What Kathryn learned at #EducationFest

Preparing bright students for a rapidly changing world of work

‘Brexit’ was certainly the hot topic within this talk, as was a discussion of the need for young people to maximise their education in an increasingly uncertain world. They will need to embrace the idea that they will have a ‘portfolio career’, as they are very unlikely to have a job for life. Five ‘Mega Trends’ were also defined which will undoubtedly have an impact on our students’ lives:

  1.  A shift in global economic power from Europe to the East
  2. Demographic and social change
  3. Urbanisation with a massive growth in cities
  4. Climate change and resource scarcity
  5. Fast paced technological developments

As a result, our students need to become tech savvy, innovative and entrepreneurial. They also need to have highly developed soft skills and be flexible in their approach to their careers. It was argued that these attributes can be fostered in school through increased links with business and the setting of real world business and societal problems for our students to tackle. We can all play a part in developing these, both within lessons and tutor time, and well as within the extra-curricular activities that we run.

 The Curriculum Conundrum – Embracing the academic

Summer Turner argued that teachers are spending too much time is spent on a ‘stock cupboard’ approach to teaching and that we should all be putting more energy put in to ‘what’ we teach rather than ‘how’ we teach it. She states that the curriculum must be central to our approach and that pedagogy must come second to this, particularly as most teachers enter the profession to share their love of their subject, rather than to create card sorts or living graphs. One of her key arguments is that we should be mapping our curriculums back from A Level to create engaging programmes of study and assessment. Her approach to curriculum design and assessment can be seen below and can be found in her upcoming book ‘Secondary Curriculum and Assessment Design’:

  1. Academic Purpose
  2. Principles
  3. Expectations
  4. Big ideas/threshold concepts
  5. Content
  6. Sequencing
  7. Review


Great Education Secretaries: The History

In a brilliantly engaging talk, Laura McInerney provided a potted history of the people who have held the top job in education. As a historian, I was intrigued by the way in which she had used Excel to help her to create a clear analysis of the attributes of past Education Secretaries – this is something I will be looking to bring in to my lessons when assessing the characteristics of historical figures. Her website is certainly worth a look, whether you are looking for pedagogical ideas or even just for interest:



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