The Polesworth School has been using Lessons Learned since 2016. They use both the Teaching and Learning Development Module and the Staff Appraisal and Development Module. We asked deputy headteacher, Alexis Rickus, to answer a few questions for us.
How did you identify the need for a product like Lessons Learned? What were you using, if anything, before?
Before we embarked on Lessons Learned we were using a paper booklet to collate information for teacher’s performance management. This method was rather clumsy and difficult to administer. Data from the booklets had to be entered manually and missing data chased after each PM window.
How did you find the transition process when moving from your old system or process to Lessons Learned? How was it received by your staff?
The transition was excellent. Lessons Learned visited Polesworth and reassured us that the process would be manageable. We were able to use ‘test’ cases to check the system was working. Our templates were easily transferred to Lessons Learned and instructions on how to use the system were available and adaptable to our context. The system also presented new opportunities to us e.g. collation of development needs.
What impact has the Lessons Learned had on your school improvement processes?
It has allowed for time saving in the administration of data. The reports allow me to identify areas of strength and weaknesses. This is helpful when reporting to Governors. The Teaching & Learning themes which we need to develop are also easier to identify, which allows for more bespoke CPD.
How do you make use of the data analysis the system provides?
Data analysis is good, Heads of Department are able to view their teams’ data and focus support. The graphs are easy to read particularly online. Printing is a challenge and it would be helpful if graphs could be downloaded for use in documents rather than screenshots.
What is your opinion of the support provided by the Lessons Learned team?
The support is excellent. My colleague who manages the administration of the system has remarked on the “willingness to help”, “problems solved” and “solutions offered” by Lessons Learned.