Our Direct Instruction (DI) story started in 2017 where we were asked to teach Direct Instruction by our Head Teacher Richard Tutt and the Vice Principal Mark Adams. We like many, were not really aware of what the programme was or how it even worked. However, after taking our basic training and researching Siegfried Engelmann and his work we were hooked. We started to deliver Direct Instruction to our classes and immediately saw the impact of the programme on our more disadvantaged children and were blown away by the engagement and enthusiasm all the children exhibited. Not only did they show massive progress in attainment but their behaviour improved and their attitudes towards learning became much more positive.
We continued to read and watch the inspiring interviews with Siegfried Engelmann and were drawn to his overwhelming passion towards helping children succeed. We have always maintained a passion ourselves for closing the gap between disadvantaged children and the more advantaged children in our society, both growing up in working class families in London. We truly believe that Direct Instruction is the answer to us delivering this monumental task that our schools face. What has become more apparent to us through our journey, is that Direct Instruction is not just for those with gaps in their learning but is a great all round programme irrespective of your level of ability.
We have had comprehensive coaching from the National Institute of Direct Instruction (NIFDI) in becoming accredited trainers as we felt that this was the best way to endorse Direct Instruction and give support to as many children as we could in the number of schools we have visited and through the wonderful staff that we have met. We work closely with Kurt Engelmann and the NIFDI team in the United States weekly in ensuring that what we deliver in the UK is of the highest quality and we are up to date with the latest practices.
With the continued support of Richard Tutt and Michelle Dyer, our vision has now come to fruition. In January 2020, we opened the United Learning Direct Instruction South Hub at Avonbourne Academies in Bournemouth. We are pleased to now say we oversee forty-two secondary schools in the United Learning chain that have implemented Direct Instruction and have trained two other large academy chains in the UK as well as training and offering ongoing support to many other UK schools outside of the United Learning Trust.
Our primary role now is to provide first class training to staff in schools wishing to implement the Direct Instruction programmes. We also offer a range of support packages, so staff are always able to receive further quality assurance on all aspects of Direct Instruction they have implemented. We feel very honoured to be in this position to continue the work in endorsing what Siegfried Engelmann started over 50 Years ago and that our colleagues in the US at the National Institute of Direct Instruction (NIFDI) continue to promote.
The formation of the South Hub could not have been possible without the support of four people who deserve our heartfelt thanks and gratitude. Emma Chambers from McGraw Hill who continues to support us with her knowledge of programmes and packages and contacts in the United States. Richard Tutt, Regional Director for Teaching & Learning for United Learning and Michelle Dyer, Senior Vice Principal at Avonbourne Academies for continuing to support us on our journey and our vision. Lastly, Mark Adams, who is now retired, for his support in those early days when we first started to teach Direct Instruction.
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