Each year the fantastic National Association for the Teaching of Drama (NATD) runs a conference in the beautiful surroundings of Oriel College in Oxford. It’s a beautiful and inspiring place as well as a fantastic environment in which to learn.
I have attended the last three conferences and have had such fantastic experiences at each. When I was new to the Mantle of the Expert process I found it a real haven of like-minded teaching and educational professionals who were so willing to share their practice and push the creativity agenda.
Creativity to some is a buzzword (indeed, those of you who have heard me speak will remember my story of having a Bic biro lobbed at me by a disgruntled secondary teacher who had had enough of buzzwords!). We know different. It’s essential – just like vocational learning – and it encompasses so much of what we believe makes a great curriculum. Want excellent problem solvers? Well let’s give them problems to solve. Mantle of the Expert, Dilemma-based Learning, Philosophy for Learning and a host of other approaches enable the children to move from seeing learning as something they do with children the same age as them, to seeing learning as a connector between the classroom and the world outside the school walls. It’s authenticity-finding. It’s bringing children to the edges of their seats as they get caught up in a context. It’s moving the street-wise onto being the world-wise.
I really can’t stress to you how important this conference is and I urge you to seek it out. I will be contributing in some way to it myself and it will be a priviledge to do so alongside people who have dedicated their lives to making curriculum that actually matters.
This may seem all high-falutin’, the bottom line is this – you will leave inspired and refreshed.
I have no permission to do so, but I’ve got hold of an outline of the conference and can give you some details on how to book a place. Places can be limited so advise a conversation with your school leader (or whoever holds the strings) as soon as you can.
The National Association for the Teaching of Drama presents
‘IMAGINATIVE TEACHING – OUTSTANDING LEARNING’
Talking. Thinking. Questioning. Doing. Enjoying. Learning.
28th – 30th September at Oriel College, Oxford.
Join us for a weekend of learning, thinking and sharing.
There will be practical workshops led by expert practitioners, thought-provoking keynote speakers and plenty of time to reflect and network. You will leave inspired, refreshed and full of ideas.
- Learning through Drama
- Mantle of the Expert
- Higher Order Thinking Skills and Questioning
- Creative and Humanising Curriculum
- Child Centred Learning
- Creativity and Ofsted
- Imaginative approaches to Behaviour Management and Assessment for Learning (these could be subject to a little tinkering!)
Among the confirmed contributors this year are:
Luke Abbott – National Director of Mantle of the Expert
Richard Kieran – Headteacher, Woodrow First School, Worcestershire
Hywel Roberts – Create Learn Inspire – Independent Thinking Associate
The Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah
The Big Brum Theatre
+ more to confirm
Exciting, Engaging and Creative approaches to Teaching and Learning…achieve outstanding outcomes in your practice.
So, what next?
Well, keep an eye on Twitter (and follow @nateachingdrama) and check back here as I’ll keep blogging about it.
Cost? It was around £350 which is a snip considering you get 2 night’s accommodation, all meals and the best CPD you’ll get all year. And it’s in Oxford – did I already mention that??
Another email to try is Kirsty on firstname.lastname@example.org and you can get your place secured with her.
Thanks for reading this. There’s so much going on in education at the moment and at times you may feel like you’re losing your mojo. The NATD conference will restore your confidence and help you see that whilst governments may change, children don’t.
See you there – I’ll keep you posted.