19 December 2019

The Skills and Education Group welcomed staff from a variety of colleges to its first TeachMeet of the academic year at Stephenson College in Leicestershire on Tuesday 17 December.

The event proved popular, with over 100 people taking the opportunity to network and refresh their teaching practice.

The theme of this TeachMeet was ‘Evidence-informed practice to improve teaching and learning’, and several practitioners gave presentations to share their effective strategies with colleagues.

The afternoon began with a welcome from Karen Plowman and Simon Feneley-Lamb, both representing the Skills and Education Group as Head of Professional Development and Chief Operating Officer respectively. Simon Kibble, Director of Quality at Stephenson College, also welcomed attendees to the College.

A range of topics were raised by the presentations. George Caplan, Quality Manager at Stephenson College, kicked things off with a presentation on ‘Cognitive Load Theory and its Implications for Vocational Teaching’, which involved activities, including – in keeping with the festive theme – drawing an elf!

The next presentation was offered by Adeyosala Gbadebo, who spoke about ‘Research into factors which impact upon staff aptitude and CPD’, focusing particularly on Motivation Theory, which he is currently studying as part of his PhD thesis.

Karen then offered an update on the new Ofsted Education Inspection Framework and how to shape learning strategies around this. This led into a networking session offering plenty of time to meet new people and enjoy a mince pie!

The first presentation following the refreshment break was offered by Lorna Hollands, Learning and Development Coach at Nottingham College, who shared a variety of accelerated learning strategies. This was followed by Brad Billington, Assistant Director – Teaching, Learning and Assessment at Moulton College, who gave some ideas on how to stretch and challenge learners in every lesson. 

The event concluded with an interesting talk on the ‘Use of Go Pro Camera in Teaching’, with Wendy Goacher from Stephenson College sharing how Go Pro technology can be used effectively as part of the teacher training lesson observation process. 

With more and more practitioners using technology in the classroom, Karen suggested in her closing remarks that a tech-focused TeachMeet is likely to be on the cards for the New Year, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

After the event, we caught up with one of the attendees, Barbara Green-Peppit, a supply teacher doing a Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) qualification at Stephenson College, to see what she thought of the TeachMeet.

Why did you come along today?

I attended to gain more insight to benefit my ongoing teaching and to get more CPD to go towards my QTLS standards.

What did you like most about the TeachMeet?

It’s always good to meet other people from different areas and different colleges and have the chance to network. It’s interesting to get different ideas for my teaching, such as the ‘Stretch and Challenge’ strategies and the more hands-on activities.

What will you take away from the event?

I’ve made a note of the Stretch and Challenge activities, and the assessment for learning activities were good too.   

Is there anything we could improve for next time?

I think it would be good to cover more on technology, so having a TeachMeet on the different types of tech that can be used in the classroom would be a good idea.

Thank you to everyone who attended, we hope you enjoyed the TeachMeet and we wish you a happy festive break. Do come along to our next TeachMeet and other events next term – you can browse them here.