“Probably the best INSET ever” – an invitation to schools…

by James Mannion |

 

Last Friday, Kate McAllister (my ace Learning to Learn co-pilot) and I ran our first ever proper training day, to share our story with schools and to help them start writing their own story. It was probably one of my favourite ever days working in education.

There was an incredible moment in the afternoon, when a delegate asked: “If you had to boil down your approach – what would you say is the essence of it?” Kate replied: “I can’t tell you that. You have to work it out for yourself.” 

We explained that we find ourselves in a weird position. We want to spread these practices as far and wide as we possibly can, and yet when schools ask us “what is it?”, our response is to say: “Let’s sit down and figure out what it means for you”.

It should be a difficult sell, and yet on Friday we did just that. Here are some of the comments we received in the evaluation forms:

  • Thought provoking. Well organised. Helped me to distil my existing ideas, evaluate current position and begin to plan some possible routes forward in order to enhance learning of pupils at Key Stage 3.
  • Research-led INSET is rare and this session proves that it should be the norm. Enthusiasm of the presentation matched by the willing participation of the delegates.
  • Excellent opportunities to consider ways to develop our own programme. Also to share ideas with others.
  • V interesting content. I have been thinking hard today about the learners at our school and whole-school strategies that could facilitate ‘learning to learn’. My brain is whirling.
  • Thought provoking. Empowering – good balance of theory and application.
  • Feel inspired and empowered to move things forward in my school.
  • Great mix of activities – whole group, small group, individual.
  • The starting activity was an eye opener and showed some of the ideas that could be discussed. Great opportunity to think and consider.
  • Based on factual evidence that it works, but full of practical advice; many courses are full of concepts, but this had real ideas to take back and build on at my school.
  • The course has helped me gain / reinforced an overview of what we are trying to achieve in our L2L programme. It was also good to consider concepts and structures. Really enjoyed the basketball activity.
  • There was a lot of time spent on developing personal ideas / targets as well as time for discussion and sharing of ideas. The starter activity was great!
  • Very informative – good to speak / network with people implementing similar processes.
  • Probably the best INSET ever!

 

I think it’s fair to say, we are quite pleased with how it went. After 7 years chipping away at the marble, developing and evaluating the ‘Learning Skills’ approach, it’s super rewarding to begin the next chapter of our journey – working with other schools. 

 

Ten courses: an invitation to schools…

We are looking for schools to host future training events. If you would like to host one at your school, you get 4 free places for you or your colleagues. Unless it’s a whole-staff training session, in which case we’ll offer you a reduced rate. We’re currently looking for venues for the Spring / Summer terms, so it’s first come first served! 

 

  1. Learning Skills: Raising the Bar, Closing the Gap (This is the course we ran last Friday)

    Summary: Three key concepts, three key structures
    Duration: 1 day
    Audience: School leaders, heads of L2L
    Group size: 15-20
     

  2. Oracy across the curriculum

    Summary: Practical strategies and resources for learning through oracy
    Duration: Half day (3.5h) 
    Audience: Teachers, learning support assistants, senior leaders 
    Group size: Min 20, max all teaching staff
     

  3. Metacognition across the curriculum

    Summary: Practical strategies and resources for learning through metacognition
    Duration: Half day (3.5h) 
    Audience: Teachers, learning support assistants, senior leaders 
    Group size: Min 20, max all teaching staff
     

  4. Self-regulation across the curriculum

    Summary: Practical strategies and resources for learning through self-regulation
    Duration: Half day (3.5h) 
    Audience: Teachers, learning support assistants, senior leaders
    Group size: Min 20, max all teaching staff
     

  5. Learning to learn across the curriculum

    Summary: Practical strategies: a combination of the oracy, metacognition, self-regulation sessions (a combination of #’s 2, 3 and 4)
    Duration: 1 day
    Audience: Teachers, learning support assistants, senior leaders 
    Group size: Min 20, max all teaching staff
     

  6. Developing a whole-school language of learning

    Summary: Working with all staff to create a joined-up approach to whole-school teaching and learning
    Duration: Half day (3.5h) 
    Audience: Teachers, learning support assistants, senior leaders 
    Group size: All staff, plus student representatives
     

  7. Learning through philosophical enquiry

    Summary: A practical workshop on learning how to teach through philosophical enquiry 
    Duration: 1 day 
    Audience: Teachers, learning support assistants, senior leaders 
    Group size: 15-25
     

  8. Setting up an L2L curriculum

    Summary: How to build a taught L2L curriculum that works for you
    Duration: 1 day
    Audience: Senior leaders, heads of L2L, teachers of L2L
    Group size: 15-20
     

  9. Planning for transfer

    Summary: How to join up whole-school teaching and learning practices 
    Duration: 1 day (e.g. 9.30-3pm)   
    Audience: Senior leaders (incorporates aspects of #’s 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8) 
    Group size: 15-20
     

  10. Teacher research

    Summary: An annual programme of professional development through small-scale research inquiry
    Duration: Annual programme (½ INSET day and 4-6 twilight sessions). We also run a 1.5 hour twilight to sell the idea to staff / SLT.
    Audience: All teaching staff, learning support assistants, senior leaders 
    Group size: Min 4, max all teaching staff

We also offer bespoke packages of combinations of the above, depending on your needs – just drop us a line at james@rethinking-ed.org
Many thanks,
James & Kate