Why Students Had No School Two Days Last Week–Secrets of PD Days

On Thursday and Friday of last week, the staff at DCB were giving and receiving professional development. Students enjoyed two days off, but admittedly, it must have been a mystery to some parents as to why.


Rest assured that teachers and support staff were busy as ever on those two days absorbing the latest developments in pedagogy and learning from each other at the same time so that students will continue to receive education of the highest standards.


Why does this have to take place during the week? 


Training sessions and workshops involve not only our own teachers, but also support staff as well as external professionals, speakers, and even teachers from across the Dulwich Group for the Art and Music Conferences. Some teachers attended professional development off-site. Besides, many teachers are often away on the weekends, accompanying students to different sports and academic events.


What external professionals?


For example, accomplished UK educator Kathryn Pennington delivered on both days a workshop on ‘Talk for Writing’, a methodology and concept that provides clarity on the use of literature and the progressive integration of grammatical themes to help Junior School students thrive in their reading and writing. British entrepreneur and long-time Beijing resident Dominic Hill gave an inspirational speech about starting ventures and the attitude one needs to do so. University admissions officers from US and Canada explained via teleconference what they look for in an application.  


What other topics were covered?


- Sand and water play, creative play and role play

- Children’s art and mark making 

- Safeguarding

- Philosophy for children

- Speaking and listening

- Drama activities for all subjects

- Blended learning

- The Harkness method of discussion

- New technology and apps for teachers

- STEM and project-based learning

- Pathways Day 

- University reference training

- IB extended essay marking workshop


And more!


Many of the workshops were conducted in-house, as teachers and staff gain a deeper understanding of each other’s work. To put it simply, we make sure that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. 


We had two very productive days, and the biggest beneficiaries of these days will be…


The students.