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Introducing BlueSky Learning - our new online professional development library

16 September 2020

BlueSky Learning is live!

As an organisation we at BlueSky have worked with over 300,000 individuals across more than 2,000 organisations and have established ourselves as a market leader in this sector. Through this work we have identified a need for affordable online CPD that allows teachers to access professionally lead online learning, anywhere, anytime; whilst also providing a meaningful professional log in a career portfolio that is trackable and will support the school with their strategic vision and impact directly on the outcomes for young people.

We are delighted to have launched BlueSky Learning - our dynamic platform for professional development which brings together a vast range of CPD materials for teachers and leaders at every stage, all accessible online.

The BlueSky Learning suite combines video, recorded webinars, interactive activities and supporting resources including wider reading materials categorised by key topics including assessment, knowledge and introduction to Leadership. Modules are informed by research and all developed and led by leading practitioners, coaches and other specialists in education training and development.

Professional development during lockdown

"The move to provide a growing online professional development library was a natural progression to our existing BlueSky offer to schools.'' Denise says. "Online Learning enables people to take control of their own schedules, planning time to learn around their working and other commitments.

"It also opens up access to a wealth of expertise and knowledge that would not have been easily available in the past. And it enables colleagues in different institutions, locations and time zones to work collaboratively. It's vital that we capture these benefits now which is what motivated us to set up BlueSky Learning."

Positive impact on pupil outcomes

Research published this month (September) by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has highlighted the potential positive impact on pupil outcomes of remote CPD for teachers.

The study, carried out jointly with Durham University, found that how professional development is delivered and the quality of the support behind it were key to its success.

"The benefits to pupils are the most important element of all and this study shows that, provided online CPD is well managed and supported, it has the potential to help schools fulfil their key aim of raising standards and improving children's life chances," Denise adds.

Experiences of BlueSky Learning SummerFest

In June of this year, we ran an online learning festival in collaboration with CST (Confederation of School Trusts) and NTA (National Teacher Accreditation) to support our emerging teachers as they strove to overcome the challenges associated with the pandemic situation with limited access to face to face learning. We ran 33 sessions across 3 weeks and had over 8,500 registrations, and participants in the BlueSky Learning SummerFest cited access to expertise and relevance to their specific needs as key benefits of the programme's activities.

"The sessions have been grounded in the actual work carried out in schools and classrooms and have been led by experienced practitioners," said Emmanuel N Barthalomew, Academic Principal, Ulink College of Shanghai. "These have made the sessions immediate, meaningful and fit for purpose. We have especially found them useful and efficient as they address our professional learning and development needs, which in turn are then easily linked to our yearly teaching and learning goals within the BlueSky system."

Staff at Beths Grammar School, Bexley, UK said webinars on issues such as planning for the new school year had helped them to think about unexpected issues that could arise in the altered circumstances.

"They really highlighted the thoughts, fears and concerns of so many, which helped form really collaborative answers and help me remember that we are all in this together. Being able to play back the webinars is really helpful in terms of when you watch them, how they can be fitted in with other tasks, and how they are also there should anyone still wish to see them, or replay and pick up on certain points again."

BlueSky Learning – details of topics and modules

BlueSky Learning is an easy access professional development library which provides research-based and practitioner-led modules through highly focused, manageable learning sessions.

Modules are delivered in short sections, providing knowledge, practical activities and implementation strategies to sustain and embed practice.

Our initial modules include content to support NQTs, the Early Career Framework and Teaching Standards in England, and modules for Aspiring Middle Leaders and more will be added.

Each module consists of two 30 - 60 minute learning sessions with intersessional activities. Our modules are flexible so that they can be accessed anywhere, anytime and individuals can decide how to engage with them - all in one go or in separate sessions and activities.

Current modules have been designed to address the support and CPD provision for NQTs, Early Career teachers, as refreshers and alternative perspectives for established teachers, based on the Early Careers Framework and National Teaching Standards, and for aspiring middle leaders.

Future plans include more suites of modules relating to Metacognition, Developing Character, Career Pathways, Collaboration in the Classroom, Learning Remotely and content for support staff and business professionals.

BlueSky Learning subscriptions

BlueSky Learning is available as an annual subscription through a variety of licences and is discounted for BlueSky members.

For details go to blueskylearning.co.uk

Alternatively, email hello@blueskylearning.co.uk

or call us on +44 (0)1483 880004 for more information.

Additional modules will be added to the growing library every month. If you are interested in collaborating with us to produce new modules, please contact us at hello@blueskylearning.co.uk

For media and partner enquiries, please contact

Katie Donnison

Head of Marketing & Partnerships

marketing@blueskyeducation.co.uk

BlueSky Education

This article was written by:

BlueSky Education