By Urs Cunningham | Posted: Friday January 25, 2019
Throughout the 2019 school year our year 5 and 6 students will take part in a coaching programme as part of their learning and leadership development.
A group of teachers at Amesbury School took part in an innovative project around coaching leadership from 2016-2018, led by Lesley Murrihy. The project produced exciting and significant personal and professional development for the teachers involved, and also produced some positive results in increased engagement and feelings of well-being for students.
The significance of this project has led us to implement a similar coaching leadership project for students, piloted this year by our year 5 and 6 students. We are aiming for similar development of agency, confidence and self-efficacy for our students that the coaching leadership produced for our teachers.
The project will be led by Urs and Demelza, who will work closely with Lesley in planning and running the project. Other teachers in the initial project team will be Kieron, Kalesha, Andy and Hazel. In Term 1 the students will be taught specific skills of coaching, including active listening, reflective questioning, and giving specific feedback. They will practice these skills with each other in guided situations. In Term 2 the students will then use their coaching skills in wider settings across the school, in contexts of their choosing depending on their personal interests. They will continue to have weekly coaching sessions with the project teachers to help them reflect on their coaching and consolidate their coaching skills. At the end of Term 2, data will be collected in a number of ways and analysed by the project team, with a further iteration of the coaching programme running again over terms 3 and 4 - teaching and consolidation of specific coaching skills alongside authentic use of the coaching skills in various contexts across the school.
The coaching programme will be a valuable and integral part of the hub learning and leadership programme through the year. Data will be collected from students in several different ways: 1) Student well-being surveys will be completed with all students at three points through the year. These surveys are completed every year with year 3-6 students as part of our student consultation. 2) Some students will be asked if they are happy to be interviewed by Urs and/or Demelza, either in individual or group discussions. Students will be welcome to decline the interview invitation, and parents of students who may be interviewed will be asked for consent prior to the interviews.
Coaching leadership has proven to be a very positive aspect of teacher development, and we are very excited about exploring the potential benefits and outcomes for students.