The Clarendon Way project: providing professional development opportunities for teachers

Over the last 12 months, The Clarendon Way project was created to provide additional professional development opportunities for Clarendon’s teaching staff. It is a teacher-led project that seeks to identify best practice, codify what is happening in classrooms and share findings that will assist staff in developing their instruction.

The first phase of the project, based on the Instructional Rounds model, saw teachers from a variety of subjects and sub-schools observe their colleagues in the classroom and note their observations. Staff then matched their observations with evidence-based practice so they could clearly articulate what was observed.

In the words of Research Professor Richard Elmore, “There is no other way to improve instructional practice … in schools than to organise groups of adult learners to work on problems of instructional practice and to weave those groups into an organisation-wide strategy of improvement.”

Professor Elmore’s philosophy is one passionately supported by staff at Clarendon. Teachers believe that, through working collaboratively and as a team, they can find the best ways to teach students using evidence-based practice.

Recently, some classroom lessons were filmed to be used as an internal resource for teaching staff about ‘The Clarendon Way’. The videos have since been used as a part of Clarendon’s onboarding process for new teaching staff and were presented during whole-staff professional learning days.

“In the past, we have tried to use recordings of lessons from other schools in the United States and United Kingdom who share our values and have similar methodology, but the differences could often be distracting to staff during professional learning sessions,” said Head of English Prep-Year 12, Mark Scruby.

“The Clarendon Way project recordings featured teachers who had worked at Clarendon for one to two years,” said Mr Scruby. “The level of professional learning and support they have received was there for us all to see and it was exciting for teachers to learn from and, with, one another. Seeing how our colleagues teach our students has been incredibly powerful.”

At Clarendon, we are different by design. When planning whole-staff professional learning, staff do not look for what is trending or jump on educational bandwagons. Like Clarendon’s curriculum, Clarendon’s professional learning for staff is different by design.

Staff at Clarendon look forward to continuing to work on The Clarendon Way project in 2024 for the benefit of all educators, students and the Clarendon community.