STRAND A: The Hubs

Overview of The SfL Hub

The SfL Hub is a Professional Learning Community, with an action plan put together by the teachers in it. At its heart are twelve Islington primary schools and a primary PRU, and we are increasingly involving local secondary schools as well. The Institute of Physics is supporting secondary schools in the borough with physics, so we are working with them to build relationships and improve transition for children as they move from primary to secondary school.

Every term we aim to hold a major collaborative science event at which children share something they have done or prepared (for instance a science fair, children’s conference or science week) as well as an opportunity for them to do or learn something new (such as a workshop or trip).

Alongside these science enrichment opportunities, our primary CPD programme supports teachers in all our schools to develop their subject knowledge, pedagogy and confidence so that children have a high quality experience of science within and beyond the classroom.

Professional Learning Communities

"A group of people sharing and critically interrogating their practice in an ongoing, reflective, collaborative, inclusive, learning-oriented, growth-promoting way"

- from 'Professional Learning Communities: A Review of the Literature' by Stoll et al. (2006)

There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) can be a highly effective way of enabling teacher and school development. Stoll et al's review of the literature suggests that there are eight key factors behind successful PLCs:

  1. Shared values and vision

  2. Collective responsibility

  3. Reflective professional inquiry

  4. Collaboration

  5. Group, as well as individual, learning is promoted

  6. Mutual trust, respect and support among staff members

  7. Inclusive membership

  8. Openness, networks and partnerships – looking beyond the school for sources of learning and ideas