Session 3 Adrian Warhurst Newman University College
Developing the role of the subject mentor
in enhancing trainees’ pedagogic subject
knowledge (Science focus)
• Improve the quality of communication of Science subject
specific information between HEI and School.
• Improve the quality of the Science subject specific
training provided by the School Based Mentor.
• The creation of resources that develop the role of the subject
mentor in enhancing trainees’ pedagogic subject knowledge.
– To create a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for use by Subject specific School Based
– To standardise the Science subject specific School Based Trainers meetings with Trainees
by use of standardised support documentation.
– Develop access through the VLE to resources available to support subject specific training
by School Based Trainers.
• Developing the practice of the subject mentor in enhancing
trainees’ pedagogic subject knowledge.
– HEI to provide clear and specific contents based guidance.
– To improve the training element of Mentor meeting time through a buddy system and Virtual
– To develop a collaborative approach to subject specific lesson observation across the
What did we have to do?
• Initial meetings of the PDS schools set out to agree the core
aims and expected outcomes from the project.
• Twin focus
– Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
Review of current practice
• All school based mentors issued with current HEI documentation.
• Creation of HEI hosted VLE
– Documentation hosted
– Access for science mentors
Creation of a science mentor buddy system
• Standardisation of practice
– Paired lesson observations of trainees by mentors.
– Paired observations of weekly review meetings by mentors.
– HEI staff conducted paired observations of lessons and meetings.
– HEI staff created visual and audio recordings of lesson feedback and mentor
• Distillation of best practice.
– Creation of support materials
– Review of VLE format – change to website.
Outcomes - anticipated
• All of the anticipated outcomes identified in the original plan have
– HEI to produce a support pack and disseminate to cluster schools.
– VLE to be developed and made available to all Partnership Schools.
– All Science School Based Trainers will be working with standardised
documentation that will support the enhancement of subject specific pedagogy.
– Identified and shared good practice, matching inexperienced and experienced
School Based Trainers.
– All School Based Trainers to take part in a paired observation with a HEI Tutor
– All School Based Trainers to have HEI staff observe tutorials in school.
– All School Based Trainers to observe HEI staff delivering elements of modules to
• Change in role at lead school 6 months into the project.
– Commitment at subject mentor level
• VLE failure
– Web based learning environment
– Wider access
Outcomes - resources
• All subject mentors accessing materials
– Greater trainee voice
• The record of lesson observations and mentor meetings
demonstrates an increase in the subject specific comments/targets
• Move from Newman hosted VLE to website
– Access issues
– Sharing via meetings and email
– Online template for mentors
– Independent evaluation of the website
Outcomes - practice
• Responses positive as format is now used for inducting new
• Standardised approach to mentoring science trainees in school.
• Focus on science subject specific teaching and learning targets as
well as the Q standards
• Relationships between the partner schools have developed through
sharing of resources, ideas and practice
• Sheldon Heath Community Arts College
• Archbishop Ilsley Catholic Technology College
• Bishop Challoner Catholic College
• Shenley Court Specialist Arts College and Sixth Form Centre
• Turves Green Boys’ Technology and Humanities College