Nick Dennis's Blog

Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.

Tag: Dai Barnes

This is how I work

Dai Barnes contacted me yesterday about an idea to get educators talking about their working lives (similar to Lifehacker and The Verge). My responses are now on Dai’s blog. If you would like to join in and find out a little more about what people do or recommend other people, please contact Dai.

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The Teaching, Learning & Assessment Conference on March 16th, 2013 at Berkhamsted has been a pleasure to organise. Helped by Neal Watkin, Dai Barnes and Laura Knight as a Steering Group and the workshop leaders giving their time freely, we have been able to create something which is focussed on learning and improving the craft of teaching.

I freely admit that the model for the conference comes from the Schools History Project national conference held in June/July every year. To be part of that conference is inspiring; excellent teachers freely giving up their time to share with the purpose of improving the quality of teaching for all.

Aware of the financial burdens schools are under, we deliberately picked a Saturday for the event. This would remove cover costs for people attending and also allow us to get as many great teachers sharing their experience without feeling they were sacrificing the progress of their students on a school day.

We were also very mindful about keeping the costs as low as possible. From the beginning, it was never intended to be a profit making exercise. As a result, it has been agreed that £40 for entry is about right as it will cover costs.

The price covers talks by Alistair Smith, Professor Bill Lucas and Dr Bill Rankin. In their own right, each one is an excellent speaker and you would be very fortunate to hear just one of them at a conference priced five times the amount we have settled for. Each speaker was invited specifically because they have a deep appreciation of the learning process and the practicalities that need to be considered if students are to progress.

The price also includes three workshops by excellent teachers and I would urge you all to break out of your subject areas for at least one session so you can benefit from the talent and wisdom of people who are ambitious for their students and who work very hard to improve their own professional learning.

The price also includes breakfast, lunch, refreshments and other resources for you to take away on the day. We are still working on elements and further announcements will come appear on the conference website next week where tickets can also be bought (there will be limited numbers).

I do hope that you will be able to join in this celebration of collaboration, learning, teachers and teaching next March.


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Conference Update #4 – Workshop leaders

A brief update on workshop leaders. I am incredibly pleased that colleagues from the state, independent, HE sectors and outside institutions around the country have given up their time and expertise freely to share at the conference. Without your generosity and desire to improve, it would be a poor event and I want to thank you all.

Confirmed workshop leaders so far (additional info in brackets):

Zoe Ross (ICT, Social Media, entrepreneur )

Neal Watkin (AST, History and TEEP Trainer)

Eric Wareham (Science, SLT, TEEP Trainer

Jen Ellison (Head of Science)

John Mitchell (History)

David Rogers (Geography, Jamie’s Dream Teacher winner)

Laura Knight (Director of eLearning, HoD of MFL)

Dr Tori Herridge (Science, Natural History Museum, London)

Dai Barnes (Head of ICT)

James Michie (Head of Media and KS4 English, ICT)

Dave Stacey (History and ICT)

Chris Gibbard (Maths)

Kristian Still (PE, SLT, ICT and English)

Alex Battinson (HoD PE, Boarding)

Nathan Lowe and Flitch Green Academy (Primary, SLT, whole school use of technology)

Wren Academy (Building Learning Power, Student Voice)

Ashlyns School

Andy Kemp (Maths, SLT)

David Didau (English, SLT, Learning and Teaching)

Tait Coles (SLT, Learning and Teaching)

Sarah Capewell (SLT, Latin/Greek, Classics, mobile learning)

Bill Lord (Primary, SLT, Learning and Teaching)

Ian Yorston (Science, ICT, Computing, being unreasonable)

Adam O’Connor (History, Learning and Teaching)

Dr David James (English, Leadership, IB)

Mark Anderson (ICT)

We still have more workshops to confirm in the coming weeks so please keep checking the blog. With such an impressive array of teaching and learning talent, I am sure that you will walk away from the event with something that will sharpen your work and improve the learning in your classrooms. Combined with presentations from Alistair Smith, Professor Bill Lucas and Dr Bill Rankin, this really is a year’s worth of inset in one day!

All of this does come at a cost and I would like to reiterate that we are not making a profit on the event. Ticket prices will be announced shortly and we are working hard to keep it as affordable as possible which is helped greatly by the fact that workshop leaders are giving their time freely. The price we are aiming for is significantly cheaper to comparable inset sessions and we think it will be pleasing to all (just check how much it would be to book one of our speakers/workshop leaders for an hour). However, we do still need help. If you would like to support an event that spans sectors and key stages with a focus on inspirational teaching and grounded in helping students do their best, please get in contact.

Update: Twitter hashtag is #TLAB13

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