Primary Partnership Conference

On Friday 6th March, this year’s Primary Partnership Conference was held at Oxstalls Campus. This free annual event is held to provide CPD for mentors and class teachers in our partnership schools, who host our Initial Teacher Education students for placements. Not only do we hope that this event will enable mentors and class teachers to support our student teachers even more effectively, it is also held to thank them for their hard work and dedication to working with us to train the next generation of primary teachers.

This year’s event focused on the new publication by our primary team, Teaching The Primary Curriculum. Following a keynote speech led by Colin Forster and Rachel Eperjesi, the editors of the book, conference delegates then selected from a range of workshops throughout the day, each led by the author(s) of one of the book’s chapters. Running throughout the whole day was a focus on treating children as intelligent beings, capable of being challenged, enabling pupils and teachers to go beyond simply addressing the National Curriculum requirements and considering the wider purposes of primary education.

Each workshop focused on a particular subject from the primary curriculum. Just like the book chapters, each one explicitly addressed a pedagogic focus, set within the context of that subject, yet very transferable to other subjects. The workshops are listed below:

Computing: developing computational thinking (Lindsay Evans)

English: developing children’s ability to form, articulate and justify opinions (Rachel Eperjesi and Tracey Wire)

History: developing children’s higher order thinking through historical enquiry (Kate Thomson and Tracey Wire)

Languages: creating purposeful communication through meaningful context (Cathy Burch)

Mathematics: promoting talk to develop reasoning (Ruth Hollier and Jackie McNeil)

Personal, social, health and economic education: developing empathy (Jude Penny)

Religious education: developing children’s understanding of lived experiences (Simon Hyde-White)

Science: questioning skillfully to promote intelligent answers (Colin Forster and Jude Penny)

The keynote speech and all of the workshops were evaluated very highly. Comments included:

Great day – feel re-energised and ‘fizzing’!

Thank you for providing an engaging and interesting day … the lecture and workshops really linked to my work at school.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the day and I am definitely leaving the event with my brain fizzing!

A very enjoyable day – very thought provoking and inspiring, without being overwhelming.

This has been such a good day! Really useful and informative sessions.

Really inspiring, thank you.

Thank you – it’s been a great day – a chance to mix with colleagues, learn new, exciting things and be reminded about what’s important.

The staff involved from the primary team enjoyed the day just as much as the delegates. Enormous thanks go to Emma Howell for her superb organisation of the conference, and to Kate Mahaffy and Karen Wardell for their administrative support.