Thursday, 14 December 2017

Havering Train2Teach Events

Do you want to make a difference to children’s lives? Are you interested in a career in Primary teaching? Would you like some clarity about the School Direct route?

Havering Train2Teach offers training and placements in primary, infant and junior schools across Havering.

There will be the opportunity to:

 Learn more about this route into teaching

 Meet managers from TES Institute and receive personal advice

 Speak to trainees currently on the training programme

 Hear the views of past trainees

 Ask for advice on student finance

Please come along and see what we have to offer.

Event 1
Tangmere Crescent, 
RM12 5PP 

Thursday 18th January 2018
6:30pm – 7:30pm 

Event 2
Mawney Road, 
RM7 7HR 

Wednesday 7th March 2018 
10:30am – 11:30am

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Disadvantaged Not Progressing To University

Sadly there is an update in the Romford Recorder this week that draws attention to the work that is still needed to raise aspirations amongst disadvantaged families and ensure that there is a clear pathway for pupils to make it to Higher Education.

The Social Mobility Commission’s study revealed that just 16pc of youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds in the borough go on to university or other higher education. This is compared with 53pc in Westminster, the best performing area in England.

The government watchdog’s latest report into inequality in Britain highlights the huge variation in life chances for youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds depending on where they grow up.

The commission assessed the development of children across the country from nursery right up to university, ranking each of England’s 324 local authorities for social mobility.

Click here for the full article

Friday, 1 December 2017

SENCO Accreditation

Are you recruiting a new SENCO for Spring or Summer term 2018?

Do you have a SENCO who needs or wants to begin the National Award for SEN Coordination?

Best Practice Network is a national provider of NASENCO and a Quality Assured member of the NASEN Provider group. They are currently recruiting for programmes to start in March 2018 in the following areas: Bury, Durham, London, Luton, Manchester, South Gloucestershire & St Albans.

Participants can find out more information and register through the Best Practice Network website. When registering online, please be sure to select Havering Primary Teaching School Alliance as the deliver partner to ensure BPN know which network you are a part of. Thank you!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Havering Computing Conference


Our Teaching School was delighted to present our progress with the implementation of G Suite and Google Apps to the Havering Computing Conference last week. Our Google Accredited teachers have experience of all the key elements of G Suite and have helped the successful adoption across two schools.

With Google Docs, Slides & Sheets now the default planning format, we have seen a significant improvement in efficiency and collaboration - both within and across schools.

The use of Google Drive has made planning a real team activity. I can see my team contributing ideas as they do it, we can work within the same documents and instantly share our resources. It has been a real time saver... faster, quicker and more reliable!
Sophie Winters - Year Group Lead

If your school would benefit from one of our SLEs showing the key aspects of G Suite and supporting your adoption of the software, please just contact us:


3 Key Job Interview Questions

When you’re looking for a new teaching post, it can sometimes feel that the interview process is focused on answering the interviewer’s questions - so much so that you forget to ask smart questions of your possible future employers

You should effort into asking questions that show: 
  • you’re ready to jump right in
  • allow you to gauge whether the role is a good fit for you in the first place. 

Don’t let the interview opportunity go to waste.


It’s better to know, even before day one, what it would take to succeed in your position. Heidi Solti-Berner, evolving workforce talent leader at Deloitte, recommends this question because it gives the hiring leader a chance to spell out the qualities of high performers in the organisation.

“Once you have a clearer picture of this you can better demonstrate how those identified qualities are aligned with your work ethic, professional goals, and overall personality.” 

In addition this helps ensure you’ll start off with insider knowledge about how to thrive in your new school. It also shows that your main priority is to start delivering impact right away.


Yes, getting a job is important, but it’s even more important to work in a school where you’re supported by a leader and colleagues who are proactive about helping you grow.

Chelsea Kovak, a recruiter at the business-loan platform Fundera, explains that “nothing has a bigger impact on your ability to develop and grow in a role than the amount of mentoring and focus you can get from your leader.”

But Kovak also points out that this question helps you understand the work culture, since it “gives a sense of the way the team will work together and can really prepare you for the culture of the school or company you’ve signed up for.” 

If the interviewer shares even a few background details of the team’s dynamics, they can be pretty telling–and hopefully help you decide whether it’s the right environment for you.

For instance, do they mention that the team is collaborative and works on planning together? Or, does your team only consist of you and your leader? Is it a growing staff that’s looking to add new faces over the next six months? This is all useful information when you’re sizing up a role. But what’s more, asking this question gives you one last chance to show the interviewer that if you’re offered the position, you’ll be able to fit right in with the team.


While the first question focuses on your long-term success, this last one gives you intel on what it would take to stand out immediately. And according to Jeremy Payne, VP and head of operations at Remote Year, says that asking this question helps the interviewer visualize you in the role.

In addition to getting yet another chance to reassure the interviewer why you’re up for the challenges ahead of you, Payne adds that it’s also a useful data-gathering opportunity: “It allows you to determine where you would need development and provides you with advice toward that development–all in one response.” And best of all, since the interviewer is thinking about what you in particular would need to start off on the right foot, the suggestions you’ll hear will be tailored to your skills and credentials.

Adding these three questions to your mental lineup while you’re prepping for interviews can help you wrap up your conversation on a high note. They let you show the interviewer that success and culture are both equally important to you, all while letting you suss out whether the team, position, and expectations fit with your personal career goals. 

Hsis Computing and Online Safety Subject Leaders’ Network meeting

Date: Thursday 16th November 2016 – 4.15pm-5.45pm (refreshments available from 4.00pm)
Venue: Mead Primary

We are delighted to be hosting the Autumn Term 2017 Hsis Computing and Online Safety Subject Leaders’ Network meeting at Mead Primary School.

Meeting Foci
We will be sharing our current practice relating to integrating Google G-suite for teaching and learning and staff use across our Learning Federation.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Teacher Wellbeing - Sleep Well!

Now that the clocks have gone back and the dark mornings and evenings are setting in, taking care of yourself is vitally important. The 'Christmas' half term can be one of the most demanding on teachers and school staff.

What can you do to be as prepared as possible... sleep well!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Havering Computing Conference - Mead & G Suite

We are delighted that one of the schools from our Federation will be presenting their experience of embedding aspects of G Suite and Google Apps into school life. Make sure you have booked your place at this year's Havering Computing Conference.

Leadership of Self

Would you be able to look at the quote from Roger Federer and replace some key words so that it read...

I always question my teaching, even after the best of lessons. Even when I had reached my Performance Management targets, achieved the asked for levels of progress and achieved the school improvement goal.

What are you improving?
What do you need to change/develop/strengthen/tweak?

It's important for me to actually hear criticism of my teaching sometimes. That's what makes me a better teacher.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Broadford a RWI Model School

We are delighted to be able to display our certificate confirming our status as a Read Write Inc Model school. Over the last six years our teachers have worked tirelessly to ensure that we are providing the best phonics teaching for our youngest pupils so that they are able to read by the age of 6.

Now that we have established a number of years of outstanding results and teaching we are able to offer our school as a support for others who are looking to improve and develop their phonics teaching.

Last year the National pass rate for the Year 1 Phonics screening test was 81% and at Broadford we achieved 89%.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Social Mobility - is it achievable?

The latest data releases show that old boys from nine public schools hold 10% of top jobs: Research shows pupils from institutions including Eton and Harrow still dominate public life with alumni from nine fee-paying institutions hold almost 10 per cent of top positions!

Despite the fact the nine schools only educate 0.15 per cent of pupils former students hold and dominate roles such as MPs, peers, judges and senior civil servants.

When schools only support pupils for 13% of the time, and social mobility issues are often longstanding, multi faceted and complex, how can teachers best try to ensure that the most disadvantaged manage to break through?

Impact of Neglect

This article gives a clear idea of why some of our most vulnerable pupils struggle to develop the behaviours that we take for granted.

Click here for the full article

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Exceed TSA Visit to HPTSA

We were delighted to welcome colleagues from Bradford to our schools this month. 14 Headteachers - from the Exceed Teaching School Alliance travelled down to spend time with us and hear about the journey our schools have gone on over the last six years.

It was a great networking opportunity, that we hope will move forward with some collaboration around the Strategic School Improvement Fund. 

NLE Cohort Accredited

Just before half term, Mr Drakes had to journey up to Leeds to be inducted as a National Leader for Education. With this accreditation, Broadford is also designated as a National Support School - which runs alongside our Teaching School designation.

The status is great recognition of the work that has been done by all parents, governors and staff to improve outcomes for our pupils. Now it also means that we can work alongside other schools to support their improvement journey as well.

Broadford has really benefitted from sharing ideas with others, seeing best practice in action and being supported by other school leaders. It is now wonderful to have the chance to repay some of the kindness and support that was shown to us as we started out journey. To continually work alongside and with others will only help to keep our ideas fresh and challenge our thinking so that our school continues to develop and flourish.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Vision 2 Provision

Julie Fisher took the keynote session for the launch event of our EYFS Leadership Development course. The session asked some challenging questions of the Headteachers and EYFS leaders who were participating and offered them a chance to reflect on what aspects of their provision need to be improved over the year ahead:

  • how would you articulate your vision for the education of EYFS children in your school?
  • how confident are all staff who work in the setting at articulating the vision?
  • how is the vision bought to life in everyday practice and provision?
  • what is your understanding of how young children learn?
  • does your setting allow for these preferences and approaches to flourish?
  • are all of your staff confident with the 'Characteristics of Effective Learning'?
  • what balance is there between adult led, child led and adult initiated learning in your setting?
  • how effectively is the outdoor environment used to strengthen and enrich provision?
  • is your timetable allowing for optimum learning
There are five more sessions to follow this, where EYFS leads will reflect on the key questions and strengthen/shape their vision for provision.

If you are a Havering EYFS Lead and would like to join, just look for the sessions on the Havering CPD Portal. The next date is the 4th December (half day- repeated in the afternoon) at Mead Primary.

Monday, 30 October 2017

EYFS Leadership Development Launch

We were delighted to see so many Headteachers attending with their EYFS leads at the start of our newly visioned EYFS Leaders Network meetings.

This year we started with a full day session so that we could:

  • share data from National, London and local sources to provide insight into current EYFS performance in Havering
  • identify an improvement focus for the Borough this year - increasing the number of pupils reaching the Exceeding goal in CLL
  • Launching the 'Vision to Provision' part of the course where leaders reflect on their setting and its improvement priorities for this year
The initial feedback from the launch event has been extremely positive:

The colleagues we heard from were really inspirational and all of the messages/advice was really useful

Excellent day and Julie Fisher was so inspiring!

An intense, but enjoyable, and reflective day

The next session is on December 4th. We look forward to welcoming EYFS Leaders to Mead Primary for a half day session 9am-12pm or 1pm-4pm.

Early Years Leadership Course

We were delighted to announce that Julie Fisher would be part of our revamped Early Years Network CPD this year. The six sessions started with a full day Conference on the 19th October. However if you weren't able to make it, then please make sure you sign up for the remaining five sessions as you will be very welcome.

Dates and details for the full programme can be found by clicking on this link:

If you wish to book a place on this course - which is free for Havering Schools - click here to be directed to the Havering CPD Portal.

Peer Review - Launch Day Training

Our Havering Primary Teaching School Alliance (HPTSA) was proud to be part of the first wave of schools in Havering to launch the Educational Development Trust Peer Review model. We believe that our schools should be committed to establishing a continuous cycle of improvement, that is led by the school for the school.

Eight schools have signed up to be part of this first cohort, and we expect many others to follow across the remainder of the year: Hacton, Branfil, James Oglethorpe, Mead, Broadford, Hilldene, Engayne Primary and Upminster Junior & Infants.

Participants explored the principles that would underpin this approach and the mechanisms that would be required to get it off the ground. All the reviews for the academic year were booked in and we will be underway by the end of November.

Keep tuned for further updates.

Google Summit Training

Our Teaching School has a number of SLEs that can help schools with their use of ICT to support collaboration and communication. As part of our development of this capacity we attended the Google Back to School Summit in October.

There were lots of handy hints and tips:

  • Using Google Forms to help communicate requests for support. These could be tweaked to: request School 2 School help, get the site manager to look at an aspect of the school site, send a request to an ICT technician.
  • Hear about the power of 10x thinking and reflect on what this might mean in our schools
  • Challenge children with the Smarty Pins hack of Google Maps:
We can't wait to share these ideas with our own staff and other colleagues. Our SLEs will be using some of this content at the upcoming Havering ICT Conference, and the next ICT subject leaders meeting.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Six Steps to Effective Feedback

Have you ever wanted a simple framework to help with colleague discussions or performance reviews? Have a look at this article from the Harvard Business Review...

Click here for article

Monday, 23 October 2017

Teach Like A Champion: Sentence Expansion

All teachers would appreciate that effective writing doesn't come from just having kids ‘write a lot’. Success comes from having pupils learn to create the basic forms of writing, especially the sentence, in a methodical progression that shows them how and has them complete exercises repeatedly until they are able to apply them confidently.

Doug Lemov has a great article on his blog that uses some of the simplest conjunctions to help create reflective and extended sentences...

Monday, 9 October 2017

Dylan Williams - Growth Mindset

“I have often said, what is interesting is not what works in education, but under what circumstances does it work,” says Dylan Wiliam, emeritus professor of educational assessment at UCL Institute of Education.

This comment came amid a broad-ranging discussion on what impact educational research should have on an individual teacher’s classroom. See the link below to listen to more from the Tes Podagogy podcast series.
Click here to listen to the full podcast

Sunday, 8 October 2017

5 Steps To A High Performing Team

Susan Ritchie has some simple but effective tips for helping to develop your team.

Monday, 2 October 2017

OLP Leadership Development

We are delighted to announce that the deadline has been extended for the recent courses.

To allow for an increase in demand, we decided to extend the registration deadline for NPQML and NPQSL courses starting this autumn.

We will be accepting applications until Friday, 13th October.

Please share the registration links below to ensure your colleagues access outstanding leadership training starting in their locality this autumn.

National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML)

National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership (NPQSL)

For general information on these courses, please visit our website.

Friday, 29 September 2017

OLP Leadership Development

Middle & Senior Leadership Qualifications: there’s still time to apply!
The registration for the autumn intake of NPQML and NPQSL closes at midnight on Friday, 29th September.

If you, or your colleagues, are looking to develop and accredit your leadership capability, implement sustainable school improvement and help to raise the attainment of your children then register to join our local, school led, leadership provision starting this September.
The National Professional Qualifications for both Middle and Senior Leadership (NPQML & NPQSL) are accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and delivered by serving school leaders.
To understand what makes our offer extraordinary and to see first-hand the impact our training continues to have on leaders, their schools and pupil outcomes, visit our website.
You can register to secure a place for September here.
Any questions? Contact us on 0117 9209 424 or email

Friday, 8 September 2017

Middle & Senior Leadership Qualifications:

Register to start this September

If you, or your colleagues, are looking to develop and accredit your leadership capability, implement sustainable school improvement and help to raise the attainment of your children, then register to join our local, school-led leadership provision starting this September.

The National Professional Qualifications for both Middle and Senior Leadership (NPQML & NPQSL) are accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership and delivered by serving school leaders.

To understand what makes our offer extraordinary and to see first-hand the impact our training continues to have on leaders, their schools and pupil outcomes, visit our website.

You can register to secure a place for September here. The registration window will close on 29th September.

Any questions? Contact us on 0117 9209 424 or email

Thursday, 7 September 2017

An opportunity for SENCOs

The NASENCO award is a statutory requirement for all SENCOs appointed new to role from September 2008 and is an excellent opportunity for professional development for experienced SENCOs. This autumn we have training groups for the National Award around the country and we would like to ask you to please forward this email to any relevant colleagues or the person responsible for CPD in your school.

Our NASENCO programme is delivered in partnership with the School of Education’s CPD Department at Bath Spa University (BSU). It incorporates the Postgraduate Certificate in Inclusive Education from their Professional Master’s Programme, worth the first 60 credits towards a Master’s (MA) degree. We are also a member of the NASEN Provider Group that quality assures relevant standards.

Registration will close in September. Candidates can apply at the following link:

We have organised a webinar: NASENCO - Briefing for Prospective SENCOs on Monday, 11th September. Please could you notify any prospective SENCOs in your network that they can register for the online event at the following link:

The purpose of the webinar will be to:
*provide an initial overview of the Best Practice Network NASENCO training programme
*explain the NASENCO assessment processes and timescales involved
*answer any initial questions prospective candidates may have

Any questions? Contact us on 0117 9209 424 or email

Stepping Up To Headship?

Stepping up to Headship? 

Applications for NPQH close 15th September.

If you or a colleague are looking to apply for a headship position, or simply want to be ready when the time comes then you can still apply for the National Professional Qualification for Headship starting this September.

We have planned groups in the following locations:
  • Aylesbury
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Bury St Edmunds
  • Chester
  • Derby
  • Luton
  • Sale
  • Wigan

Registration will close on Friday, 15th September. You can apply here.

To support prospective applicants we hosted a series of ‘Submitting a Successful Application’ online briefings. You can view a recording of one of the briefings here.

The Outstanding Leaders Partnership is school led; our blended training is accessible and flexible; course content is updated and delivered by serving heads and our trainee support is total. To understand what makes our offer extraordinary and to see first-hand the impact our training continues to have on leaders, their schools and pupil outcomes, visit our website.

The course fee is now just £2,250.

Any questions? Contact us on 0117 9209 424 or email

Learning from failure

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Marginal gains: Small changes that make a big difference to your teaching

Teachers can learn a lot from the world of competitive sports when it comes to making small changes to improve their practice.

Walk into a newsagent, pick up a random running magazine and have a quick flick through it. You will be assailed with advice on improving your speed, going the distance and avoiding injury – all of it based on the latest scientific research. But when you look more closely at the research, you will see that they are talking about shaving a second each mile from your marathon time or exercises that worked with elite athletes under expert supervision. These are marginal gains that make all the difference to the professionals but may do very little for the average weekend warrior.

Read the full article here:

Image result for athletes

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

How does Google develop leaders?

The transition from individual contributor to manager is not an easy one. In many cases, the skills that got you the promotion will not be the same ones that make you effective as a manager.

Using Project Oxygen, an internal study that analyzed more than 10,000 manager impressions including performance reviews, surveys, and nominations for top-manager awards and recognition, Google identified eight habits of highly effective managers. Google also designed a management training workshop to share its newfound knowledge with its bosses and now the world.

Through the company's Re:Work website, a resource that shares Google's perspective on people operations, Google posted this training presentation in hopes that it could benefit all.

1. Mindset and values

Implementing research from Dr. Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, Google encourages its managers to develop a growth mindset. As opposed to a fixed mindset (the belief that skills and abilities are predetermined), individuals with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be cultivated. This simple idea develops leaders who are more eager to learn, challenge themselves, and experiment, and it eventually boosts their performance. Although success will always require tenacity, hard work, and concentration, this research suggests these traits are byproducts of a quality that underpins them, optimism.

Also, Google encourages its managers to identify values and leverage them within their management styles. The purpose is not to impose set values, but rather to empower leaders to leverage their individual morals to drive deeper meaning and impact to their work. Managers have to make tough decisions. When faced with uncertainty, values can be a manager's saving grace.

2. Emotional intelligence (EI)

Per Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis (experts on the topic), EI is the ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and leverage this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships. In other words, it's a heightened sense of self-awareness.

Managers who are self-aware make better decisions, communicate more effectively, and are more relatable. In fact, Goleman reported not only that EI-based leadership may be the most important driver of climate but also that climate may account for 20 to 30 percent of organizational performance.

3. Manager transition

All right, so this one doesn't seem like an attribute. However, if you take a look at Google's new manager training facilitator's guide, you'll notice some common themes. As instructors encourage new supervisors to share their transition challenges and frustrations with their peers, they simultaneously teach that it's OK to be vulnerable and honest. As managers open up and tell their stories, others chime in with advice and guidance providing actionable new strategies.

It's important for all managers to know that you're not in this alone. Others have faced similar challenges and can help -- if you let them.

4. Coaching

Through Project Oxygen, it was revealed that the number one quality of effective managers is being a good coach. Google defines good coaching as:
  • Timely and specific feedback
  • Delivering hard feedback in a motivational and thoughtful way
  • Tailoring approaches to meet individual communication styles in regular one-on-one meetings
  • Practicing empathetic "active" listening and being fully present
  • Being cognizant of your own mindset and that of the employee
  • Asking open-ended questions to discover an employee's acumen

5. Feedback

Managers' words have the power to build or destroy. Google understands this sensitivity and teaches its supervisors to be consistent (free from bias) when delivering feedback across their teams, to balance positive (motivational) and negative (developmental) feedback, to be authentic and appreciative, and to state growth opportunities in a clear, compassionate way.

6. Decision making

To ensure judgments aren't made in a vacuum, Google has established a routine to help managers make better decisions. This framework includes asking and articulating:
  • What are you solving for, and is everyone on the same page? (Identify and communicate the root cause.)
  • Why is it important? (Does it support other business goals?)
  • Who is the decision maker?
  • How will the decision be made?
  • When can people expect a decision? (Keep stakeholders in the loop, and manage expectations.)
Also, to ensure informed decisions are made, Google encourages managers to test their ideas out loud and collect feedback by explicitly advocating for their opinions (voicing individual views, reasoning, and providing data), testing their understanding by inquiring about others' perspectives (soliciting ideas and feedback), and then synthesizing the responses to ensure a comprehensive understanding before making a decision.

While these six attributes may seem basic, according to a New York Times article, the results are anything but. Google reported a statistically significant improvement in 75 percent of its underperforming managers after implementing the program.

Are You Ready?

“No Matter How Ready You Think You Are, The Difference Is Staggering” – How I Survived My First Year As A Middle Leader

"You can read all the leadership books you want, but nothing prepares you for having to have a conversation with a team member about the school dress code"

Read through Nikki's very honest account of the challenges of leadership:

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

What does it mean to be a Headteacher now?

Roger Pope of the National College has contributed an interesting article about the changing role of leadership and what it now means to be a Headteacher.

Read the full article here

Follow Up Difficult Conversations...

Below are three key steps that can rebuild a good working relationship following a challenging conversation, while also making progress on the problem at hand:

Step 1: Acknowledge that the conversation happened. 

We often want to “forget” or purposely avoid recognising that a hard conversation took place with a colleague. That’s a mistake, because it leaves you powerless, and leaves your colleague guessing at how to handle the situation, as well. My advice is to: 
a) proactively follow up
b) acknowledge that it was a tough situation
c) focus on the positive. 

There is huge value in appreciating that you were able to come together, identify and discuss a big issue, and even have the conversation in the first place. Thank your colleague for taking the time to engage in the conversation.

Job Interview Tips

Jessica Pointing knows how to interview.

The Harvard University junior received internship offers at companies including Google, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, McKinsey, Bain, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley.

A computer science and physics major, she's received offer letters for roles in software engineering, data science, product management, consulting, investment banking, trading, and quantitative finance.

How does she do it? She credits being prepared and relaxed with her string of successful interviews. Here are some of here top tips...

1. Do your homework

Pointing made sure to hit the books before interviewing.

"I treated the internship interviews as a class — I studied material from books and did practice problems before the test (a.k.a. the interview)," she writes. "There is usually a go-to book for each industry." These books help prepare job candidates, covering likely interview topics and even featuring practice problems.

2. Develop a structure for problem solving

The stress of interviewing can make it pretty easy to blank out when you're speaking to a hiring manager.

That's why Pointing says it's important to adopt a problem-solving mindset.

Here's the structure she used for answering questions in her software engineering interviews:
Repeat the question to make sure that you understood the question and have all the relevant details.
  • Clarify the function input and output.
  • Check assumptions.
  • Give an approach to solving the problem.
  • Discuss the tradeoffs of the approach.
  • Code the solution.
  • Test the solution with a normal test case.
  • Test the solution with some edge cases.
She also broke down the approach she uses for consulting interviews:
  • Repeat the question to make sure that you understood the question and have all the relevant details.
  • Explain the objectives of the case and ask if there are any more objectives.
  • Ask any clarifying questions.
  • Generate ideas and a solution.
  • Organize and structure the answer.
  • For calculations, give insights into what the calculated number means.
  • Summarize the case at the end.

"These structures ensure that I hit almost everything I need to mention for a successful interview," Pointing says. "In consulting, giving insights into a number you just calculated separates a good candidate from a great candidate."

3. Practice and strategize

"It is very important to practice in an interview setting before the interview," Pointing says. "If your college offers mock interviews, take them! Some companies offer mock interviews too. There are other services out there, such as Refdash that give you free mock interviews. Do a practice interview at every opportunity."

If at all possible, Pointing recommends scheduling your "dream interview" last. That way, all of your previous interviews can serve as practice sessions.

4. Have a backup plan

Interviews can be pretty stressful.

So how can you keep your cool when the stakes are high?

Pointing advises having a backup plan in mind. You should always have an alternative path to pursue if your job or internship opportunity falls through.

"If you are interviewing for the summer and you go into an interview with no plan for the summer, then you will probably be way more stressed," Pointing says. "Instead, if you already have an offer or a vague idea of something you would do in the summer (e.g. travel), then the stakes for the interview aren't as high. The more options you already have, the more relaxed you will be in the interview and the higher your chances are for the job."

So take some pressure off yourself and make sure to sketch out a backup plan.

5. Invest time

The interviewing process isn't just about setting time aside to talk to a bunch of hiring managers. You'll need to devote time to reading, practicing, and perhaps even traveling.

"I traveled across the country more than six times in twelve weeks for my interviews, and spent approximately 80 hours in planes," Pointing says. "Make sure you have enough time in your schedule to invest in your internship search process. You should dedicate a few hours each day practicing for interviews. I scheduled time in my calendar for interview practice for every morning (after my regular morning routine)."

6. Create a question bank

Pointing recommends that after each interview, job candidates write down interview questions and solutions, as well as their own strengths and areas they could improve on.

"In one of my software engineering interviews, I missed a particular data structure that would have allowed me to have given a more efficient solution, but I made a note of it, and in another interview later on, I ran into a question where I could use that data structure," she says. "After doing enough cases and problems, you will start to recognize patterns and you will become more confident and quicker in solving problems."

7. Don't skim over behavioral questions

Don't just focus on industry-specific questions. Pointing says that interviewees must also come prepared with answers for common behavioral questions.

"Behavioral questions usually fall under several categories: leadership, teamwork, challenges and successes," she writes. "You should identify stories in your life that fall under each of those categories. You should also write down those stories and all the details. Writing down your answers to behavioral questions before the interview is important."

Havering Learning Partnership Awards

We were delighted to be asked to support the inaugural year of the Havering Learning Partnership awards. These awards are to celebrate the effort and achievement of Secondary school staff across the Borough.

17 different schools were represented. The achievements of all the teams were fantastic to hear about; from leading Duke of Edinburgh trips, to fundraising, to outstanding pupil progress, there was a wide range of stories to enjoy and celebrate.

The positive energy in the room and the excitement of being in contention for collecting a prize means that this is an event that will definitely become an annual celebration.

Iris Connect Training

To further improve the positive impact of Iris Connect video cameras, we held a training event for Teaching Assistants and teachers who are new to the product.

What is Iris Connect?
Click here to visit their website

I was inspired by the way it was so simple to use. Sometimes the technology in school can be quite daunting, but this system was so easy. I will certainly go and give it a go in my classroom
A Davies

Feedback from the training was extremely positive.
  • 88% agreed that they would be willing to use the equipment to record their teaching or interactions with pupils
  • 90% agreed that the equipment was easy to access and use
  • 100% agreed that it would have a positive benefit to improving teaching and learning

Google Training


We were delighted to host a regional training event for Google. The Google Educator training (Level 1 & Level 2) gives teachers a great insight into how Google tools can revolutionise their planning, collaboration and time management.

Over 35 staff took part in the training - which is amazing as it took place on a Saturday!

As a consequence Havering now has 28 additional Level 1 Google Educators and 7 additional Level 2.

The feedback on and impact of the course was extremely positive:

  • 100% agreed they were more knowledgable about Google's products
  • 100% strongly agreed that they had learnt something that would improve their practice
  • 95% strongly agreed that this would improve their time management

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

New - look Leadership Qualifications

New-look Leadership Qualifications

The government is launching a revamped leadership qualifications for school leaders in September using two organisations incorporating over 100 teaching school alliances and multi-academy trusts, including 'The Havering Primary Teaching School Alliance'.

Two separate organisations – Ambition School Leadership and Outstanding Leaders Partnership – have both created alliances accredited to start delivering the full NPQ set.

The national professional qualifications include courses covering headship, middle leadership and senior leadership, as well as a new executive leadership qualification.

Read the full article below for further details:

Friday, 14 July 2017

What are SLEs?

Specialist leaders of education (SLEs) are outstanding middle and senior leaders with a particular area of expertise and the skills to develop the leadership capacity of colleagues in similar positions in other schools.

As Claire Carter, leader of the Cabot Federation Teaching School in Bristol, explains, SLEs...
“have a track record of relevant and successful leadership expertise in their own or other schools to draw upon. There is a lot of coaching in the SLE approach. It’s about discussion, asking the right questions and seeking solutions together”.

Monday, 3 July 2017

5 Ways that Leadership is like building a sandcastle

5 Ways Leadership is Like Building a Sandcastle

Being a leader is not easy. Leaders must be steadfast during the storm and be able to remain standing through thick and thin. I was lucky enough to spend some time this summer on a beach building sandcastles with my children. As we built our castle, I was reflected upon my own work as an educational leader. I realized that building a sandcastle is a lot like navigating leadership.
Here are five ways that building sandcastle is a lot like being a leader.
  1. Location, Location, Location
Think of your sandcastle as an initiative. Build it to close to the waves and it will be washed away. Build it too far from the water and it is irrelevant. You’ve got to find that sweet spot. Your castle needs to get a little wet in order to test the strength of the walls, moats, and towers. Once this happens, you can change your design and construction to ensure that it will be able to withstand the waves.
  1. Tools are important
In order for us to properly build our sandcastle, we needed to get some tools. Picking the proper tool for the job is important; shovels for the moats, buckets for the walls and towers. The rake and hoe come in handy for smoothing everything out. Getting your hands a little dirty doesn’t hurt either. Ensuring that you have the right tool for the right job will allow you to build a sandcastle that is strong, detailed, and multi-dimensional.
  1. Check the Foundation
Ever notice that the sand at the beach is different depending on where you are? Beach terrain can be super soft, rocky, or full of seaweed. Building a sandcastle on the wrong foundation will result in a quick demise after exerting tons of energy trying to get it off the ground. Survey the landscape and know when and where it is time to build.
  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
Have you ever noticed that building a sandcastle at the beach attracts on-lookers? Beach-goers are often interested in what you are building and some are even eager to help out. Don’t try to build your castle by yourself. The best sandcastles come from a group effort as different builders bring different strengths to the job.
  1. Understand That Your Work is Never Done
Building a sandcastle is one thing. Maintaining the castle’s structure and fortitude is another. Being able to sustain a sandcastle requires on-going maintenance and frequent assessing of the walls, towers, moats, and d├ęcor. There is always room for improvement and opportunity. Keep building, because every sandcastle is a work of wonder for a child.
Dr. David Franklin, CEO of The Principal’s Desk, is an experienced school administrator, education professor, curriculum designer, and presenter. Dr. Franklin has presented at national and international education conferences as is available for school and district professional development sessions. He can be reached at or at

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