WHAT WE FOUND OUT:
The TA team at BISC is incredibly strong, with many years of experience between them. As such, different approaches have been taken in order to meet the individual needs of the team. However, during discussions with the SLT, it was discussed that there were key areas of development that all the TAs would benefit from, and these would form the basis of the INSET training day.
We have also identified in gap in how the teachers are supported to understand the role of the TA and deploy them effectively in the classroom, so this is going to form the next part of the professional development plan.
HOW WE HELPED AND SERVICES PROVIDED:
Six of the TAs at BISC have worked through the COBIS DITA programme, receiving support through our online platform. They have tailored these courses through the selection of optional units to meet their own needs, and have each reported on a noticed improvement to their knowledge, skills, and, perhaps most importantly, confidence in the classroom.
These courses are ongoing, and we look forward to enrolling more TAs in the new year.
I visited BISC in September 2018 to work with the whole TA team. I had designed three sessions based on discussions with Debbie Jones:
- Building Rapport and Developing Relationships
- Learning Conversations
- Supporting The Unique Learner
This was an absolutely phenomenal day. All of the TAs were highly engaged and contributed to discussions at a very high level.
We went through key topics such as being assertive, boundaries, supporting independence and adapting to individual needs. What really came out of this day is that even when TAs are performing highly, they need the support of teachers in order to really have the maximum impact they can.
I would also like to point out that this day was on a Saturday, and all of the TAs came in in their own time!
I also held a workshop for the TA SLT line manager, and two newly appointed HLTAs. During this we discussed elements of the HLTA role that they were unfamiliar with, namely coaching a team, and training.
We discussed some of their concerns around these areas, and went through how to hold a coaching conversation, how to structure TA meetings to be positive and purposeful, and how to support the professional development of each individual TA.
Needless to say everyone left this day with a lot of ideas and some great action plans!
We are already planning a day for the new academic year for us to work with teachers on supporting TAs, and developing induction materials for new teachers to understand the value and role of TAs at BISC.
"Working with the TA College has had a huge impact on both staff and children at our school.
The trainers at the TA College are extremely knowledgeable and professional, know what it is like at the ‘chalk-face’ and truly understand some of the differences working in an international setting brings.
Some of the other benefits we have seen through this course include increased professional dialogue, greater awareness of scaffolding children, a deeper understanding of supporting children with special needs, improved relationships between teachers and TAs and, my personal favourite, inspiring colleagues to want to learn even more."
Debbie Jones | Deputy Head of Junior School
One of the fabulous things about working with BISC is that they truly understand that TA Training and Development is not a one trick wonder. They have invested not only financially, but also their time into cultivating a TA team that feels valued and supported, and they continue to seek out gaps in this and how they can improve.
The TAs themselves are highly conscientious and forward thinking and are, frankly, a joy to work with. They are continually looking for ways they can develop themselves and improve the support they’re able to offer the children they support, and it was great to hear they took so much away from the training.