BSB has been working with Karen Ardley for 5 years.
Karen’s ‘Leading from The Middle’ course has been powerful leadership development for many of our middle leaders.
As Karen has worked with a good number of our staff over several years, a culture has developed that not only uses the common language of Karen’s work, but also sees her leadership learning being played out in action.
It is not uncommon to hear our staff say things like ‘I have to eat that frog today!’ and in terms of practical examples, we see departments benefiting from being able to approach their meetings as ‘cafés pédagogiques’ or use appreciate enquiry matrices to lead the development of their team.
Having a personal connection with an outside trainer is key to making the professional learning part of the fabric of the school, therefore, when the pandemic hit and we started to move to more online ways of working, the KAA platform was an obvious fit. Working through the online sessions is in many ways like having Karen in the room – the sessions speak her language, are of the high quality we would see from Karen in person and are detailed and clearly organised.
An additional support to us has been able to engage in some face-to-face, personalised sessions that we organised independently with Karen. This helped us to prepare for facilitating larger groups of staff and made the platform come alive further.
Having a platform as a tool that can be used both individually online, or delivered in person to a group makes the professional learning something that takes place over a longer period of time, encourages autonomy in learning and is something that staff can take a role in delivering to others, therefore becoming professional learning that is done with and by staff, rather than a directive process that is done to them.
Furthermore, the adaptability of a potential hybrid on-screen and in-person approach is even more important during these times. The KAA platform offers such a wide variety of modules that it invites all members of staff choice in the professional learning modules.