West Sussex Heads of English

| March 9, 2011 | 7 Comments 

This meeting is a termly event which brings together West Sussex Heads of English. The event is used to provide updates, launch initiatives, look at key data, support key areas of work such as GCSE/exam preparation and to share best practice with practical creative sessions to inspire classroom practice. The Subject Leaders are mostly from 11-16 schools although there are also Heads of English from 11-18schools , Special Schools and Out of School Learning settings.

Our role was to end the day, and this run of sessions, “in style”. I think we tried. 🙂

Julia Hubbard is one of the secondary Consultants from the West Sussex Team who invited us.We first met her in February 2009 at the e-learning, real learning conference in Brighton.

Two years ago I was totally blown away by a session that I saw by Tim and Sarah whilst at a conference in Brighton. Ever since I have wanted to share the experience with my colleagues! It’s hard to put into words what the experience holds: inspiring just seems too weak a word.In truth he has the power to transform a slightly knackered teacher of some 24 years standing into a giggling excited lover of language who can’t wait to get back into the classroom. (I’ll hopefully still feel that way tomorrow morning with Yr 11)

Tim’s sessions are like standing under a rain shower of enthusiasm. The URLs come thick and fast- the practical ideas just slide out from the clips,snippets and stories.The ‘audience’- and it really is a performance that you share- laugh and clap and stand up…and any post luncheon cynicism quickly evaporates…

The evaluations pour in- 100% positive. I’m ready to go home and plan tomorrow’s lessons- faith in my craft regenerated!

Jo Robinson (West Sussex General Adviser English 0-19) writes:

On the Julia Hubbard grapevine we were fortunate enough to hear about Tim Rylands and Sarah Neild and their innovative approach to raising the level of writing, speaking and listening, and creativity among children of all ages. Fortunately for West Sussex English teachers, they were free to present at our termly Subject Leaders Development Meeting and we have just enjoyed an inspiring afternoon being introduced to accessible classroom; ICT and internet tools and ideas about what to do with them.

The feedback on the workshop speaks for itself in the ‘what was useful’ box where Tim’s name was repeated in virtually every box along with comments such as – “all brilliant and very inspiring” and “Tim Rylands was excellent”.

At breakneck speed, Tim tore through the most amazing array of ideas and held the room entirely enthralled for over two hours. Amongst the tools that he introduced were Tom Cox’s ‘Thinking Dice’ which are inspired by Bloom’s Taxonomy and can be used to improve students’ high level questioning skills. Tim also shared ways in which Video Game landscapes can inspire children to ‘rise to the challenge’ and produce writing of a standard they couldn’t have imagined they could achieve.

Despite the challenge of the afternoon ‘graveyard slot’ Tim had our Subject Leaders on their feet and participating in a range of fun-filled activities. It is the probably the liveliest we have ever seen Heads of English! I cannot imagine that a single person who attended won’t be rushing home and booting up the internet to follow up on some of the things that were shared today – and all of them FREE! I know that is what I am going to do – right now….

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jo Robinson says:

    Just to reiterate what a wonderful session this was – thank you Tim and Sarah. I am very excited by the prospect of Subject Leaders cascading these ideas to their departments and all the children in those schools benefitting from such creative and inspiring ideas. We’ll let you have any feedback from schools on the impact!

  2. Emma says:

    Inspired by your words of wisdom today, I found myself taking a detour through Horsham park on my way home. I stopped and stood still for the first time in ages, watched a group of students turning lamp posts into catherine wheels and smiled. Thanks Tim and Sarah. 🙂

  3. Emma says:

    Rather like a child in a sweetshop, I do not know which one of the wonderfully inspirational resources I shall choose first. My department are intrigued to know what I saw this afternoon- so rarely do we get such exciting opportunities to invigorate our teaching (…and for free!). Thank you so much.

  4. Cher says:

    Thank you Tim and Sarah for a great afternoon full of lots of inspirational ideas, resources and teaching approaches. I can’t believe that so many of them are completely free!
    Thank you both.

  5. Sarah says:

    I never thought I’d find myself so enthusiastic about technology, having a reputation for being something of as Luddite. Thank you both, lessons at Tanbridge are about to become a lot more fun!

  6. Sarah says:

    Correction: Even more fun! (and I must learn to spell’a’.

  7. Sarah says:

    and close brackets)

Leave a Reply