The 5th SSAT National Primary Conference entitled ‘Networking for Excellence’ provided a fantastic vehicle for the Network to live out it’s ‘By Schools For Schools‘ motto. A range of great practitioner led workshops complimented the key note presentations that bookended the day.
Bill Lucas, Nick Stuart and Neil Hopkin got the day off to a great start with Bill sharing research into intelligence that contributed to his recent book with Guy Claxton ‘New Kinds of Smart’. Nick Stuart, Chair of the SSAT shared how he sees the Primary Network growing in influence within the Trust as numbers continue to increase and Neil Hopkin, Chair of the Primary Network led delegates in an unexpected dance that will surely see the light of day on you tube providing someone saw fit to film it.
The wide and varied range of workshops meant there was something for everyone with EY, KS1 and KS2 covered for New Technologies, SEN, Leadership and Curriculum. Feedback suggests the workshops were very well received and much as I would have liked to get to the Forest School (led by @icklekaty) and Games Based Learning (@duck_star) workshops, I was delighted to host David Mitchell (@deputyMitchell), Lee Glynn (@glynnlee) and Jack Sloan (@jacksloan). The heavyweights of blogging shared their impressive successes and the importance of ‘traffic’ to ensure the pupils have an audience for their work. David and Jack have had a huge number of hits on their blogs with some famous contributors making the process exciting for the children. The use of web 2.0 tools was also highlighted and Jack, Lee and David extolled the benefits of a range of easy to use tools that can be embedded into blogs without difficulty. Animoto, wordle, wallwisher, voicethread and audioboo to name but a few were given a good press by those presenting.
The day was closed by Alison Peacock from the Cambridge Primary Review, Guin Batten, Olympic rowing medal winner and Sue Williamson, Strategic Director at SSAT. Their underlying message was one of opportunity, the chance for us to grasp the nettle and make a difference as we move forward in this uncertain future. The Primary Network provides schools with a strong national and international body of knowledge and innovative practice through which they can share ideas, build links and learn from the best. The conference give those attending an opportunity to ‘Network for Excellence’ and witness the ‘By schools For Schools’ approach in operation. In the future such practices can only increase.