Sunday, 25 November 2012

SSAT Conference 2012 (1): Introduction and overview!

SSAT Conference November 2012,  ‘Innovation and progress in languages’: Notes and action points!

Thanks to The SSAT team for organising the national languages conference 2012 which took place in Birmingham  22-23 November 2012.  Claire Trott did a great job of bringing it all together!

Although I had to miss some of it through setting up and clearing up after my own session, and it was just so cruel that I had to miss parallel sessions (!), I was able to really enjoy what I did experience, and I have come away brimming with thoughts and practical ideas, adn with names of potential ALL London speakers whom I had not heard previously.

Much as I love the online communities (especially the yahoomflresources group, Linguanet and various Twitter lists) through which I benefit enormously from ‘continuous (literally! – I mean, every minute!!!) professional development’,  and much as I love being part of ‘Show and Tell / Teachmeet’ sessions where people can present ideas in short bursts, I personally still appreciate and benefit from the so-called ‘traditional conferences’ where people are given time to present their practice ‘as a whole’ (often including exploring rationale / underpinning principles as well as practical outcomes) and listeners can concentrate, reflect thoughtfully, quietly and unobtrusively as they go along, following up with questions and discussion either at the end of the talk or over the coffee and lunch breaks.

I am not going to attempt to reproduce in full what people said, but while it is fresh in my mind, here are a few summaries and personal thoughts and ‘points for action’ which I have taken away from the conference.
Following Joe Dale's advice to copy Isabelle Jones and Amanda Salt (stars in the blogosphere firmament!) I will split the notes into separate pages.  Click the hyperlinks to get to the pages!
Welcome and introduction – Bernadette Young, Headteacher, Royds School Specialist Language College + Dan Belcher, SSAT.
Keynote 1: New wheels? Innovations in language; progress in language learning.  Steven Fawkes.
‘Ofsted outstanding in MFL 2012. Tim Crapper, Head of French & Richard O’Driscoll, Head of Spanish, Aylesbury Grammar School for boys
The exciting challenge of innovating language curriculum – Jane Breen, AST King Edward VI School (Boys’ Grammar, Chelmsford)

Making the most of digital media: Helen Myers -The Ashcombe School (me!)


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