Wishford Schools

Wishford Schools

Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools Life at Wishford Schools

Wishford Conference drives educational excellence

What an outstanding experience we had this week when well over 200 members of teaching staff from across the Wishford Schools group gathered at Westonbirt School in Gloucestershire for the Wishford Conference. The purpose of the event was to capitalise on the enormous breadth of educational expertise, creativity and enthusiasm that this group of outstanding teachers represents, providing a forum for them to share their experiences and ideas, to set challenges and drive the quality of education across all our schools. The success of the day really demonstrated the huge value in being part of this group.

A combination of talks, breakout sessions and workshops created opportunities for debate and the development of ideas. Every member of staff from TAs to Heads had a voice, feeding his or her opinions and experience into the whole Wishford community. A constant focus was on how to reach further, questioning received wisdom, identifying the very best and, critically, putting it into practice.

Sessions brought together subject leads across the curriculum to discuss how to improve provision, set new standards and share successful strategies. Issues addressed ranged from identifying what excellence looks like to sharing feedback on schemes of work, and from effective delegation to supporting children to explore choice. Teachers clearly enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with others in their specialised field, and there were lively debates on issues such as the pros and cons of exercise-book neatness, with one Maths teacher arguing in favour of the hashtag #mathsismessy.

The conference also allowed those participating in original Wishford research projects, such as one studying the impact of positive thinking on learning, to share findings and plan next steps, and feed back to Wishford’s Director of Strategy to allow progressive thinking to inform education across the group.

Outside speakers brought fresh ideas to the event. Christina Bury, Director of Learning at Felsted Prep, talked about the impact of AI on education, and encouraging creativity of thinking, and futurologist Mark Stevenson (@optimistontour) closed the day with a fascinating talk, laying down a stark challenge to staff individually and as a group, to better prepare children for an uncertain and rapidly changing future.

Jenny Burrett, Wishford’s Director of Strategy and Education said: We cannot truly inspire curiosity, enthusiasm, motivation, independence - all of which lead to our learners finding the right challenges for themselves - if we do not take time to refresh and renew ourselves. The Wishford Conference has been a real opportunity to focus on motivation for us and for our pupils, look at our subject areas, work out how we can connect with each other, create platforms for communication, collaboration and the sharing of best practice and resources.

Sam Antrobus, Wishford Schools’ Executive Chairman said: Wishford’s team of outstanding teachers is our single greatest resource. It is no mean feat to bring them together, but as we saw yesterday, the benefits are enormous. We have high aspirations for our staff, and so we should. They have the greatest impact on the children in their care, so it is our responsibility to ensure that our teachers have every opportunity to be the very best they can be.