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Thinking Schools Conference

October 17, 2017

Friday 13th October 2017 saw the first regional Thinking Skills Conference hosted jointly by Barbara Priestman Academy and Thinking Schools International (TSI).

It was a thought provoking day, where the focus was on cognitive education and different thinking processes/ strategies that could be used in the classroom.

Gordon Poad was our first keynote speaker. He shared with us his experience of working with some of the hardest to reach students and to consider why we do what we do in the classroom and the interventions that teachers use that really make a difference. His key message was to ‘be fully present and teach with your heart and your head.’

Delegates then took part in two workshops which looked at various thinking tools and methodologies that can be used in the classroom to help students think about their thinking and to help them transfer their learning from one area of the curriculum to another. Workshops were practical and designed to make delegates think about how they could use the strategies with their own students in their own setting.

The day was rounded off with our second keynote speaker; Professor Steve Higgins from Durham university. Steve is a former primary school teacher whose research interests include the areas of effective use of digital technologies for learning in schools, understanding how children’s thinking and reasoning develops, and how teachers can be supported in developing the quality and effectiveness of teaching and learning in their classrooms.

He talked about different pedagogies for thinking and the benefits of each and how often it is not the structural stuff but the relationships and interactions between staff and students that makes a difference to students’ learning.

The conference is just the beginning of the partnership work between Barbara Priestman and TSI and there will be a range of training opportunities on offer over the next two terms.

 

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