Continuing Professional Development

At Huntingdon Academy, we value professional development for all our colleagues. Our vision is individual growth and empowerment for all. Quality professional development creates an environment for colleagues to think and reflect on their practice and collaborate. As an academy, we have invested in a professional space for our colleagues to meet when working on their own development. We take professional development seriously, as investment in our team means investment in our children and the community.

The Five Pillars of Effective Professional Development

All our CPD is underpinned by the five pillars of effective development. We ensure that all CPD is evidenced based and is personalised to our context and our academy. We facilitate most of our CPD in house and all colleagues that lead development are specialists in their field.

Robust Leadership and Strategy  Culture/ Resource and Environment  Impact and Needs Based  Research Driven Robust Evidence and ExpertiseCollaboration and Expert Challenge  
Be vision-centred and prioritised by leaders   Be purposeful   Be multi- faceted   Have alignment with priorities   Be sustained and embedded   Involve risk taking   Be underpinned by coaching/ mentoring/ reflection   Have clear performance indicators and high expectations   Be timely and needs based   Be evaluativeBe regarded as a priority and an integral part of school culture   Have dedicated time and resources   Develop a culture and commitment to continuous  learning   Ensure that the environment is conducive to professional development   Ensure that behaviours are positive and supportive in relation to CPDFocus on improving outcomes   Be tailored to need in relation to starting point   Be personalised, i.e. built on identified needs and requirements rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach alone   Demonstrate value for money with educational impact analysed   Focus upon need related to career development and professional challenge  Be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise Use evidence based approaches      Include collaboration and expert challenge from within and externally   Involve collective participation in CPD   Ensure that time is allocated for staff to work collaboratively    Allow collaboration to discuss theory, new ideas and innovative approaches   Include expert challenge which is closely linked to the need being focussed upon.

For further information regarding our ethos on continuous professional development, please find a link to our CPD policy We keep up to date with research regarding effective leadership of CPD. Our CPD system for teaching colleagues follows a three week cycle:

Session 1: Faciliation of topic from an expert

Session 2: Coaching sessions in groups

Session 3: Feedback to the team

This cycle enables colleagues to consider how this part of acadamy improvement can be tailored to their area of school. Coaching groups in session 2 provides space and time for colleagues to discuss further the thinking they have had since session 1 and push their thinking further with colleagues in a smaller group. Session 3 allows colleagues to feedback to the team how they have interpreted and implemented the content delivered in session 1. This allows the leader of this piece of academy improvement to see how the piece of work is being implemented so far and allows colleagues to learn from one another.

” I really like the 3 week coaching cycle, teaching can be busy and having protected time to discuss the way I am implementing academy improvement is really helpful to improving my practice.’ (Chloe Kent ECT)

Characteristics of Effective Teacher Professional Development (EEF)

Colleague Meetings

We provide professional development opportunities for people at all stages of their career. We provide bespoke training for Early Career Teachers to enable them to be successful. We facilitate time for our teaching assistants to come together and reflect on their practice in line with the acadamy improvement plan and we ensure that every colleague meeting is professional and purposeful.

Sample of our Colleague Meetings

Culture and Climate

Handwriting and Spelling

Curriculum Enrichment


Sample of our Early Career Teacher Development Sessions


Positive Culture and Climate


Sample our Teaching Assistant Enrichment


Sample of our SEND development sessions

The Sendco’s led a cycle of CPD which focused on adaptive teaching and how to employ this within the classroom environment to support children with SEND.

Adaptive teaching is an evolution of differentiation that focuses on the entire class while still responding to individual children’s needs. It involves knowing your pupils’ prior levels of attainment and providing targeted support.

Adaptive teaching involves scaffolding learning so that all children can access this. Scaffolding can be a term used to describe:

  • A visual scaffold, such as a task planner, images to support learning new vocabulary, model examples of work etc .
  • A verbal scaffold, such as a teacher correcting a misconception at a pupil’s desk. (live marking), specific questioning, pre teach etc.
  • A written scaffold, such as a writing frame, word bank, sentence stem etc.

Colleagues undertook a coaching session to support them in the development of a case study which focused on a specific child with SEND. Colleagues shared how they had employed adaptive teaching strategies within the classroom and the impact this had in supporting a child with SEND. 

Here are some examples of the case studies colleagues shared:

Teaching School

We have many colleagues in our organisation who work with and We have Leaders of Excellence who lead CPD for schools in our Trust within their field of expertise. We are an ambitious team of people who believe in life long learning.