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Discover #APConnect Northstar

Research , Maths , Inspection & Quality , GCSE , Functional Skills , ESOL , English , Digital Skills , Assessment
Professional Development
APConnect Northstar

Find out what’s been happening on the #APConnect Northstar Train the Trainers in Advanced Practice professional development pathway for experienced Advanced Practitioners.

#APConnect Communties of Practice Lead Lou Mycroft writes:

“#APConnect Northstar is about those Advanced Practitioners (APs) who are ready to take the programme deep into their organisations, whilst maintaining links with external constellations which keep meaning, purpose and creativity alive.

Originally, we’d envisaged that our solid, fit-for-purpose 3 day ‘Developing APs’ training, so successful before social distancing, would be what we’d train our Northstars to implement in their organisations. But time has moved on, and we have profoundly learned that, where FE is concerned, one-size absolutely doesn’t fit all. FE may share priorities around maths and English, vocational skills training and preparing students for life and work, but each organisation has its own culture and context.

In the last four years we have learned much about the power of contextualisation, and that no-one knows their organisation better than APs themselves, who get themselves involved in every corner of it. We have learned, too, about the culture-changing impact of the Thinking Environment; every single evaluation is a testament to it. And we have seen how APs find their meaning, purpose and drive both in community and when spaces to think are opened up for them by a skilled coach.

All of this experience has come together in our #APConnect Northstar pilot. It has been a delight to work with what is (for #APConnect) a small number of APs in an all-new model for professional development, which of course, we are continuing to evaluate and adjust.

Our emerging thinking around professional development is that it embraces both expert-led CPD (vital, though we don’t need as much of this as we think we do) and professional learning (peer-led, grassroots driven and contextualised) – all together drawing on research and practice evidence. Northstar has given us an opportunity to try out this approach”.

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Read more about the #APConnect Northstar Train the Trainers programme.

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