On Wednesday 4th December we held our second National Teacher Enquiry Network (NTEN) Conference. Hosted at Cramlington Learning Village in Northumberland, the event was attended by an array of individuals looking to share great practice around professional development.
Having recently established a successful partnership with the one of the first schools-led regional networks, Schools NorthEast (SNE), we had a number of NTEN members and non-members keen to learn more. Thus as an SNE member and with a reputation for outstanding teaching and learning, Cramlington Learning Village was an obvious choice for our second meeting.
The day kicked off with the school’s Assistant Head, Ken Brechin, presenting an insight into Cramlington’s professional development. He described how CPD was very much at the heart of staff’s time, underpinned by extensive support for collaborative enquiry, external partnerships and further academic learning. The significance of NTEN was also touched upon, with the audit process having helped to identify blind spots in the school’s approach – the result of which was a renewed focus on providing the evidence behind Cramlington’s professional development.
Attendees were then taken on a tour of the school, with an opportunity to explore areas of the campus and witness a variety of classes in action. Following this was the speed networking session, allowing school’s to share ideas and form new professional relationships, particularly at a regional level.
After lunch Graham Frost, Headteacher of Robert Ferguson Primary School, delivered the second keynote speech of the day. He explored the detrimental effect of allowing passing fads into a school’s CPD programme, echoing the need for professional development to be rooted in evidence. Fortunately NTEN tools and resources are now enabling his staff to implement the likes of Lesson Study with a renewed focus on the rigour of their enquiry.
The day ended with table discussions as chosen by attendees prior to the event, with the most notable exchanges addressing the balance between performance management and professional learning.
Our Chief Executive, David Weston, closed what was a fantastic event for all involved, his further reflections on which can be found here.
This is one of the articles in the TDT December Newsletter.
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