13 Lead and Sr. Associate Assessors recently took a weekend out of their busy schedules to Retreat to Jindal Vidya Mandir, Vasind, where they reflected on their year as educators and Assessors, discussed the key levers of school transformation, and strategised about the way forward as leaders of the Adhyayan community. Thank you to JVM, Vasind for the warm hospitality, providing the ideal venue for us all to collaborate.
Day 1 focused on team building, as we took on the role of pirates, presented with a problem to solve on a nearby island. Adopting the method of Process Drama, shared with us by a group of Applied Theatre students from the UK, the characters worked together to solve the tasks presented to them. Symbolic of the way in which External Review teams approach the review in AQS schools, the team developed a strategy of communication between the two, establishing the importance of the relationship between self review and external review teams. The group identified that listening is key to ensuring that all are feeling involved, aware of the challenges and are at the centre of the solution to take the next step in quality. Keeping alert and responsive to the needs of those we are working with ensures that the Adhyayan community continues to support each other and grow together with mutual respect. For the community to grow, communications through various mediums are essential. Identifying how each school leader can be reached post the review process will lead the way for continuous improvement and collaboration for years to come.
Adhyayan’s Assessors ensure they keep their minds and bodies fit and healthy. Vishnu and Pritesh shared some Yoga –related exercises with us to increase oxygen flow in our bodies and relax ourselves. Much needed tips as we begin our next round of AQS reviews.
We introduced Assessors to the updated Adhyayan Online Portal, a platform to access information about their own school review, their Assessor journey, course and resources to facilitate their learning as Assessors.
Taking a guided Learning Walk of JVM, Vasind, led us to converse with teachers, observe planning sessions and see the outcome of classes that are becoming more student-centric. Principal, Thomas Remigius shared his school’s journey over the past 3 years, highlighting the key levers of change that have facilitated their school’s improvement. The key activities and levers highlighted were:
• A cooperative network coordinator, interested in developing their own knowledge and skills and those of others
• A school leader who ensures alignment across the school
• AQS External Validations
• Annual School Self Review
• Teaching Training and Classroom Observations to monitor impact
• Exposure visits for teachers
• Skills development through The Assessor Programme and The Facilitator Programme for interested teachers
Reflecting on JVM’s story, led the group to discuss how the community could increase its reach, keeping ensuring the movement is led ‘by educators, with educators, for educators’.
Adhyayan Intern, Siddharth Shenoy, kept us entertained in the evening as we paired up to write lyrics about specific topics, which were then performed at various pitches to round of the perfect evening.
A quick balloon activity, burst us in to action on Day 2. We spent the day understanding the Assessor Certification Programme, and explored the education eco-system to continue the discussion of Adhyayan’s increasing reach.
Adhyayan’s Assessor Certification structures a school leader’s journey from Apprentice to Certified Lead Assessor, providing online courses, workshops and field work opportunities for school leaders to be the driving force of the quality movement. Online courses will be available soon for all to access.
Vishnu’s management background, helped us all reflect on how to increase Adhyayan’s reach, to ensure that all schools have access to the knowledge and skills to be able to provide quality for all.
A Story Whoosh, another practice shared with us by Applied Theatre students from the UK helped us to consolidate what The Assessor Programme is and who the community collaborates to move forward.
As we committed to our professional development, how to support the growth of other school leaders and bring the learning back to our own schools/organisations, we came to the end of the first Adhyayan TAP Retreat.
We look forward to continuing these retreats that provide the basis for true community-based growth in achieving a good school for every child.