Hello again.

Wow, two updates in one day.

This is more of a diary piece to be honest. If you’re interested in some CPD opportunities going on over the next academic term then you might want to read on. If not, hit the escape now button! I’m doing this as I’ve started getting messages on Twitter asking what I’m up to when. I’m so grateful for the interest in my work, the great work of my colleagues at, Springwell Community Special School, Karen Ardley Associates and other organisations I’m proud to be part of.

Here we go then. I’ll keep it brief.

19th September 2014 (Leeds) and 10th October 2014 (London) – A DAY OF THINKING, TEACHING and LEARNING

Details here:


Bit of a long shot but I thought I’d include it here as it’s exciting. Off on the Chunnel with Jane Hewitt, Debra Kidd, The Real David Cameron, Nina Jackson, Martin Robinson, Andy Vass, Phil Beadle, Roy Leighton, Juliet Robertson and other eduheroes.

Details here:

7th October 2014 – NQT Professional Development Sessions in Huddersfield

The first of three sessions designed for Newly Qualified Teachers. Running as twilights. Contact Tony at Moor End Academy for details:

7th November 2014 and 9th January 2015 – OUTWOOD INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION CONFERENCES

Doing a couple of Keynotes alongside some edu-legends including Alistair Smith and Phil Beadle.

Details here:

10th November 2014 – ATL Union Teaching and Learning Day, London

You need to be a member of the ATL to attend. Details here:


I’m delivering a seminar at this event at the lovely Dudley Regional Staff College. It’s a real priviledge working alongside Karen Ardley who is an educator with many years of teaching and leadership experience in the UK, for the United Nations and in many countries across the globe. Details here via KAREN ARDLEY ASSOCIATES:

17th November 2014 – HOW TO TEACH WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SOUL! With Dr Debra Kidd

Debra and I hit the road (well, Birmingham) to share a day of thinking, reflection, practical ideas, hope and mojo-polishing. We’re writing it on Thursday!! For details:

(Check out all the other fantastic day courses on offer fro ITL – there’s tonnes!)


27th November 2014 – BIG DAY OUT DOWN SOUTH

Independent Thinking LIVE with Ian Gilbert, The Real David Cameron, Sarah Pavey, Jim Roberson, Martin Illingworth and Dave Harris. The full programme can be downloaded here:


4th December (London) and 11th December (Manchester) – LESSONS WORTH BEHAVING FOR

This is a day not just about behaviour management and being nice to kids!! This is a day about engagement, investment in learning, protection into learning and how we can support our children by creating classroom experiences that are memorable, challenging and dripping with rigour. We may also cover the concept of Unconditional Positive Regard and other principles of engagement and learning that work so well in special setting and are easily transferable to mainstream.

Details here:

Hope there’s something here for you. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for your time.


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Hello all

Defining creativity?

Yep, good luck with that.

Still, it’s something I asked a bunch of teachers to do at an @ATLLearning event over the summer. This is what they said:

  • Freedom to explore and experience.
  • Presenting something in a new and more interesting, fun way.
  • Making learning interesting and engaging and using resources to spark a thirst for learning across a wide range of areas.
  • Something ‘new’ does not exist. Risky business!
  • Make something.
  • Help to learn.
  • New experience.
  • Different ideas/ range of activities.
  • Thinking outside of the box.
  • Opening new ways of thinking and achieving.
  • Creativity is…the unique and personal approach to all things. Creativity has no boundaries and is embedded upon originality.
  • Developing new ideas, invention.
  • Making ideas more meaningful.
  • Making stuff!
  • Risk Taking!
  • Something new to you.
  • Making Maths fun and relating it to everyday life of the student.
  • Freedom to represent ideas in own way – to think outside the box.
  • Making things relevant to both student and topic area.
  • Presenting something in an abnormal way, imagining something.
  • Doing things differently than you usually would, taking a risk!
  • Creativity is the ability to think, imagine it to make a contribution which may be unique to the individual.
  • It is allowing children to enjoy learning by getting them to use their imagination and a wider range of skills through their learning.

I asked colleagues to simply write a quick definition on post-it notes and stick them on the wall.

My definition of creativity is constantly evolving. After some great conversations with teachers in EBD schools, I’m thinking that we’re all creative if we are making BIG decisions in the moment with children. You know what I mean? The challenge offered to you by a child – how do you intervene? What’s the right instruction? What would be the wrong thing to say in the moment? It takes a fairly creative teacher to make the right decision for everyone.

Suffice to say, it’s not just Dance, Music or Drama. It’s everything.