I attended Teaching and Learning Takeover at Southampton University and as ever, came away feeling refreshed and ready to take on the remainder of the term.
Chris Waugh's morning session was first on my list and it really struck a chord. The theme was planning and he titled his session 'The Wonderful Now'. I took my notes out from the weekend to help me write this post but I wasn't surprised to see I hadn't made many - Chris is a captivating speaker and I was taken in immediately, so I'll rely purely on memory
The main thing that came through to me was that we need to be giving our pupils an authentic experience of education. As a languages specialist, this is my daily challenge - how can I bring Spain / Germany / wherever to the classroom and encourage my pupils to feel as passionately as I do about this? I believe we do a good job of this, I have long thrown out the textbooks and favour creating my own resources to inspire and motivate but I came away from the session knowing we could do more. At Chris' school, they don't assess for assessment's sake. They don't write a letter to get a level 4. They don't do anything unless it has real value.
Value. Worth. Purpose. A point. That's what I need to bring to my classroom. And I'll seek to do it from here on in. After all, ask someone what they remember from GCSE French and they'll probably tell you they like football and going to the cinema...