Professional Learning Groups: a whistle-stop tour – Victoria Littler

What are PLGs?

Professional Learning Groups are teams of colleagues who have been grouped according to an interest such as: ‘Teaching the most able’ or ‘A-Level mind set’. These groupings will remain consistent for the entirety of the academic year and form the basis of the school’s Continued Professional Development program during the 2016-2017 cycle.

What is their purpose?

The purpose of these groups is to establish a professional learning environment with a clear area of focus. The groups should be working towards improving and evaluating pupil outcomes and developing teachers’ practice.

Within these groups, the expectation is that colleagues will engage with reading materials (books and blogs) to enhance their existing knowledge within their chosen field: ‘development should be underpinned by robust evidence and expertise’ (Teachers’ Professional Development Standards).

The research carried out by staff members will entail trialling and evaluating the impact of a teaching and learning strategy. For instance, the ‘Psychology of Learning’ group might trial, informally, the effectiveness of testing and spacing, varying the time used to ‘space’ teaching and testing to find an optimum retention level for students. At the end of the year, staff will be required to complete a proforma which will outline what they have done over the year. A ‘teach meet’ event will also take place to give colleagues the opportunity to share good practice and learn more about projects undertaken by other groups.

Half termly meetings, as well as the Firefly discussion boards, will provide a chance for the group to come together and engage in thoughtful discussion.

Reading resources, discussion forums and assignments can be found on Firefly:




The dates for the PLG meetings are below:

Monday 26th September

Monday 10th October (Fallibroome TM)

Monday 28th November

Monday 6th February

Monday 20th March

Monday 19th June

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