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Thursday workshops

Thursday, 11.15

Think the unthinkable

Julie Turvey, Executive Headteacher, Hounsdown School with David Veal, Associate Headteacher

The workshop will form three parts:
*A desktop SWOT self-reflection exercise by delegates as to where they are in their journey to ‘transformational leadership’; identifying their strengths, challenges and obstacles; and current perceived areas for focus.
*A brief contextual overview of what ‘Pure Imagination’ looks like in Hounsdown School following their journey to ‘Outstanding’ with examples of the bold decisions, vision, and principles that underpinned their successes, and examples of their innovative leadership and curriculum practice.
*Creating bold leadership – a quadrant exercise for delegates to identify, consider and then take away their ‘next steps’ to create transformational leadership and education.

Independent Thinking on… leadership for the future

Dave Harris, Business Director, Independent Thinking

There are many leadership models out there, and it would be easy to fall into the trap of setting yourself up as a particular sort of leader. That way madness lies. Through his work as a highly experienced former UK headteacher, as a writer and researcher including working with Professor John West Burnham on the Leadership Dialogues series and supporting schools, school principals and school systems across the British Isles and abroad, Dave will show how important it is to rethink your approach from being a certain sort of leader to one that highlights being the sort of leader that your schools need today. And then being a different sort of leader tomorrow.

Promoting a successful transition to secondary school

Emma Gilbert, Head of Core Studies, Sawtry Village Academy

At a critical point in young people’s development, how can teachers get to know new students well and support them to integrate into life at secondary school?

Sawtry Village Academy is one of six secondary schools in the Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust that are either currently delivering or planning to deliver Lift Off, ASDAN’s primary to secondary school transition programme. This workshop will describe how the course has been a ‘big hit’ with learners who are developing the personal skills and characteristics needed to thrive in year 7 and beyond.

Building a gender-conscious leadership culture: respecting the need for diverse and equal school ecosystems

Gemma Claughton, School Improvement: Director of English, Skipton Girls’ High School with Vicky Fox, DfE Equality and Diversity Project Manager

This workshop will ask aspiring and current school leaders to think big about the obstacles that impede women from accessing school leadership positions. Opportunities for pure imagination will be provided by asking delegates to assess the current leadership ecosystem and troubleshoot how we can empower ourselves to overcome any barriers, some possible examples being the language of power, the language of apology, the awareness of gendered space in schools and the awareness of critical and questioning attitudes towards aspiring women.

The aim is to foster a generation of innovative, strategic and active behaviours, creating a workforce who are not afraid to challenge (unimaginative and traditional) hegemonies.

Courage to reconstruct the curriculum

Andy Pollard, Executive Headteacher, Standish Community High School with Marc Heron, Director of Quality Assurance (Mosaic MAT)

The workshop explores Standish Community High School’s experiences in leadership and decision making when they chose to overhaul the curriculum rather than making marginal adjustments. Charting the school’s two-year journey of reforming their curriculum plan, approach to teaching (and learning) and reorganisation of assessment will demonstrate how they led the school into effective use of learning checklists, harnessing spirals of inquiry and refocussing assessment.

Their new curriculum is built around threshold concepts; knowledge and application; interleaved schemes of work; quality feedback and a new flightpath structure. Through facing the need for courage to create a curriculum that meets the needs of students and not government or Ofsted agendas, they will explain how they discovered the importance of creating leadership alignment to achieve their goals; and how significant it is to differentiate between evaluation and quality assurance, especially when placing great trust in middle leaders.

Future proofing recruitment: introducing sixth form students to a career in teaching

Thomas Bayston, Teacher of History, The Priory Federation of Academies (The Priory Academy LSST) with Jade Danby, Teacher of English

In 2018 it was announced that the government had failed to meet its teacher recruitment targets for five years. The Priory Federation of Academies have developed an imaginative school-led initiative to secure future teachers before they have even left the academy.

Through collaboration with a local training provider (LTSA SCITT) and the University of Lincoln, they have created a course for year 12 students considering a career in education. Students are taught the basic skills required to become a teacher and actively participate in the delivery of lessons; enhancing both skills and a passion for the career. The scheme provides a prestigious enrichment activity, adds additional support for staff in the classroom, and embeds a culture where students wish to pursue a career in education. With students highly likely to return to their local area post-university, the academy is going some way to securing future teachers in Lincolnshire.

Lexonik Live!

Claire Preston, Chief Executive with Katy Parkinson, Founder, Lexonik

Delegates are invited to drop in on a live Lexonik session, where Katy and her colleague will work with students and staff from the SSAT network to see first-hand the impact the literacy intervention has on students’ understanding and staff training. Lexonik is the only literacy programme proven to raise reading ages by 27 months in 6 weeks – come and see how we achieve it! Delegates can either attend the whole session during workshop session D, or drop in during the first 15 minutes of lunch.

Thursday, 14.00

Taking bold decisions to transform mental health and wellbeing education in our secondary schools

Julie Hunter, Deputy Headteacher, Aureus School

Imagine if doing the right thing for the children in your school meant prioritising mental wealth as an underpinning school priority for all decisions. If you had mental wealth as a school driver would you change some of your decisions such as the school day, school curriculum, behaviour policy and meeting schedules? If you consider how schools have run for the past 100 years has our pastoral provision kept pace with the latest national and international trends and needs for our young people?

We could – and should – use our pure imagination to transform our offer for young people and staff in our educational establishments. Bold decisions can be made by leaders who seek to transform and modernise education; leaders who know that academic rigour needs to be balanced by mental wealth provision and therefore build a future cohort of citizens who are able to thrive and flourish beyond our school walls.

This workshop will share the first 15 months of Aureus School doing just this type of transformational educational leadership, sharing case studies and in-school action research.

The history boys are dead

Louis Boyd, Lead Practitioner More Able and KS5 co-ordinator for English, Chobham Academy

There is a stubborn gap in progress between Pupil Premium students and their wealthier peers, especially amongst groups identified as More Able. Their peers have reserves of cultural capital, resilience and home support which deprived students may not be able to access. Nationally, there is no sign of the gap vanishing any time soon, so it is imperative schools tackle this challenge.

This workshop will examine Chobham Academy’s work in addressing this through an intervention prioritising and nurturing More Able Pupil Premium students’ creativity and ability to think critically. They will share their findings, the challenges faced and recommendations for those also fighting the gap.

Raising boys’ achievement

Caroline Barlow, Headteacher, Heathfield Community College with Tom Flower, Deputy Headteacher

An opportunity to share Heathfield’s ‘Boys’ Innovation Team journey to close the gaps between boys and girls achievement. The workshop will focus on what they did, why, and the subsequent impact that is starting to be seen across the college; and will share their ‘5 key considerations’ that all staff are now modelling at Heathfield, as well as where they are going next.

Independent Thinking on… inclusion

Martin Illingworth, Senior Lecturer in Education, Sheffield Hallam University with Mikey Markham, a spoken word artist from Derbyshire

In recent years, the idea of inclusion has been replaced by the notion of ‘fitting in’, the onus on children and young people to think and behave like we do or run the risk of being excluded. Such a process leads to a situation where over half the prison population have been excluded from school, and our school communities are increasingly narrow – and all the poorer for it. By rethinking how we approach engaging and motivating some of our hardest-to-reach young people, university-based Martin Illingworth and performance poet Mikey Markham, have been showing schools across the country that effectiveness and inclusion can go hand in hand.

Every child, every chance, every day

Louise Stogdale, Deputy Headteacher, Pennyman Primary Academy, Tees Valley Education with Emma Coupe, Head of Teaching School

Louise will explain how to ensure children from significantly disadvantaged backgrounds access their full educational entitlement. She will look at how strategic and operational management, from both an academy and trust level, positively impacts on outcomes including attendance and pupil progress. Case studies will be shared, with the opportunity for discussion.

Reaching the ‘unreachable’

Andy Goulty, Executive Headteacher, Rodillian Multi Academy Trust

This workshop will explore how the Rodillian ethos created a culture to be able to reach the “unreachable” by ensuring a staff and community buy-in and the belief that students, from whatever background or prior attainment, should have the opportunity to improve their life chances.

Andy will explain how Rodillian provides their students with all of the opportunities expected from a private school education within a comprehensive school setting; and how the school works with students, not only on academic performance but also using their Resilience Programme, to promote self-confidence, mastery and resilience.

He will share how this was achieved in economically challenged, white working-class areas, through trial and error, and promoting creativity and imagination.