Last year I went to the Independent Thinking Big Day Out in Manchester. One of the best CPD experiences I’ve had and at a fraction of the price of most “courses” I was really pleased when my school approved my request to attend the Big Day Out Newcastle. This one also promised to be extra special as it was organised by Lisa Jane Ashes who always approaches things with a determination to make them special.
I decided to spend the whole day in the Teaching Skills workshops. I’ll be posting these as a series of blogs as I took so many pages of notes I know no-one would want to read them in one go.
Arriving at a fancy suite at Newcastle Racecourse, we were greeted by smiling faces, balloons, table confetti (I’m led to believe, I just thought it was nice sparkly tat, but it has a real name.)
We had been assigned tables where we were hosted in intimate discussions with Independent Thinking Associates. I had the privilege to be entertained by Hywel Roberts; an extrodinary wit and all round nice chap.
The thought Bomb balloons.
Don’t ask what the above picture is meant to be;)
Once all members of our table had arrived we were invited to POP our balloons which were in fact thought bombs. The questions inside were on the nature of “Outstanding” and the feelings that accompany the term.
Then came the big welcome; Lisa talked about the importance of reclaiming the idea of “Outstanding” to be more about making education special and doing what’s right for our students than worrying about the spectre of Ofsted; if we’re doing what’s right for the students they should be pleased to visit your school.
“You know outstanding; it’s doing what’s right for your students.” -Lisa Jane Ashes.
This neatly linked into her thoughts on why we should try to be more five. This celebrated the idea of loving what we do and making a difference while we do it.
Barry Dunn – @SeahamRE