By 9am, the attendees were beginning to arrive in numbers and AP and JL were able to relax a little, as there would be a significant number of attendees. There was a feeling of anticipation. They were going to hear from national figures, such as Tim Oates, Mary Myatt, James Pembroke, Sean Harford and AP. There were, in addition, ten Primary and four secondary groups or individuals sharing their developing practice, in two sessions and me, introducing transition as a generic activity, followed by an example of local Primary-Secondary transition and an example from Leicestershire. It promised to be a packed day, and it was. Timings were tight, with lunch being squeezed, but such was the enjoyment of the day, that everyone retained their enthusiasm.
If you want a flavour of the day, visiting the #LearningFirst hashtag on Twitter will give a flavour and much of the immediate detail.
A very talented artist and PhD student Pen Mendoca (@MendocaPen) captured the day as a graphic and that is worth sharing. The key messages are very clear, in pictorial form.
That this is as important internally, as it is between schools, is becoming much clearer and is likely to be based upon one professional not (fully) accepting the judgement of another, in the process potentially downgrading the learner, creating a hiatus in achievement.
In many ways, I hope that the PowerPoint is self-explanatory, viewable and downloadable below. I'd urge people to consider the questions in slide 7, in the light of the teacher standards 24652. If you're not aware of these, it is worth refreshing your memory, (link here) as these are the key thinking standards, based on child development knowledge.
Before setting off home, I sat for nearly an hour with Tim Clarke (@timjumpclarke), with whom I often chat, during local gatherings, or occasionally visiting his school, as a friend or occasionally as a Link Tutor for Winchester University. He very kindly summarised our conversation in a blog
The biggest lesson from the day, for me, is that dialogue between professionals is the key to developing the profession. Individually, we do not know everything, but, collectively there are insights that, in combination, create a whole. Each setting and each individual is on a development route, whatever their current achievements. Externalising ideas enable and support dialogue, questioning, feedback, all of which enable further reflection and refinement, with new element added. If schools are to support learners, they have to embed the idea of being learning institutions for every person. Everything is a work in progress.