29 Jun

  • By kristianstill

Last week Mrs Middleton and I attended The Telegraph Festival of Education at Wellington College. An event that brings together the very best of education’s most forward thinking advocates, practitioners of change, policy makers and educators. We attended with the remit to gather the sharpest thinking on Staff Professional Development.

Following the opening address, we attended ‘Making Every Lesson Count’ led by Shaun Allison and Andy Tharby. The session focused on six evidence informed pedagogical principles that support great teaching and how they can be implemented in the classroom.

Reward for the right answer should be a harder question. – Andy Tharby

Next – we went onto Kris Boulton session, “A new model of teacher development.” The take away message for our school is that professional development must offer opportunities to develop both subject and teaching craft and the time to discuss the impact of that investment.

The afternoon was kicked off by Sir David Carter (National Schools Commissioner). “Building an education system on lasting collaboration, leadership and great governance” may read like a bit of a mouthful, the take away message was clear and straightforward. Leaders need to develop “impact intelligence.” The self-awareness and technical leadership capacity to improve various areas of the school and the emotional intelligence to demonstrate leadership that encourages “followship.”

“What makes great CPD for teachers” was billed as a panel discussion however the lion’s share of the session was a presentation by leading authority on innovation and creativity, Charles Leadbeater. Leadbeater made a strong case that education has to change,

Education systems need to provide dynamic experiences for young people through which they can learn in practice how to deploy knowledge in action, to work with others and to develop critical personal strengths such as persistence and resilience, to learn from feedback and overcome setbacks. – Charles Leadbeater

Leadbeater went on to illustrate his point,

Developing persistence, resilience, collaboration and agency is much more like learning to swim than it is like learning the periodic table. – Charles Leadbeater

Leadbeater’s proposal aligning closely with our focus on Self-Directed Learning. If you are interested, you might enjoy his paper The Problem Solvers.

Attending the Festival of Education was inspirational. More importantly, Mrs Middleton has already started applying what we learnt in the various sessions to the Teaching, Learning and Assessment strand of our School Improvement Plan.