NEWS: Our principal shared best practices at the Cambridge conference

On Friday, 13 September 2019, Cambridge Assessment International Education organised the first international conference for Professional Development Qualifications (PDQ) Programme Leaders and invited our principal, Dr Svetlana Belic Malinic, to share the best practices in supporting Savremena teachers’ professional learning.

About Cambridge PDQ programme

Cambridge PDQ programme is an ambitious long-term professional development course which helps practising teachers improve their pedagogical instruction while developing critical thinking skills. The teachers engage in individual, collaborative and school-based learning over a period of four months, guided by their mentors and programme leaders.

Using academic resources, participating in active learning sessions and reflecting on the observed lessons, teachers produce their portfolios, which are assessed by the Cambridge examiners. High standards which Cambridge Assessment International Education promote ensures that the PDQ certificate is recognised globally as a valuable asset in professional learning. Svetlana leads this programme at our Institute for Contemporary Education and all interested teachers are encouraged to apply.

Cambridge PDQ as a whole-school strategy

At the conference, Svetlana presented how a combination of the reciprocal peer-support, which is integrated in the school culture, and professional development courses, which are provided by the Institute for Contemporary Education, blend towards a school-level initiative.

Professional development is a must for a 21st-century teacher, who needs to embrace innovations in teaching and learning. At Savremena, we enable teachers to foster reciprocal support through reflective practice, coaching and mentoring”, Svetlana explained to her colleagues at the conference. “By doing so, we jointly attribute to the teachers’ growth mindset and mindfulness, which are important factors for academic success. Teachers who are encouraged by the senior management to experiment and innovate create new paths to reinventing their pedagogies, she added.

This conference was an opportunity for Svetlana to collaborate with other Programme Leaders from all over the world and discuss key topics around the theme of Measuring Impact and the Cambridge PDQs. However, it was also an opportunity for Svetlana to proudly share innovative practices which are implemented at Savremena International School, a truly different 21st-century school.

Contemporary in any sense of the word, our school offers functional knowledge and quality preparation for tertiary education in Serbia and abroad. Implementing modern and creative teaching in the classroom, where the teachers’ pedagogy and students’ performance are aligned with the highest academic standards for the high-school finals, our school develops linguistic, mathematical, scientific, artistic, cultural, technical and ICT competence, which is a prerequisite for further education and professional development. Teaching is supported by the interactive whiteboards and educational software, whereas practice exercises research and critical thinking.