Now more than ever schools and trusts need to collaborate, and we have adapted and innovated to bring people together to share ideas and expertise, and help address the current challenges.
Our digital knowledge exchange programme has included focused virtual versions of our popular Leadership Development Days. We have already held five this term (with three more coming up) to help leaders share excellent practice. They’ve covered everything from Global Curriculum and Curriculum Design (with Rob Carpenter, CEO of Inspire Partnership), to Making the Journey to Remote Learning, and Strategies to Support Children after Trauma (Ian Hunkin, Director of The Sigma Teaching School).
The results have been impressive with hundreds of attendees and great feedback. One presenter, Headteacher Kate Frood of Eleanor Palmer primary, said “The sense of brain picking was tangible, and I had 13 follow-up emails with further questions shortly after.” Participants have found them “informative and inspiring”. One said: “I’m going to share this with colleagues in the LA and incorporate it into our strategy going forward.” Another wrote: “Our curriculum work had paused - this will serve as the impetus to get us excited again.”
Schools and trusts have curated and created valuable resources and shared them through our platform, from Portsmouth to Doncaster and beyond. These include return to school and recovery plans, and even free to use social distancing posters. Leaders have also been generous with their insights and expertise too, creating blogs on:
- Setting up a virtual school and timetabling for family life
- What happened when a school had Covid-19 in the classroom
- Leading through a crisis
- Challenging racism and promoting diversity
- Lessons from other countries on learning loss and recovery curricula
We’ve been delighted with the rapid switch to virtual hub meetings and that offers the opportunity to share ideas and interesting speakers hub to hub across the country. These have included a talk by Elly Barnes, CEO of Educate and Celebrate, talking about LGBTQ+ and RSE at Portsmouth hub meeting, and a LEO Academy TeachMeet, as well as sharing of excellent practice by Aspire, Chrysalis and our Special and AP hubs.
We’ve also brought together groups of schools in each phase to discuss challenges and share how they are responding, and have run expert webinars (including the recent one here on creating better outcomes for disadvantaged learners, by Marc Rowland). And we held our first virtual national network event where Cassie Buchanan, CEO of The Charter Schools Education Trust, shared the details and impressive results of the RULER project teaching emotional intelligence and the recovery curriculum. You can watch a video of her talk here.