Subject Leadership Certification Coaching Programme


This Senior Leadership Programme is for senior, middle and subject leader who will learn how coaching is an essential leadership skill that unlocks the potential of others and cascades the highest quality learning and teaching

Subject Leadership Certification Coaching Programme

This programme is for heads of department, subject leaders or phase leaders who have responsibility for leading on the intricate task of defining and communicating the curriculum intent, rationale and ambition into coherent strategies for design and implementation that will ultimately lead to the delivery of the highest quality of education across all subjects, phases and key stages.

  • Pre-course reading and activities to prepare for the first session
  • Designed to span three terms or a full academic year
  • Creates opportunities to learn to coach as part of a subject leadership role and build your coaching skills over time
  • Three full days of intensive training with an expert coach and experienced senior leader in curriculum and coaching in education
  • Work with a leadership coach and a curriculum expert throughout the year who will listen, question and help to facilitate change and challenge
  • Have access to materials, tools and techniques, research and support over the whole programme
  • Achieve a Certificate in Subject Leadership and Coaching


What does the Subject Leadership Coaching Programme consists of:

  • Three in-depth modules that will walk through the complex role of ensuring teams subject experts can deliver the curriculum and relate it to the organisations vision for continuous improvement in curriculum and teaching and learning
  • A focus on the pivotal role of the subject leader who must shape the vision and translate it into meaningful strategies for subject teams to use to plan and deliver a high quality deep and broad curriculum offer
  • Managing the team or department to deliver a rich vein of curriculum knowledge, the ley concepts that are within and transcend subjects and the skills pupils need to access their learning
  • Learning and using coaching skills to empower subject teams to work together to deliver a high quality deep and rich curriculum
  • Exploring pedagogy  in relation to active, participative and independent learning that ensures students are motivated to learn and are the recipients of innovative and creative teaching and learning strategies
  • Understanding the power of coaching in relation to the process of formative assessment and positive feedback techniques
  • Be a part of a growing number of educators who can see that coaching is the way to create an outstanding school or college where there is a synergy and belief in excellence and high – quality outcomes for all

Why learn to coach as part of becoming an outstanding subject leader?

  • Subject leaders learn how to use coaching skills to challenge senior leaders to ensure that curriculum intent marries with the ambition and strategic goals that are both unique and generic within subject specific learning
  • Creates opportunities for dialogue to ensure there is a cohesive and collaborative approach to how the curriculum intent is translated into high quality knowledge rich content, excellence in pedagogy and profound learning opportunities for all learners
  • Builds highly successful teams that can plan the curriculum to build on prior learning, sequence the learning over time and have clearly defined end points that benchmark success
  • Fosters professional learning communities and conversations that ensure consistency across the organisation and the sharing of good and outstanding practice
  • Ensures that there is a shared commitment to creating the highest quality curriculum in every subject and as part of a focus on cross-curricular collaboration

How is the Subject Leadership Coaching Programme is structured?

Module 1 – Leading and empowering to achieve the vision

Content:  The first of three in-depth and challenging training opportunities that make up our Subject Leadership Coaching Certificate Programme.  It will be delivered either as a full day or as two half days and we have the flexibility to offer in-house or online depending on circumstance and need.

This first module sets the scene by focusing on the pivotal role of the subject leader in translating the curriculum vision into coherent strategies for design and delivery that will be implemented consistently across the whole organisation. We look at how the subject leader can develop the coaching skills to support their deep understanding of curriculum design and how their own subject is part of the wider whole school strategy for curriculum quality. Creating opportunities for subject leaders to learn how coaching can be a powerful driver for effective communication that delivers a cohesive model of change and challenge will help them to create the right conditions for the complex nature that is curriculum implementation. We give the subject leader time to reflect on their own strengths as a leader and manager of teams and what is needed to ensure continuing professional learning develops subject expertise for all those involved.

  • An in-depth look at the role of the subject leader and its many facets. Building time to focus on how the subject leader matches whole organisational curriculum intent into what is delivered. We look at the value of coaching as a means of creating the right dialogue to interpret and translate the vision, rationale and curriculum intent into a language that can be heard by subject and cross-curricular teams
  • Focusing on the many roles that a subject leader has to undertake in playing their part as the axis between senior leadership and curriculum implementation. Giving subject leaders an opportunity to consider their own strengths, time to focus on how they manage their time and how through coaching they can reflect on change and challenge to their practice and that of their teams
  • Look in detail at the key curriculum concepts that they need to manage to ensure a high quality curriculum in in evidence
  • Take away a reflective tool to use to consolidate the learning from this module and work with a colleague to focus on your shared approaches to conversations with subject experts about how they create the right models for curriculum implementation.
How will this module be of benefit in you as a subject leader?

Subject Leadership is a pivotal role and the subject leader is the axis between the senior leadership team and their own subject expert teams. Having time to look in detail at the role provides the subject leader with the opportunity to think carefully about how they empower their teams to interpret the vision, define the knowledge content, the pedagogy to deliver it, and the strategies that will support deep learning.

The subject leader must has the relevant skills to create the evidence that the curriculum has depth and breadth, is relevant coherent and progressive. The curriculum imperative is to create an experience for every learner that allows them to access a range of knowledge rich concepts and use a range of relevant learning skills. This programme will support the subject leader to ensure that individuals work together to create coherence and a sense of continuity that defines the curriculum and how it is delivered. It is to coaching that we turn to build the skills that allow for this dialogue to emerge and provide real opportunities to build the highest quality curriculum and therefore the highest quality education for all.

Module 2 – Create a culture of excellence and deep learning

Content: This second module focuses on how coaching helps subject leaders to build a compelling and confident presence to support them to deliver cohesive and high quality subject specific knowledge that leads to evidence of the highest quality of education. We guide participants towards learning and using some highly effective coaching skills and strategies. We look at how subject leaders create a culture of excellence that focuses on ensuring learning is at the heart of planning subject content and how it will be taught.

Subject Leaders taking part will use a range of coaching models and tools and techniques to focus on imaginative approaches to managing change and challenge and build resilient and effective teams that ignite the spark of innovation, creativity and continuous improvement. We look to facilitate the creation of a culture where the power of conversation through the development of the professional learning community builds cohesion and a collaborative approach to whole organisation excellence.

Subject leadership requires a high degree of expertise in the ability to develop members of their team from early career teachers to experienced teachers who need time to learn more, to deepen their curriculum and subject knowledge and be well-informed of new policy. Coaching helps the subject leader to develop a range of highly effective feedback techniques, positive approaches to lesson observation and the ability to chair and be a part of meetings that lead to action and the achievement of goals and objectives.

How will this module be of benefit in you as a leader?

This module build on the learning in module 1. Here we focus on how to use coaching skills as the basis for developing subject teams understand the language and vocabulary of the curriculum and turn it into high quality outcomes for pupils.

We look closely at the potential for coaching to support the development of professional learning communities and action learning sets who can work together to develop curriculum cohesion. The curriculum is complex and this approach can support subject leaders to feel confident that their subject teams are planning a structure that builds on prior learning, sequences the learning over time, its knowledge rich and skills focused content is constantly building towards clearly defined end points that provide a picture of how well pupils are achieving against the benchmarks they have set.

Also there are opportunities through coaching for subject leaders to work together with other faculty members or where a cross-curricular group can share their ideas and plans for the delivery of a cohesive and well structured curriculum offer. The more opportunities there are for dialogue both within the subject area and across the whole curriculum the more it is easy to see the power of coaching as the catalyst for excellence and change.

  • Focus on your own leadership style and reflect on how you build relationships, create opportunities for others to take ownership and foster a culture where others take responsibility for delivering and implementing the subject specific vision for change and challenge
  • Continue to build a repertoire of coaching skills to begin to understand the power of positivity in relation to professional development for the team, feedback from lesson observation and having presence when faced with conflict or challenge.
  • Understand how quality assurance strategies designed for whole school implementation apply within a departmental context and work with senior leadership to define quality in education linked to the seven pillars of quality assurance. We continue to use coaching to help subject leaders find solutions to how to create quality assurance processes that will lead to excellence in pedagogy, depth and breadth in curriculum planning and powerful formative assessment strategies that lead to inspired learning
  • A focus on the science of change and how constant change can affect the performance of the team. We look at how coaching can be a technique that can support individuals to manage change and be ready to take on new and continuing projects that will lead to dynamic improvements
  • We will continue to provide for subject leaders more tools and techniques so that they can use them to practice and refine their coaching skills


Module 3: An in-depth focus on pedagogy, learning and assessment

Content: The subject leader has a role in ensuring that what is taught, how well pupils and students learn and how they progress leads to all learners achieving their full potential. Where subject leaders understand how pupils learn and which pedagogical approaches can make a significant difference to learning the potential for improved success is realised.

Departmental systems and structures need to be clearly defined in relation to quality outcomes and subject leaders need to lead their teams in the pursuance of excellence. This requires the subject leader to have the skills to motivate and inspire their teams to work together, to share ideas and to want to be a part of a culture that is looking to continuously grow and develop in their respective roles.

Coaching can inspire individuals and teams to work together to look at their own strengths, gaps and learning agenda and build a strong consensus as to how the phase, department or faculty can work to create the most powerful learning culture.

Coaching is about trust and creates for the leader the ability to be able to lead with confidence, to be able to nurture the potential of others and have the power to elevate and accelerate everyone within the organisation towards being an integral part of a learning culture.

We focus on how through coaching subject leaders can see the systems that ensure there is a continuum of learning that takes account of times of transition, understands the needs of all learners and creates policies and strategies that will build quality assurance and high levels of professionalism into every lesson, topic and across each year of learning.

How will this module be of benefit in you as a leader?

This module provides the subject leader with the opportunity look closely at what is working well as a starting but then to building a consensus as to how the department, phase or faculty can embed systems and structures that will empower positive change and challenge.

The opportunity to use coaching tools and techniques to look in detail at the management of change create for the subject leader an chance to focus on key subject specific issues such as transition, sequencing, conceptual learning and the core and metacognitive skills that learners need to access their learning. The importance of assessment is highlighted through the development of a coaching approach to questioning and positive feedback to both the teacher and the learner.

This module asks leaders to focus on the context within which their department is placed and the different elements a subject leader must focus on to maintain a process of continuous improvement.. These include, learning and teaching, professional development, coherence and consistency, working with parents, governors and the wider community and building powerful curriculum strategies that deliver excellence across all learning and for every learner. Coaching has the power to create the right approaches in all the above.

  • A review that looks at where the department is now in terms of strengths, successes and areas where improvement would make a significant and measurable difference and the individuals within the team can contribute in a positive and structured way. We use a change model to focus on the sense of urgency that makes an encouraging and meaningful starting point. We look to them shape the vision for continuous improvement using goal setting and reflection.
  • We work with subject leaders to begin to focus on collaborative approaches to creating a plan the introduction of Professional Learning Communities and high quality coaching related CPD that will endeavour to build consensus and strength in the development of a cohesive curriculum, a model where the learning is sequenced over time, a policy and strategies for transition and clear and consistent processes for formative and summative assessment.
  • We look in detail at the classroom and what the subject leader needs to focus on in relation to pedagogy, learning and the classroom management both in terms of behaviour and aesthetics that may impede learning
  • We look at the performance management systems that exist such as appraisal, lesson observation, learning walks, staff and departmental meetings and CPD and create through coaching an opportunity to look at systems in a different way to build highly effective teams and individuals who can successfully deliver the curriculum intent, vision and ambition
  • We further build the now considerable bank of models tools and techniques to support the subject leader in the pursuance of competence as a coach. These action planning tools and techniques will allow the subject leader to continue to build strong departmental and cross-curricular teams who know what they need to do to create the highest quality education. Coaching helps the subject leader to have the confidence to trust in teams to make change happen and who will have a positive impact on learning for all pupils and staff across the whole organisation

On Completion of the course

We offer a Certificate in Subject Leadership from Learning Cultures Limited on completion of this programme.

The programme will provide evidence of up to 30 hours of CPD for those who take part. The content complements but will not duplicate any of the National Professional Qualifications.

Who is this programme for?

  • Subject Leaders in both primary and secondary settings.  It will also be useful for those working in special education. The changes to the approach to curriculum planning and implementation is far reaching and much of the emphasis for change is seen as part of the role of the subject leader or specialist
  • Heads of Department who would like to use the coaching skills to develop their line management skills to empower individuals within the department to develop or to manage change
  • CPD leaders and curriculum managers who have a wider remit across phases, key stages or departments and who would like to develop a programme that they use again and again within school
  • The SENCO who can work with others to develop robust strategies that ensure parity breadth and depth for all pupils who have a special educational need.

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