The Alice Smith School recently received the Professional Development Quality Mark (PDQM) at the Gold level becoming the first international school to gain this quality mark.
It’s presented by the Institute of Education at University College London and was originally developed by experience PD leaders in partnership with specialists at the London Centre for Leadership in Learning to improve professional development practice in schools and educational settings across London and beyond.
“The Alice Smith School is a learning community that highly values the professional growth and development of our staff, in addition to the opportunity to offer workshops for parents on a wide range of educational topics,” said Head of School, Roger Schultz. “Sharing knowledge and learning together as a community is a thriving aspect of school culture that also extends more widely regionally and internationally.
The school is now working towards platinum level recognition.
The PDQM enables schools to:
- Improve the quality of their strategic leadership of professional development
- Develop professional development provision and opportunities for their staff leading to improved progress measures and outcomes for students whilst enabling greater retention and recruitment of key staff
- Complete a self-evaluation framework to enable them to reflect on their PD practice and highlight strengths and areas for development
- Be verified against the PDQM criteria to achieve Bronze (developing), Silver (enhancing), Gold (embedded) or Platinum (Innovative) standard
Our school encourages personal growth and builds staff capacity by nurturing a culture of professional learning. You will see teachers learning from each other in a variety of different ways, in a supportive environment where trust, collaboration and inquiry feature strongly.
This includes learning for leadership and recently we hosted participants from schools in Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, China, Japan and India for a Council of British International Schools (COBIS) Aspiring Heads course, held in our Professional Learning Centre at the Secondary Campus.
The course runs over a period of eight to ten months, combining face-to-face sessions with a choice of in-school projects and optional school placements. This was the first of two 3-day face to face workshops this year, the second to be held in June.
The school also hosted aspiring school leaders working towards their National Professional Qualifications for Senior and Middle Leaders (NPQSL and NPQML), in partnership with Garden International School and Tanglin Trust School.
Personal reflection and identification of areas of strength and for development are fundamental to professional growth.
Teachers at Alice Smith learn in peer partnerships, sharing professional readings, discussions based upon action research, they participate in peer observations and collaboratively plan, teach and reflect upon lessons.
The whole professional growth model is underpinned by coaching and our professional growth programme has breathed new life into our approach to ‘lifelong learning’ and valuing the importance of quality staff development.
In the near future, in collaboration with Culture at Work and the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) in the UK, Alice Smith is delivering the first accredited coaching training programme in South East Asia.
Inspiring collaboration, observations and a continual want to grow as a teacher is one of the fundamental philosophies found in an innovative approach to the traditional British curriculum. Want to discover the other philosophies and why it promises to provide a better education to your children?
According to Schultz, the Gold level recognition is just one of the many things that illustrate the school’s forward-thinking philosophy.
The Alice Smith School is a vibrant, thriving, engaged and forward-thinking learning community.