Professional Development and Research: The key focus of Gateway

The Annual Staff Workshop of the Gateway schools was held on the 9th and 10th of June at Cinnamon Lodge and Village, Habarana. An event that has taken place every year since the inception, this workshop combines professional development with collaborative learning in a relaxed atmosphere.

This year’s event brought together over 500 members of staff from the four Gateway schools in Colombo, Kandy, Negombo and Dehiwala; as well as lecturers from the Gateway graduate schools in Colombo and Kandy and the teachers of Gateway Achievers. Despite growing numbers, this tradition has continued as part of the vision of founder Mr. R.I.T. Alles, who firmly believed that the sense of family is the key to the success of the organisation.

The two sessions held this year included a research symposium, where teachers presented research studies on topics they have identified as requiring further inquiry. This year 8 studies were put forward from the Primary and Secondary schools combined. Both quantitative and qualitative studies were presented at this session, supported by data collected mainly from the schools. Findings of these studies will be useful to increase effectiveness of the functions and practices of the schools. This opportunity for professional development is open to all teachers at the Gateway schools and exemplary research is recognized and rewarded.

The highlight of this year’s workshop was the evening event at which the theme for the new academic year was revealed by the Chairman of the organisation. ‘Choose Happiness. Be the Change’ will be the theme that drives all Gateway schools this year, which will focus on holistic education in an environment where both student and teacher are happy.

Continuing years of tradition, the evening was packed with entertainment provided by talented members of staff who brought song, dance and drama to the amphitheatre in Habarana. This was followed by a Bollywood themed dinner dance, which concluded events.

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