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Wellbeing, giving creativity a boost and great chats: the Education Show 2018


he education sector sees many changes and challenges each year, but the

motivation and commitment of teachers remains an inspiration and that’s always at its most evident when they gather together to share ideas and help each other. The Education Show 2018 highlighted the

issues of wellbeing, literacy, creativity and support, and speakers gave teachers practical advice across these subjects and many more. As always, there was a wide range of exciting opportunities to get involved with, whether it was testing the latest and greatest classroom resources, or attending one of the many free continuing professional development (CPD) sessions available throughout the event, delivered by teachers, experts and household names. Michael Rosen was at the show to talk about

literacy and poetry, while storyteller and poet Pie Corbett explored how to develop a book project based on a school’s reading spine, considering activities before, during and after reading. Former principal dancer for the Royal Ballet and judge for the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, Darcey Bussell CBE, returned to the show to talk about how to

use dance fitness to improve student wellbeing in an interactive session where teachers got up out of their seats and danced! The show’s programme of content looked at

wellbeing through a number of different lenses, from fitness to school stories. A case study from Aureus School looked at how to build a successful wellbeing programme in 200 days, with Julie Hunter, deputy head at the school giving an overview of the plan they designed and implemented for every person in the Aureus School family. Following these sessions, we asked key people

at the show if the learning environment can impact a child’s wellbeing, and what schools can do to support their pupils. Maggie Scott, author and director at Lilac

House Books Ltd, believes a good environment can impact on many areas. “A calm and safe classroom environment can help encourage children's speech and language skills, confidence in learning and emotional intelligence. By creating this environment practitioners will see an increase in the children's wellbeing and attitude to learning.”

“The great outdoors has great benefits,” says

Jodi Walsh, director of Moving Mountains Outdoor Skills Education Ltd. “Removing the walls of the classroom creates an open and natural environment to let creativity and problem solving flourish.” Keeley Rogers from the School Travel

Organisation agrees: “We have spoken to countless teachers and educational visit coordinators who have witnessed first-hand the impact that school trips and learning outside the classroom has on children’s wellbeing. The event also featured a session on supporting

educators to support children from Laura Henry, a specialist consultant. She looked at the unique needs of the child and how educators can support children with their holistic developmental needs, a topic that needs exploration according to Chris Mitchell, managing director of “New analysis has found that teachers in

England work longer hours than their peers in most other countries. Some more forward- thinking schools have introduced ‘staff wellness days’ with guided meditations, talks about stress management and even free massages, but how much long-term impact can these one off INSETs really have? In order to improve staff wellbeing, you have to do just that; improve the sense of wellbeing all your staff through education.” “Schools need to start by ensuring that they

know what needs to be done and who needs to be supported,” say Harriet Gill, managing director and Jan Forshaw, head of education at Coram Life Education. “Schools’ starting point would be to measure

their pupils’ wellbeing through evaluation tools and surveys, such as those summarised in the Public Health England Toolkit. With insight into their pupils’ needs and experiences in school and the community, the answer isn’t to get lost in a sea of policies and assessments but to use simple principles and approaches to support pupils, staff and the whole school community. For instance, agreeing a set of values and shared language that connect to, and are understood by pupils, staff and parents.”

Continued on page 30... 26 April 2018

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