Archive | Case Studies

Supporting a personalised CPD model with video technology


The Liverpool Life Sciences UTC + Studio School worked closely with the educational consultants at IRIS Connect to transform their existing approach to CPD and bring the idea of a personalised model to life.

“We feel that it is time to move away from the ‘one size fits all’ CPD approach and to allow teachers the autonomy to carve their own path to development
– Katie Small, Assistant Principal, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC + Studio School

The general consensus post-pandemic was that with ever-growing workloads and responsibilities leading to cognitive overload and concerns about teacher wellbeing, the longer, more traditional after-school CPD sessions seemed like time that could be better spent elsewhere. The plan was to help evolve The Liverpool Life Sciences UTC + Studio School’s CPD programme, giving their teachers the time and space to develop areas of practice that they felt they could improve – working on areas with a direct impact on the quality of their teaching and consequently of their student’s learning.


Introducing a new approach

Viewing the months leading up to the summer break as an opportunity to develop their CPD model, the summer term of 2021 was used to develop a teaching and learning forum – a core group of staff that were given the term to become experts in their specified areas of development. The plan to roll out the new CPD model in the new academic year meant members of the forum had to ensure they were familiar with the IRIS Connect technology.  Finding a way to make these sessions more effective, concise, and relevant led to the development of short, 3×15-minute long sessions that could be easily integrated into the workday without eating into teachers’ personal time. 

The sessions were initially led by IRIS Connect in the following order:

Session 1:

  • An open discussion around the current professional development  plans and what areas and topics the members of the teaching and learning forum would like to become experts in. (For example, one forum member was responsible for aspects of delivery to include challenge, assessment, questioning and feedback while another was responsible for using data to inform teaching and learning.)
  • An overview of the theory and research behind video-based PD along with an introduction on how to get from recording relevant content to reflecting upon it and highlighting specific areas of interest.

Session 2:

  • A discussion to see if everyone was able to record and reflect, discussing when and why it’s appropriate to clip out a short section of content to possibly share with colleagues.

Session 3:

  • Creating a shared area within the IRIS Connect platform around each chosen area of focus, where the teaching staff could share their short edited clips. In doing so they would be contributing to a fantastic bank of resources that can continue to be added to for future discussions around each particular topic.

The sessions allowed the teaching forum staff involved to gain a greater understanding of why each step was necessary and how it would help them to be more confident, self-reflective practitioners. In just 6 weeks, the training group was able to dissect an area of PD, such as feedback & assessment, EAL strategies, SEND, vocabulary and oracy etc.

At the beginning of the academic year, teaching staff were then able to select specific areas of their teaching practice that they wanted to focus on improving – in doing so, they were able to specifically tailor their CPD around their individual needs. Staff would use IRIS Connect to record their practice and share them with their ‘expert coach’ within each chosen specialist area. Through sharing their reflections online, staff were able to avoid the usual restrictions that come with in-person observation, while also maintaining autonomy and having control over what they shared. 

The lack of classroom interruption meant the uploaded recordings showed completely natural classroom environments and allowed coaches and staff to create a dialogue completely online, through the IRIS Connect platform. Subsequent reflections showed how the teacher acted on advice and guidance provided by their coaches, ultimately showing proof of development in their chosen area. 


How IRIS Connects video-enabled platform helped

IRIS Connect helped The Liverpool Life Sciences UTC + Studio School to run this personalised approach to CPD by following an instructional coaching model. This allowed them to have set groups of staff with different areas of focus and expertise.

The mentees at this school were asked to record segments of their lessons and share them with their coaches – the coaches would then instruct the teachers on the next steps to develop their practice further. IRIS Connect enabled teachers to have regular coaching conversations about their practice in an environment that is safe and designed specifically for personal growth. With time being such a precious commodity in teaching, especially at these times, it allowed for regular collaboration between coaches and teachers that would otherwise be difficult to accommodate in the day-to-day working of a school.

I feel a personalised CPD approach is much more relevant to my own development as a teacher. In the past, I have found many “whole school CPD“ sessions are very limited in providing the support needed for an individual teacher’s development. Given the general pressures on teacher time, a targeted approach as “IRIS Connect” permits, is very valuable.” – Nick Wild, Maths Teacher

Staff wholeheartedly welcomed the personalised CPD approach as many teachers reported feeling frustrated at the need to follow the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach that has been used so frequently in the past. Teaching staff were informed of the role that IRIS Connect would play in the implementation of the personalised approach to professional development, acting as a primary tool or vehicle to help promote the adjustment. 

As in many schools, initially, some staff were reluctant to be filmed. However, once the staff understood the platform, saw the benefits of it and appreciated they had complete control over with whom they shared their reflections, their initial reluctance soon dissipated. 

Initially I was very apprehensive about it as I wouldn’t say technology is a strength of mine. However, once I had a go it was actually much easier than I thought. It has made a difference to my practice as it made me focus on what I was saying and the way I was saying it. It also enabled me to look in hindsight at the way students were engaging. – Amy Connolly, English Teacher

Katie Small set up a simple booking system with the school’s IT team, which meant that once booked, the IT team would set up the IRIS Connect equipment for them in their selected lesson and return at the end of the lesson to pack the equipment away. This simple process greatly impacted the number of teachers who took advantage of the value provided by a targeted approach.

The results

Teachers gained new insights into their classroom practice 

Research showed that staff were using IRIS Connect more as a result of the CPD programme revolving around the platform, with mentor Andrew Storey finding “the booking and logistical practicalities of the IRIS Connect system faultless”. The microphones enable insights to be made into the natural dialogue pupils have with each other; dialogue which may be missed in a standard lesson observation. The different perspectives offered by the dual vision and microphones provide insight into student conversations, reactions, and responses, allowing staff to modify instructions given, both verbal explicit instructions, and non-verbal signals. Mentors also found it straightforward to be able to comment on the video and create a dialogue with the teacher they were mentoring; making particular use of the timestamped commenting feature. As Lucy Henderson, one of the expert teachers put it: 

Time stamps – I love them! Such a sophisticated way of offering feedback and engaging without the feeling of intrusion.Lucy Henderson, English Teacher

Staff could engage in effective CPD in spite of their busy schedules

Evidence that staff were developing their own practice came from the conversations recorded in their reflections with their coaches. The teachers and coaches had the autonomy to fit their reflections and communications around their job, as it was decided they could determine when this needed to be done; it was ultimately up to the coaches to push their group to respond and submit reflections and provide feedback.


Reflective practice is now enhancing teaching & learning on a regular basis

Feedback from the forum makes it clear that this approach is certainly enhancing practice in the classroom. Staff have become used to booking out the kit and recording segments of their lessons as they are aware the best way to really improve your practice is to watch yourself teach.

I do believe that a personalised model for CPD is the way forward. Generic CPD can at times not encourage/inspire staff who are further into their career if the topic of CPD is repeated. Working with colleagues to develop your own practice in a developmental way is the most encouraging model for a lot of staff.Chris Challinor, History Teacher

Would you like to discuss your school’s needs with one of our specialist consultants to help develop a personalised CPD programme? Discover how teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources around their needs. 

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IRIS Connect is a secure, personalised platform for teachers to record, analyse and reflect on their practice.

Teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources. As well as share easily with each other to make collaboration simple, organised and effective.

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Strengthening lesson observation & feedback through video CPD



Lesson observations can be an effective part of teachers’ CPD, but they’re not without their challenges. This was a lesson that Deputy Headteacher, Kristi Mumm and the teachers at Tartu Forselius School in Estonia met head-on using IRIS Connect’s video and feedback tools. It resulted in teachers being able to:

  • analyse lessons more deeply to understand for themselves where they can improve
  • see each other teach more frequently
  • give and receive more effective feedback
  • feel more confident in their skills and capabilities
  • build a stronger community of trust and support.


Like some schools in Estonia, teachers at Tartu Forselius were observing each other’s lessons just twice a year, meaning the consistency and depth of feedback they gave and received didn’t effectively support their teachers’ growth.  

As a result, some teachers felt that their professional development had reached a dead end, and for an innovative and award-winning school focused on providing the very best teaching and learning, this was a big issue. 

Deputy Headteacher, Kristi Mumm, knew something had to change but had no idea that inspiration would come from a trip to London.

“During a visit to Ainslie Wood Primary School, I was introduced to the idea of filming lessons for lesson observation and feedback,” she explains. “When I returned to my school, it was still on my mind so I started researching how to do this, to learn more about it. I was immediately drawn to IRIS Connect because it’s easy to use and solves the problems we were having around capturing lesson observations. 

We were facing challenges such as: 

  • providing guidance and tools to help teachers analyse lessons more constructively; 
  • showing teachers the parts of the lesson that feedback relates to rather than relying on memory;
  • and helping those staff who didn’t have time to visit their colleague’s classrooms and observe their lessons to see lessons via video instead.”


How IRIS Connect helped

The research Kristi did soon led to the school adopting IRIS Connect and just a year in, the 10 teachers using the kit, are seeing really positive results. 

In Estonia lesson observations typically happen twice a year. Through the use of IRIS Connect, the teachers of Tartu Forselius School are now observing each other on a monthly basis increasing the scope and potential for teacher CPD, significantly. 

They’ve also created a series of Forms that they use to help analyse lessons effectively, which they hope to share with other Estonian schools using IRIS Connect. 

Kristi says: “In the beginning we just tried to get used to sharing our lessons but recently we’ve started using the forms feature. I actually used some of the ready made-forms and in the future we’ll be creating our own as a team.”


Art teacher, Elts Kuhhi says: “We have a small team with whom we share clips of lessons each month. We set a focus based on our personal needs and ask colleagues to comment. For example, I recently asked a team member to look at the overall working mood in my class, and whether they noticed anybody who needed my attention. The feedback I received was great and really improved my confidence.”

Teacher of 24 years, Inga Lokko says: “I was interested in using IRIS Connect because I felt that my professional development had reached a standstill and that getting some objective feedback (through video) would help me to see where and how I could improve. So, it’s been great to see myself from a different perspective and to find new ways to develop. It’s also allowed me more opportunities to see my colleagues’ lessons which I didn’t have before because I have no free lessons. It really has taught me to analyse my lessons more deeply, to explore differentiation, and to search for different ways to persuade students to be more active in the lesson.”

Pille Arro, English and Maths teacher says: “Although teachers in our school collaborated a lot before using IRIS Connect, I feel like the teachers who are using the system are somehow more connected to each other and working together even more than ever-before. This brings us closer together as we support and encourage each other.”

Ingrit Tera has been teaching for 21 years: “The benefits of IRIS Connect are priceless. I would certainly recommend it to anyone as a good opportunity to grow professionally.”


Results and future plans

Moving forwards the school plans to continue working with IRIS Connect to improve the lesson observation and feedback process, and to extend its use from just 10 teachers to 20 in the coming year. 

“I really like that, as a school, we are talking more about teaching and learning with each other,” says Kristi. “Teachers are analysing their lessons more deeply, their understanding of themselves as teachers has grown, and they are more open to feedback. I want that for all of our teaching staff, not just some. I think IRIS Connect is a very efficient tool in helping to support teachers’ professional development. I really do recommend it and think it’s great value for money.”




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IRIS Connect is a secure, personalised platform for teachers to record, analyse and reflect on their practice.

Teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources. As well as share easily with each other to make collaboration simple, organised and effective.

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A Multi-Academy Trust’s Story

The impact of spreading effective practice across 9 schools  


Using the versatility and collaborative capacity of IRIS Connect, Windsor Academy Trust have driven school improvement, resulting in all of their secondary schools achieving a positive Progress 8, their Trust aggregate Progress 8 school from the last academic year improving to 0.15, and significant gains in their primary learner outcomes in reading, writing and especially maths.

“In the past academic year we’ve had 515 lessons recorded across our academies and those were viewed 5,062 times by our staff. From a Trust perspective, IRIS Connect is a fantastic tool for not only capturing our most effective practice but most importantly, spreading it.” Sonya Lanckham, Strategic Leader for Teaching and Learning at Windsor Academy Trust


To watch an extended video including more detailed info about how WAT have been using IRIS Connect click here >



Windsor Academy Trust (WAT) is committed to achieving the highest quality learning experience and the best possible outcomes for all its students. But with a family of nine academies, 7000 children and 1000 staff, that’s no mean feat.

“We recognise that teaching is brilliant, but teaching is also difficult and it’s challenging. So, we pride ourselves in doing the very best that we can to support every teacher in every one of our academies to become the best they be, so we can deliver the very best outcomes for learners,” explains Sonya.

The Trust believes that part of their moral purpose is to unlock the academic and personal potential of the young people that they serve in their family of schools. To accomplish this, they have engaged with some of the very best educators to help guide and advise them.

A visit from Sir Tim Brighouse, where he shared his thoughts on using video for continuing professional development and some research by Judith Warren Little, confirmed for them what makes effective CPD and inspired them to invest in IRIS Connect.

“You know you’re in an effective and great school when teachers are given the opportunity to talk about teaching and learning, to teach each other, to plan and evaluate lessons together and to watch each other. These are the principles that we think underpin what effective professional learning is,” says Sonya. “We believe wholeheartedly in developing teacher effectiveness because it is this that will unlock the academic and personal potential of the children in our care.”

IRIS Connect was built on the same principles, that CPD can only be truly effective when teachers are able to work together within a supportive culture that encourages sharing of ideas and peer feedback. So, the system is proving to be a perfect fit for the goals WAT are trying to achieve.


How IRIS Connect helped

The Trust is passionate about seeking out the excellence that exists in their schools, as Dawn Haywood, Deputy Chief Executive and Education Director at WAT explains…

“What we’d always wanted to do was find the most effective practice in our family of schools or ‘hotspots’ as we call them, make them hotter and by that we mean through practitioner research and innovation, make that practice deeper and better, and then finally to spread it. IRIS Connect has been a critical tool for all of those things, enabling us to film the most effective practice, then to use the platform as a research base to make the practice hotter and lastly share it easily across the Trust. The impact has been enormous.”

The strategic leaders of teaching and learning across the Trust have also created a WAT hotspots folder on IRIS Connect containing the Trust’s 10 teaching and learning principles. Teachers from any one of the schools in their family can click on a given principal and be taken to a raft of primary and secondary clips of their most effective staff showcasing how to implement the principle. Sonya describes it as, “a brilliant bank of clips and very, very powerful.”

NQTs and RQTs

The staff are ‘very proud’ of the diverse ways in which they use IRIS Connect across their schools, including for self-reflection and as a key component of their NQT and RQT programmes, “… which IRIS Connect makes easier to run in terms of overcoming timetable restrictions, showing the NQTs and RQTs where they can improve, and making them more reflective,” says Chantelle Delaney, Assistant Head of Windsor High School.

Coaching and mentoring

It’s also being used extensively within coaching and mentoring. “We’re a Coachmark Gold school and IRIS Connect is a huge part of that. When I was coaching a colleague last year he videoed his lesson and we only watched the first 3 minutes, but in those first 3 minutes, the conversation was so powerful because we were watching it together. So from a coaching perspective, it’s very impactful,” says Helen Kinsey, Deputy Headteacher and Teaching and Learning Leader at Windsor High School. “The concept of IRIS Connect has really been embraced here because we’ve never pressured people to share. I couldn’t lead teaching and learning without it now.”

Pedagogical Champions

One of the most powerful ways they’ve been using IRIS Connect across the Trust in the last year has been with their Pedagogical Champion (Ped Champ) team.

“Our Ped Champs are probably one of the most powerful strategic approaches that we have as a trust. We’ve got almost 40 pedagogical champ teachers and teaching assistants across the Trust. They are some of our most effective teachers who are very passionate about teaching and learning and improving not only their own practice, but that of their colleagues around them.

This year, and IRIS Connect really helped with this, they embarked upon a practitioner research journey. They began by consulting within their faculties or phases and generating an enquiry question that was aligned to their school improvement priorities. IRIS Connect helped to set up a collaborative space in the platform which had not only a template to support their write ups, but more powerfully a section containing some of the most reputable bodies of evidence-based research around teaching and learning. Our Ped Champ team really engaged with that, and then they embedded clips of them trialling particular interventions in their lessons.”

In July, the Trust hosted a big research celebration to highlight and showcase the Ped Champs work. Everyone across the Trust was invited and had the opportunity to look at the strategies explored and take away what they feel might work for them within their individual schools.

“The celebration is all about developing teacher expertise so we can have a greater impact on learner outcomes and is a very intentional way of spreading the hotspots,” says Sonya. “It’s also a chance for us to ask ourselves, ‘what could we replicate and take to scale here?’, and encourage others, to get out there, identify a priority, read up on an intervention, and put it to the test.”


Results, return on investment and future plans

As a result of placing IRIS Connect at the heart of their school improvement strategy, WAT has seen learner outcomes improve considerably across their family of schools. Dawn explains,“ All of our secondary schools now have a really positive Progress 8 school and our Trust aggregate Progress 8 school from the last academic year has improved to 0.15 which is really strong. We’ve seen significant gains in our primary learner outcomes in reading and writing, but especially in maths where we’ve introduced the Concrete Pictorial Abstract approach to teaching, and IRIS Connect has been a critical tool in helping us to spread that approach.”

“IRIS Connect has way surpassed any expectations that I had,” says Sonya. “I’ve been really impressed with the service, I feel like we’ve bought more than a product, I feel like they are part of our family, they are that strong of an education partner for us. I can call up and talk to our account manager and say this is what I need and these are the reports we would like and they always support us. I’ve been genuinely overwhelmed with the support that we’ve received and hugely grateful for it, as I know have all the schools in our Trust family.”

Dawn continues, “IRIS Connect as a product in itself is amazing to drive school improvement. But with IRIS Connect you have much more than that, you have the partnership and the people, and it genuinely feels like a reciprocal relationship where together we’re working developmentally to improve outcomes for young people.”

So, what’s next? “We’d like to try the in-ear coaching tool,” explains Sonya. “As well as using it more directly with our students to build learner expertise. As designated West Midlands Regional Hub for the Chartered College of Teaching, we’re also proud that we have seven teachers on their pilot programme, and luckily IRIS Connect has aligned themselves with that so we’re looking forward to seeing how that goes and what we might be able to do further. There’s lots of potential moving forward and we never rest on our laurels.”


Find out more:

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IRIS Connect is a secure, personalised platform for teachers to record, analyse and reflect on their practice.

Teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources. As well as share easily with each other to make collaboration simple, organised and effective.

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Improved Teaching Standards


Increasing the percentage of Good and Outstanding teaching 


As a result of staff’s commitment to utilising IRIS Connect at Diamond Wood Community Academy, the percentage of children achieving age-related expectations or greater depth understanding has increased in all subjects. They’ve also experienced a significant rise in the percentage of good and outstanding teaching observed across the school, with children receiving 22% Outstanding lessons and 95% Good. In addition, Becki Price, Year 1 Curriculum & Achievement Leader, successfully completed her National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) based on her use of IRIS Connect and was awarded the Examiner Inspirational Teacher of the Year award 2018.


At Diamond Wood Community Academy, they have always understood the importance of ensuring that CPD is genuinely effective, and the vital role that sharing practice plays in this. “Our passionate and dedicated teachers do their utmost to ensure that our pupils have the best possible start to their school life, and this starts with CPD,” explains Becki Price.

But despite being able to offer several development opportunities for their staff each year, budget constraints had made it extremely difficult to cover lessons so that teachers could observe each others’ outstanding practice in person. It was clear that Diamond Wood needed to make peer-to-peer observations more efficient, and in September 2017 they turned to IRIS Connect to help them achieve this.


How IRIS Connect helped

“Our very first experiences of the platform were fantastic,” describes Becki. “The initial training opportunities IRIS Connect offered fitted perfectly around our schedule and made sure that our teachers got to grips with using the recording equipment and online platform in no time. I had initially planned to take the lead on this, purely as a project for my NPQML but, IRIS Connect has been so immediately effective that it is now an integral part of our school development plan and I am continuing to push the project forward.”

To begin with, the teachers worked in year groups to conduct ‘lesson study’ observations and build libraries of shared practice. Some staff had concerns at first about recording and sharing their lessons, but together with the community team at IRIS Connect, Becki and the other members of SLT assured them that this was strictly for their development and not for monitoring or performance management. “I knew that making sure staff felt at ease with the system would be crucial to its successful implementation across the school, so I sent them all some outtakes of my very first lesson recordings to help break the ice a little!”


Results, return on investment and future plans

“So far, we’ve found IRIS Connect to be just as, if not more, impactful on teaching and learning than we had hoped. Teachers have become more reflective practitioners and are making great use of the platform to share practice with colleagues and initiate discussions around teaching techniques and strategies.”

The editing tool is also saving them a huge amount of time, allowing teachers to trim their recordings down to short clips that are relevant to their specific focuses, which colleagues can quickly look over and feedback on.

As a result of everyone’s commitment to utilising IRIS Connect, the percentage of children achieving age-related expectations or greater depth of understanding has increased in all subjects. There has also been a significant rise in the percentage of good and outstanding teaching observed across the school, with children receiving 22% ‘outstanding’ lessons and 95% ‘good’.

In addition, Becki successfully completed her National Professional Qualification for Middle Leadership (NPQML) based on her use of IRIS Connect and was awarded the Examiner Inspirational Teacher of the Year award 2018.

Moving forward, Becki’s hoping to expand their use of IRIS Connect to support subject leaders using the ‘Groups’ function. “This will allow, for instance, all of our maths teachers to use a shared space on the online platform to discuss practice and disseminate subject-specific expertise, so that teaching from one year group to another is consistent and complementary. Our next step is to connect with other schools using IRIS Connect, which should open up a whole world of collaborative and practice-sharing opportunities.”

On top of all this, because IRIS Connect is helping our staff identify their strengths and weaknesses through self-reflection, they now use it to create a personalised action plan for each academic year. “This gives us, as subject and school leaders, a better understanding of their individual aims for CPD and helps us establish how best to support them in achieving these. Given that IRIS Connect has enabled us to affect all of these positive changes in this one year alone, needless to say, we are incredibly optimistic and excited about the CPD and school improvement opportunities it will afford us in the years to come.”


Find out more:

IRIS Connect platform

IRIS Connect is a secure, personalised platform for teachers to record, analyse and reflect on their practice.

Teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources. As well as share easily with each other to make collaboration simple, organised and effective.

Find out more Request a demo

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Whole School Improvement


The impact of better quality teaching on pupil progress 


As a result of their investment in IRIS Connect, Ainslie Wood Primary School have cultivated a culture of sharing, reflection, and continuous in-school development. They have increased the percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above in reading, writing, and maths from 43% to 79%; moved 95% of teachers from Inadequate or Requires Improvement to Good and Outstanding, and dramatically reduced CPD spend by 47%.

quality of teaching at ainsley wood


In 2013 the percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths at Ainslie Wood Primary School was well below the 75% local average. At just 43%, drastic changes were needed to improve pupil progress.

The 2014-2015 budget outlay for CPD was £20,555 and predominantly spent on external courses, that were both expensive and demonstrating little, or no impact beyond the attendee – 60% of teachers were rated as inadequate and 35% required improvement.

A change of approach was required. A key move in bringing about the change was joining the Whole Education Network where Ainslie Wood were introduced to IRIS Connect and the Film Club programme.


How IRIS Connect helped

The school made a lot of effort to make sure that videoing practice was phased in positively. They made it part of their whole school CPD strategy and let people know that it was all about moving them forward as a teacher. They spent time building trust and gave people the option to be videoed and didn’t make any of it compulsory.

They knew they wanted to get teachers talking to each other more and sharing their expertise, and IRIS Connect Film Club was a great opportunity to do this. “There is a danger that teaching can become an isolated activity. Teachers tend to go into their classroom on their own, teach and plan on their own and then reflect in order to make improvements on their own. Feedback can be minimal and hard to gather.” describes Claire Phillips, Deputy Headteacher

“IRIS Connect’s Film Club has been a fantastic reflective tool. It’s such a simple idea; getting teachers together to watch clips and then talk about what they see. It’s got our teachers talking about teaching and learning – exchanging ideas and strategies as well as trialing new methods and ways of teaching. It’s made professional learning fun and easy and, as a result, our culture has become more collaborative and open.”


Results, return on investment and future plans

By 2016, there had been a dramatic turnaround: 95% of teaching was rated good or better, 30% of which was considered outstanding.

In addition, the percentage of pupils progressing to Level 4 or above in reading, writing and maths rose to 79%, 4% above the Local Average. This phenomenal rise from 43% to 79% meant that Ainslie Wood were the third most improved 2-form entry school in the country.

‘Staff are taking responsibility for its [the school’s] improvement… middle leaders feel empowered to make change… and evaluate the impact of their work by checking that it is helping to improve the quality of teaching, learning and pupil outcomes.’  – Ofsted Report

“We currently sit in the top 1% nationally for the progress our children make. Outstanding is our next goal and IRIS Connect is pivotal in helping us to achieve it,” says Claire. “We’ve also dramatically reduced our CPD spend to £10,923.” A saving of 47%.

Teachers at Ainslie Wood plan to personalise their professional learning even further by using clips of their own lessons to discuss in Film Clubs and integrating them into Lesson Study cycles. Helping to create a sustainable framework for professional learning across the school.

“Film Club’s adaptability has meant that we have been able to work it into existing professional learning structures, which for us, are highly personalised,” says Claire.“This year our focus is to move more teaching to outstanding. We are really honing in on elements of practice with the identified teachers through our professional development work which is being driven using IRIS Connect and regular Film Clubs.”


Find out more:

IRIS Connect platform

IRIS Connect is a secure, personalised platform for teachers to record, analyse and reflect on their practice.

Teachers can take control and arrange their own professional learning experiences and resources. As well as share easily with each other to make collaboration simple, organised and effective.

Find out more Request a demo

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Claire’s 7 tips on getting started with IRIS Connect Film Club:

  • Develop a strategy for ‘buy in’ and ‘building trust’
  • Keep it non-compulsory
  • Find advocates of Film Club in the school and work with them to help others to see the benefit
  • Link the videoing to learners and learning as well as the teacher and their teaching
  • Always keep feedback positive
  • Use it as part of a wider school strategy to develop ‘Teaching and Learning’
  • Supply treats like popcorn to entice people to join in Film Club


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Overcoming the challenges of limited time for PD

Mount Erie Elementary School, Washington (US)

Teachers of Mt Erie Elementary, Jennie Beltramini and Kevin O’Toole, are improving the efficiency of Lesson Study and overcoming the challenges of limited time for PD using IRIS Connect.

We’ll be catching up with Jennie and Kevin again in the future to learn more about their journey’s with IRIS Connect, so keep checking our case studies page for updates.

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Personalize teacher PD

Gregory Heights Elementary School, Washington (US)

Personalize teacher PD

Utilizing the power of IRIS Connect, Fourth Grade teacher, Kellie Goodman has been able to personalize PD to better meet her needs and grow in confidence.

We’ll be catching up with Kellie again in the future to learn more about her journey with IRIS Connect, so keep checking our case studies page for updates.

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Better CPD at a fraction of the cost

Hearing about IRIS Connect on the education grapevine proved a valuable experience for Fern Federation at Cefn and Craig yr Hesg in Wales. Headteacher, Andrew Manley, explains how since embedding IRIS Connect a year ago they have radically reduced the cost and increased the impact of their CPD.

IRIS Connect: What CPD activities were you offering staff prior to purchasing IRIS Connect? 

Andrew: We were offering course based CPD provided by external companies and some in house training. Generally the courses focused on curriculum content rather than on pedagogy, meaning staff developments were inconsistent.

IRIS Connect: How does IRIS Connect compare to your previous CPD activities? 

Andrew: The federation were spending in the region of £5000 per year and although the courses provided a variety of experiences, rarely were they good value for money because they didn’t cater to teachers specific needs or the federation as a whole. IRIS Connect costs a fraction of what we had previously spent, and the impact has been significantly better.

IRIS Connect: How are your teachers, and the school as a whole, benefiting from IRIS Connect?

Andrew: Teachers are gaining a greater insight into their own practice by using it for self-reflection, group reflection and for coaching and mentoring. It’s also helped senior leaders to moderate judgements, review leadership skills, create interview content to identify candidates understanding of pedagogy, as well as better understand it themselves.

IRIS Connect: What do you hope to achieve through using IRIS Connect?

Andrew: Our main goal has been to develop staff’s ability to reflect on their own performance and the impact that they have on others, which is exactly what’s happening. I think IRIS Connect is possibly the best professional development process available.

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