Practical Pedagogies 2015

Practical Pedagogies Conference was held on 15th to 16th October 2015 at the International School of Toulouse (IST). This was my first workshop held at an International Teachers Conference, and to say that I was looking forward to this event is probably an understatement. I have run many CPD events for both my own company and others, but to be given the chance to run one in this type of setting was an exciting step for me. Many thanks Russel Tarr for not only running an excellent conference but giving me this opportunity to join everyone. I had a lovely time, despite my phone being stolen from the taxi on my first night (Now there’s a whole new blog opportunity on how to survive losing your smartphone whilst travelling through different countries!)

In addition to running a workshop, this two day event gave me a chance to attend others, my goodness there was a lot of choice! I suspect I may have missed out on some very interesting workshops as we could only attend seven in addition to running our own. During the two days I was also able to meet teachers from around the world. Although, I am an experienced Primary Science/Technology teacher within the British Education system, I am fairly new to International teaching. Therefore, I was keen to meet others to see if they encountered the types of education issues we have in Moscow.

Happy Cyclist

This cyclist expresses the happy and friendly atmosphere from everyone at the conference

I was very impressed with how the conference was run and also the wonderful atmosphere that prevailed around the school, from both students and staff. Everyone was made to feel very welcome and we were treated to a lovely meal on the Thursday night, I didn’t manage to get to the pub crawl on the Friday, as by then I was pretty tired! It was lovely to make new friends and meet up with old ones such as Diane Leedham  and as she is an experienced specialist in the field of EAL, I was highly flattered that she came to my workshop, I hope I didn’t disappoint?

This was my first visit to Toulouse and I was delighted to have the chance to find out what a beautiful city it is. It was a shame that the Photography Museum was closed but another reason to return. I am definitely going for another visit. Maybe in the summer to recover from the Russian winter.

One workshop I regretted missing was Ewan Mackintosh’s workshop ‘Designing deep, broad, generative projects’. I had been inspired by his opening keynote speech and wanted to learn more. Unfortunately, it ran straight after my one and I needed a bit of recovery time (still reeling from setting up workshop, presenting it and having no mobile phone, oh and some slight technical problems at start of my workshop!) Another time I hope.

Here are two workshops that I did attend and thoroughly enjoyed

Everything is Awesome with LEGO® Math A lovely practical workshop that demonstrated how to use these well known building blocks within a maths class.  I certainly intend to try this back in school. I know that my EAL pupils will benefit from having such concrete and practical resources in front of them, not just to develop their Mathematical knowledge but also the chance to develop both Mathematical and English language .

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Can you make a duck? Very appropriate after Thursday nights meal

Teachers enthralled

Teachers engrossed

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Lots of note taking

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Dominic in action

Big questions & philosophy with children I have always wanted to bring philosophy with children to Moscow and I have. However, I have encounter some problems such as children struggling with explaining their thoughts and other language barriers. Therefore, when I saw this workshop being presented within an international setting, I signed up straight away. I wasn’t disappointed. Many of my questions were answered during the activities and discussions that took place, and it was lovely to be reminded of the wonderful children’s books out there that can help to stimulate philosophical discussions within the classroom.

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I attended a few other workshops and have not put these up on my blog mainly due to space and lack of time, not as a reflection of their quality. These two were the workshops that I had the most interest in attending, so felt they justified a mention.

Reflections and resources from my own workshop ‘How to Support the EAL learner in the Primary Science Classroom that I ran on the Thursday will go on another page over this weekend.

Once again I have to congratulate everyone at IST for a lovely event, can I come back next year?



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