly well-known and understood in schools. The focus and objective of this session is to explore these three distinct roles for assessment in learning, to reinforce the attributes and features of each, and how they are employed to maximum benefit in classrooms. The session will also explore the range, types and forms of assessment and strategies for ensuring the best match between student performance and its assessment. Discussion will also focus on the more common forms of data associated with assessment, including measures and terminology that will serve to introduce key assessment terms and concepts to teachers and school leaders, or refresh and reinforce them in those with pre-existing knowledge. Particular attention will be paid to the real value of assessment for stimulating effective feedback and important traps to avoid in the use of assessment instruments and data that can result in negative outcomes.

 

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Gaining a Better Understanding of Educational Measurement and How to Deliver Effective and Improved Assessment in the Classroom

Understanding Educational Assessment

 
This session will set the theoretical foundations for the remainder of the sessions, highlighting key assessment concepts, terminology, data types and uses. It will focus specifically on performance assessment in educational settings, with particular emphasis on the implications and value of assessment and assessment data to school-based and classroom-based decision making. The essential difference between and the key features of ‘formative’ and ‘summative’ assessment will be explored in detail, including clearly articulating how each should and should not be used. Hands-on work will introduce participants to commonly used assessment data sets, what they are telling us, and how they are interpreted. There will also be a focus on common terminology, examples of large-scale assessments, and a brief introduction to important terms and concepts such as ‘validity’ and ‘reliability’. Similarly, participants will investigate and discuss important concepts such as the standard deviation, frequency distributions, skewed distributions etc. Frequent reference to and use of real assessment program data and reports will ensure participants gain a sound practical working knowledge of assessment content.
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Matching Assessment Type to Task, Purpose and Validity

 

 
Participants will be introduced to a wide and diverse range of assessment instrument types and designs. The session will explore the relevant principles and considerations that relate to these different assessment types. Emphasis will be placed on the importance of maximising the ‘fit’ between the student’s performance that is to be assessed and the assessment instrument used. Participants will also consider other aspects of the choice of assessment instrument, such as: cost, practicality, security, time required to conduct the assessment, the relative importance of feedback, options for reporting (a data set, descriptive reporting, etc.), resource requirements, validity and reliability, ease of scoring, together with a number of other considerations. Emphasis will also be placed on the key principle of assessments that are ‘fit for purpose’. Participants will be invited to reflect on their practices, the range of assessment item types they use, and the potential for developing a more comprehensive and broad-based suite of assessment instruments for use in the classroom. Consideration will be given to the assessment of special education needs students.
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Exploring Features of Assessment Data and Understand Meaning of Data

 
There are significant differences between teachers and also between school leaders regarding their familiarity with, expert knowledge of, and level of confidence in using, assessment data. It should never be assumed that a teacher or school leader necessarily understands and can accurately interpret data, and this is of particular importance when so much contemporary advice emphasises that school decision making should be ‘evidence-based’. This session aims to introduce participants to the particular features of assessment data, how to read what the data are telling us, and knowing what the important limitations are as well as the qualities of such data. The session will be very ’hands on’ and involve participants interrogating their school’s BSfS survey data as well as a selection of other typical assessment data sets (such as the OECD’s PISA data). Participants will be invited to use the data for purposes of comparison and to determine the ‘significance’ of differences in the data. Concepts such as ‘statistically significant differences’ will be discussed, as well as ‘effect sizes’. Discussion and analysis will also centre on various means for graphically representing data and the strengths and limitations of such representations. 

 

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Analysing and Interpreting Assessment Data to Reinforce and Enhance

 
The use of assessment data to provide feedback and guidance to students is becoming an increasingly widespread practice, and one to be strongly encouraged. Research clearly demonstrates that feedback to students, especially timely feedback, is an immensely powerful tool to support effective teaching and learning. In the same way that assessment findings provide feedback to students and to teachers about student progress, assessment feedback also provides valuable information about the effectiveness of teaching. In this session participants will investigate how assessment data of all types can highlight potential strengths and weaknesses in teaching. This session will draw together the specifications of assessment targets in the curriculum, typically in the form of ‘achievement standards’ together with ‘proficiency scales’ –the standards and benchmarks against which student knowledge and skill acquisition are measured. These standards and scales specify not only what knowledge and skills students should acquire, but also levels of performance and achievement. We therefore focus on the learning ‘cycle’ of: Curriculum – Teaching – Assessment – Reporting. We then examine the cycle where the curriculum specifies what students should learn, and to what standard, and then assessment tasks test the extent to which students have reached the target levels of performance, which are then reported back. Detailed reporting of the assessment can then be fed back into the teaching process to determine which curriculum areas students have grasped well and which they have not. This is then used to evaluate strong and weaker areas of teaching, and where re-teaching is needed. Teachers will be strongly encouraged to be open and receptive to such feedback on their teaching and use it for future improvement. The session will stress the importance of setting clear goals and targets for teaching outcomes, together with specific and detailed indicators of success and attainment. This process can be applied to both formative and summative assessment data.
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The Importance of Using Formative Assessment in the Classroom

 
The Balanced Scorecard for Schools program endorses formative assessment as one of the most important opportunities and processes to support effective teaching and learning. While recognising the importance of external and internal summative assessments in providing objective, end-of-period appraisals of student performance, formative assessment will be examined in detail to highlight its capacity to ensure ongoing learning, progressive monitoring, continuous feedback, and regular record-keeping. Formative assessment is the mode of assessment most closely attuned to the phenomenon of knowledge transfer and the paramount importance of prior knowledge for the acquisition of new knowledge. Participants will be introduced to the key component parts of quality formative assessment and invited to reflect on how they as teachers do, or might, effectively employ and prioritise formative assessment in their classes.
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Distinguishing between Valid and Appropriate Use of Assessment Data

 
In recent decades student performance data, especially test data, has been used increasingly as a measure of school performance. In some systems, these data are also used as a measure of teacher and principal performance. The United States of America is one such example of a proliferation of testing and test-based school accountability. The increased importance that has been placed on test data has been met with a growing concern among educators, and even measurement specialists, that the data are increasingly being used for purposes for which they have not been designed, for which they are technically unsuited, and or are being used to guide decision making when the data are too narrow in scope to do this accurately and legitimately. Experts like Daniel Koretz and members of the UK Assessment Reform Group continue to express serious concerns about particular practices and decision-making that use assessment data. This session will analyse different assessment data sets and the contexts in which they are, and should be, used. Conversely, we shall explore how and where the data are being used for purposes that cannot be justified, or where better measures exist. Consistent with The Balanced Scorecard for Schools approach, the session will promote the use of a broad range of metrics and indicators to assess the performance of students, teachers, school leaders, schools, and school systems. The objective is to have participants be aware of the range of assessment data available to educators and decision-makers, and to be equally aware of their appropriate and inappropriate use in measuring performance.

 

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Other questions? Drop us an email at mci@mcinstitute.com.sg.