Freebrough Academy – The Impact of TEEP

Our aspiration at Freebrough is to be ‘Outstanding’. We know it is a long and challenging journey but we are committed to achieving this goal.

Improving the quality of teaching and learning continues to be a priority and since the opening of the Academy in September 2010, part of our improvement work has involved teachers working collaboratively and attending CPD sessions regularly. This has had significant impact but we were looking for a framework which would provide us with a common language and set of principles, to draw all aspects of teaching and learning together in a consistent manner so that it was sustainable. In our view TEEP provides such a framework and this is why we decided to undertake the programme.

Without question the 15 hours of Level 1 training had more impact on lessons than anything we had done previously. Faculties agreed to adopt the TEEP cycle for short term planning and delivery. A TEEP cycle PowerPoint was designed, shared and used in most lessons so a common language started to develop. TEEP displays appeared in classrooms and all students were introduced to TEEP language in assemblies. For us this was the beginning of a shared language of learning. During the Autumn round of observations, there was a significant increase in the number of lessons judged to be ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ which Directors of Learning attributed to the impact of TEEP. In particular, greater use of practical TEEP strategies engaged students in more active learning which was something we had identified previously as an area of focus.

Our Level 2 group is made up of teachers who are consistently ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ over time and therefore have credibility with others. They have shown themselves to be emerging TEEP champions because they were the first to try out new ideas and make time to be able to work with others. We have a range of levels of responsibility and experience in the group including middle and senior leaders as well as mainstream teachers. Most were invited to join the group and some were simply volunteers who were passionate about being involved in TEEP. The two days that TEEP Level 2 training provided us with were a great opportunity to deepen our understanding of the model and really gel as a group.

We decided early on in the training that we were still working on the surface of TEEP, the actual learning cycle and needed more time to embed every part of the model. As a starting point the group planned and facilitated workshops on four of the underpinning elements so that every teacher received this training by July 2013. They also committed to taking a lead on a range of strategies which has now been collated to produce a TEEP action plan. As well as CPD, strands of the action plan include creating a TEEP site on the intranet for shared resources, reviews, articles of interest, a TEEP reference library and (hopefully) our first TEEP newsletter some time during the summer term. A vital section of the plan relates to our current VLE development. We hope to have a virtual TEEP Learning Wall up and running soon which will be used in all lessons and displayed in every classroom.

Our commitment to collaboration continued with some members of the Level 2 group agreeing to take a lead on the promotion of Learning Partners. 

We thought that this was a realistic plan and sufficient to take on for the moment. Ensuring TEEP remained high profile was our focus at the early stage. Every opportunity was taken to promote TEEP from the regular showcase sessions, TEEP presentations at parent and governor events and reference to TEEP on our website.

In the next academic year, we had a number of our TEEP Level 2 group accredited and two staff accredited at Level 3. At this stage we had also developed a more focused coaching model. Level 3 staff began training both internally and externally over the next few years which gave them the experience to lead on whole school training.

In 2016, Freebrough established the Teesside Learning Trust (MAT), which is comprised of four schools, two primary (Badger Hill and Whitecliffe Primary Academies) and two secondary schools (Freebrough and Thornaby Academy). All staff within the MAT have been trained to Level 1 by our Level 3 Trainer, with a vision of a number them becoming Level 2, to help embed TEEP throughout the MAT. We have a unique opportunity within the MAT to embed TEEP from EYFS through to KS4 giving our students the best foundations for learning, which we can build upon at each key stage, allowing our students to develop the key skills they will require in future years to help them reach their potential.

Teaching and learning is our main focus within CPD and our current teaching and learning group lead TEEP sessions for staff to extend their knowledge, tools and strategies. Built into the sessions are opportunities to share resources and discuss different ways to implement them within their lessons and their subject areas. We have a strong focus on joint planning, where staff have the opportunity to work with others outside of their specialism to share and create lessons. As a MAT we share not only across subjects but also across key stages, primary and secondary colleagues come together to share, create and adapt ideas to enhance their practice. This is already having a big impact on learning as students who transition through the MAT notice similarities with strategies within their lessons giving them the confidence to tackle more advanced work.

Our CPD sessions aim to be catered to staff individual needs which are identified through performance management and the scrutiny of a range of evidence. This ensures that staff have access to CPD which addresses the areas for development they need to improve practice.  

At Teesside Learning Trust we know that TEEP is here to stay and we are looking forward to the start of the next phase of our journey as a TEEP training school.

Kelly McNulty

Level 3 TEEP Trainer