NAHT ‘Leading your Learning Environment: Meeting the Challenge Ahead’, Manchester

| October 19, 2012 | 0 Comments 

Designed to energise and enthuse heads, and their leadership team, this year’s conference ‘Leading your Learning Environment: Meeting the Challenge Ahead‘ for NAHT at The Midland Hotel, Manchester, aimed to provide practical and innovative ideas to take back and implement in schools or colleges through inspiring, stimulating and empowering  delegates as a leader of education; to share current educational thinking and examples of effective practice and provide networking and collaboration opportunities with practical advice, ideas and support.

Along with  Richard Gerver we delivered a keynote presentation, and a couple of workshops.

Richard’s keynote, “Tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it”, explored some of the challenges we face; how there are many around, the world, who face challenges far more profound than us, yet achieve remarkable results; and encouraged us to remain strong, true to our beliefs and principles in our own efforts to make the learning of experiences of children… better.

“One of the most significant problems we face is that as a society, as teachers and as parents, we have felt a growing lack of empowerment that has left us at times despairing, wondering what we can do, where to begin, how to make the changes that are so necessary. Many look to governments, to experts, to academics and strategists to provide us with the answers, the rules for a new system that will set things right.

Young people themselves are journeying through the education system feeling that same lack of empowerment, lacking a sense of relevance or purpose and together we all stand confused.

Experts have come and gone, theories and thinking have evolved and been trialled but little at the heart of the system has really been transformed. As a result we find ourselves in challenging, frustrating times in which many education professionals feel deeply the need For system transformation, as do many parents and prospective parents. Business leaders are crying out For young people to develop skills that are not honed by the current system, communities despair at the disconnected attitudes of many of their young and, in general, there appears to be confusion about what can be done. We are entering one of the most important phases of our global history, with challenges not just to the fabric of our societies but to our very existence as a species and to the planet on which we live. There are great thinkers and pragmatists around the world who agree that our system of education is not only partly to blame For the problem but also has, optimistically, the potential to play a major role in a successful Future”.

During our keynote we shared a way of working that ensures we all enjoy the experience of learning and teaching, through digital and analogue means. Our workshops addressed at least two of the new standards, effective from September 2012: “Set high expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils” and “Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils”. They also covered aspects from the new inspection structure, especially T “Quality of teaching in the school”.

In addition, there were some forward-thinking, knowledgeable workshop leaders, drawn from all sectors, who challenged and motivated delegates through the day.  The workshops were all specifically designed to support colleagues in the new teachers’ standards and the Ofsted area of inspection.

Out of this World – ICT to Inspire, Innovative emerging uses of ICT, Managing ASD in your learning environment, A learning environment for staff and pupils, From Learning Philosophy to Practice, Helping children to manage their emotions, Foundations of Literacy for the 21st Century, SEN Pathfinders, The Cambridge Primary Review, Changing Children.

Thank you to John Randall, Head of Marketing & Communications for the National Association of Head Teachers, Julie Collick, Learning and Development Manager, Steve Kirkpatrick, Lyn Gilroy, Steve Iredale, President of the NAHT, and others, for their role in our involvement in this conference and their next one in London on the 16th November 2012.

It was good to meet Steve Iredale, (President, of the NAHT) and to find out his balanced, realistic, yet “up for the challenges” approach to education. Currently head teacher of Athersley South Primary School, Steve has wide teaching experience and has been fully involved in school leadership for 28 years, 21 years as a head teacher. He has worked with his local authority on the Primary Excellence in Cities programme and he also led his current school through local authority reorganisation in 1997.

Steve is a member of NAHT’s National Executive and in the last two years he has played a leading role in the Assessment Reform Campaign as Vice Chair having proposed the original SATs motion in 2009. Steve has strong views on the inequalities and lack of fairness in the current education system and believes very firmly that it is time for the government to put their trust in the profession.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

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