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Education: First ever teachers' SwaleFest in Sittingbourne, Kent hailed a huge success

Contributed by editor on May 12, 2017 - 02:05 PM

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Top speakers including a former Government minister and leading education specialists from across the country set the scene for an inspirational conference attended by close to 600 secondary school teachers.

 

 

The teachers who packed the sports hall at Westlands School in Sittingbourne for SwaleFest 2017 came from schools that are part of, or supported by, Swale Academies Trust.

After hearing from renowned keynote speakers including former Minister of State Lord Jim Knight and leading educationalist Steve Munby, the delegates took part in a series of debates and workshops aimed at sharing best practice in schools and the teaching profession.

The conference, described as “a showcase of excellence”, was set up as a celebration of teaching and learning for schools that belong to the steadily expanding trust, together with a number of guests.


Pupil ambassadors who launched the SwaleFest 2017 event

A wealth of positive feedback from those who attended confirmed that staff from across the seven Kent and East Sussex secondary schools involved found it engaging, relevant and inspirational.

The wide range of workshop topics including Be well, teach well, Creativity, What if?, The power of the peer factor and Sticky teaching- getting revision to ‘stick’.

Steve Munby, chief executive of Education Development Trust, shared his own philosophy around his love of teaching in a well-received speech.

He then joined panelists including Jon Whitcombe, chief executive of Swale Academies Trust and Kerry Jordan-Daus from Canterbury Christ Church University for a debate on the future of education chaired by Simon Cox, headteacher of Westlands School.

Lord Jim Knight, Labour front bench spokesman for agricultural matters in the House of Lords as well as Chief Education Adviser to TES Global and a former Minister of State for Schools, closed the conference with a carefully considered look at the future of schools.

Derek Trimmer, the trust’s Director of Secondary, said SwaleFest 2017 had been “a celebration of exciting teaching and learning which brought together teachers from our family of schools and delivered some inspirational and challenging messages.”

With planning already underway for next year’s SwaleFest 2018, the Trust is currently looking ahead to a student leadership conference planned for 23 June at Community College Whitstable. The event will bring together students to look at action research projects and student leadership with the support of teaching staff from around the Trust.

 

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