professional development


Rhydypenau Primary School is a large primary school of over 500 learners in Cardiff. In 2011, Estyn judged standards at the school to be good. Birchgrove Primary School is also located in Cardiff and is slightly smaller with around 400 learners on roll. Rhydypenau Primary School has almost 3 per […]

Welsh Government – Developing and sharing practice: Rhydypenau Primary School and Birchgrove Primary School



Nature of strategy or activity identified as sector-leading practice: A significant amount of work was carried out to ensure the whole school community was part of establishing a long-term vision and school values that reflected the strong belief in all children and a commitment to the community in which they […]

Estyn: Herbert Thompson Primary School – Developing staff skills to improve standards for all learners



Nature of strategy or activity identified as sector-leading practice: The school started to re-think teacher support by defining coaching: Coaching is the development of teachers’ skills and knowledge so that their job performances and enjoyment of their roles improves. It involves a sharing partnership in which professionals support each other. […]

Estyn: Cardiff High School – Teacher coaching programme underpins excellence



Strategy: Mary Immaculate Catholic High School includes pupils’ development in skills in its teaching and learning policy. The school has rigorous monitoring procedures that challenge all pupils to meet their potential in all areas of their learning. The senior management team regularly undertake lesson observations, book reviews and pupil surveys […]

Estyn: Mary Immaculate Catholic High School – Monitoring provision for skills



Strategy: Senior managers give staff opportunities to acquire and further their specialist skills as well as reflect on and share the most effective practice. They use occasions such as INSET days to build a strong culture of professional development throughout the school. In addition, highly effective networks of professional practice […]

Estyn: Ty Gwyn School – Statutory INSET in schools



Strategy: A key priority of the school is to embed the development of pupils’ skills into the school’s curriculum framework. Recognising that literacy is central to the success of every pupil, the school’s strategy is to provide a rich variety of literacy experiences across all subjects, so that pupils can […]

Estyn: Cynffig Comprehensive School – Statutory INSET in schools



Strategy: Senior managers place a very strong emphasis on the professional development of all staff. They ensure that staff have access to a wide range of training opportunities, including INSET, external courses, peer observation and departmental review. As a result, there are very good opportunities for staff to develop their […]

Estyn: Y Pant Comprehensive School – Statutory INSET in schools



Action: The initial focus of school training was on teachers who were already familiar with assessment for learning and thinking skills through the Cognitive Acceleration through Mathematics and Let’s Think in Science initiatives. The programme was then gradually introduced across the school, building on the good practice, experiences and enthusiasm […]

Estyn: St Athan Primary School – Developing thinking skills and assessment for learning – rolling out the programme in a primary school



The standards of pupils’ literacy at this large primary school in an urban setting were low. The headteacher and staff analysed why this might be. They found that a main cause was that many pupils experienced very little verbal interaction at home and, as a consequence, they were not exposed […]

Estyn: Greenway Primary School – Raising pupils’ standards of literacy



Two teachers wanted to develop new knowledge and skills in engaging pupils with severe learning difficulties in more physical activity. The pupils had very low concentration spans and they did not always relate well to one another. The teachers attended sessions on how to use music and dance to engage […]

Estyn: The Hollies Special School – Developing new techniques to extend the range of physical activity with pupils with special education needs



This case study shows how teachers in a boys’ secondary school used continuing professional development funding to improve their knowledge of innovative approaches to promoting learners’ critical thinking skills. The teachers attended a leading-edge conference on innovative learning. The teachers benefitted from first-hand experience of discussing with colleagues their whole-school […]

Estyn: Aberdare High School – Monitoring the development of learners’ critical thinking skills