Tool PDD-1: Group organisation

There are no additional resources needed for this tool.

The aim of this tool is to help the group consider very practical issues. You may have already made some decisions, such as where and when you will meet and whether the Mascil professional development will be structured as a training course or be used more flexibly by a self-directed community. This tool can therefore be adapted and the PowerPoint presentation modified if you wish, so that only the questions relevant to your group are discussed. Alternatively you may prefer to use the tool in its entirety to confirm agreements already made.

With the whole group consider the questions below, to confirm decisions already made and, where necessary, to discuss and reach agreement on the most appropriate arrangement.

(The questions are given below with some guiding notes where necessary)


When will we meet? (Date and time?)

Don’t forget to leave enough time between meetings so that teachers can carry out inquiry into their classroom practice and student learning. For example, they should have enough time to try out tasks, new teaching practices and so on. Small details such as refreshments should be considered at this stage.

Where will we meet?

One possible way of ensuring a collaborative atmosphere, for teachers from different schools, is for each school to host at least one of the meetings.

How many meetings will we have?

Is this a fixed number or do you plan for the group to become self-sustaining and meet regularly throughout the school year?


Who will be the overall coordinator of the group? 

It is more than likely that this will already have been decided – you. However, it is possible that your group will be led in response to a need in or across a cluster of schools and someone will take the coordinator role for perhaps only a limited amou
nt of time.

Who will organise practical aspects of meetings such as sending reminders, organising refreshments, booking rooms and so on?

Again, this may already be decided but, for example if you plan to rotate meeting locations between group members’ schools, it may be that someone else will take on this role.

How many meetings will we have?

Is this a fixed number or do you plan for the group to become self-sustaining and meet regularly throughout the school year?

Do we want to invite others to join the group?

Maybe there are teachers or people from the world of work who would be beneficial to the work of the group. In working as a collaborative community this will have to be agreed by members.

Inquiry and working between meetings

How will we carry out our cycles of inquiry? 

It may be that in carrying out cycles of inquiry there are opportunities for teachers to collaborate between meetings: maybe within their own schools, or perhaps between schools with maybe two teachers or schools working together.

What data will we collect? How will we record this?

It may be that teachers will want to bring records of their students’ work, photographs or video of classroom activity to inform discussions about the latest inquiry question. If so permissions may need to be obtained from pupils and/or their parents. this needs to be carried out in line with local expectations and requirements. It is important to raise this issue with teachers in your group.

Questions teachers may have about inquiring or researching into practice can be found in the How can we inquire into our teaching? section of the toolkit.

How will we communicate between meetings?

It may be that members of the group would like to communicate with each other between scheduled meetings. Mascil has provided an excellent platform to facilitate such communication Encourage teachers to work in a similar way.

nextstepsIt is a good idea for someone in the group to record the decisions made during this session and ensure these are circulated to each member of the group.