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WAT Collaborative Inset Day: Celebrating Professional Learning and Growth

25th June 2024

On 21st June, the WAT Family came together for an inspiring and enriching day of professional development across two venues: Great Wyrley Academy and the Telford International Centre. This event marked a significant moment for our community, bringing together 1300 staff members to engage in diverse professional learning sessions.

Professional Services at Great Wyrley

016A0990The professional services staff gathered at Great Wyrley Academy, where the day's agenda was packed with insightful sessions tailored to enhance their skills and knowledge. Sarah Lewis, Director of People, kicked off the day with a warm welcome, followed by a session on Professional Services CPL Insights led by Leyla Palmer, Head of Professional Learning and Talent. Leyla emphasised the importance of continuous professional learning (CPL) and shared plans for upcoming CPL opportunities.

Nicola Foote from Jigsaw 24 delivered an engaging session on enhancing professional services with AI, exploring the potential of artificial intelligence in streamlining and improving various administrative tasks. After a refreshing lunch break, attendees participated in role-specific breakout sessions, covering areas such as wellbeing and resilience - led by Nick Elston and Helen Taylor-Brimson from Forging People - menu planning, IT infrastructure alignment, and financial updates.

Leyla Palmer reflected on the day, stating: "It's inspiring to see our professional services staff altogether in one place so engaged and eager to learn. The sessions today were designed to address team areas and priorities while equipping staff with the tools they need to continue to excel in their roles."

Teaching Staff at Telford

016A0757Meanwhile, teaching staff convened at the Telford International Centre for a day focused on metacognition, self-regulation, and student engagement. The event featured a stellar lineup of speakers, including Doug Lemov, Chief Knowledge Officer and Founder of Teach Like a Champion, and Craig Barton of Mr Barton Maths.

Dawn Haywood, CEO of Ƶ, opened the event, setting the tone for a day of deep learning and collaboration. Doug Lemov's sessions on student engagement and ratio were particularly impactful, offering practical strategies to increase participation and thinking in the classroom. His insights into cognitive science and effective teaching practices were invaluable, and his sessions were highly interactive, encouraging teachers to reflect on their practices and develop new techniques.

Craig Barton led a specialised session on "Atomisation in Maths," where he discussed breaking down mathematical concepts into manageable parts for more effective teaching. His engaging approach and practical tips resonated with the attendees, providing them with new tools to enhance their mathematics instruction.

In the afternoon, following an electric morning with Doug Lemov, Sonya Lanckham, our Deputy Director of Education, kicked off the next set of sessions. We were also proud to feature our own talented staff: Kirsten Tinsley, Gavina Raindi, and Becky Anderson, whose contributions highlighted the incredible depth of knowledge and skill within our WAT Family.

The event was brought to a close by Dan Owen, Director of Education, and Leanne Bridgwood, Primary Executive Lead, who encapsulated the day's spirit of unity and growth.

Dan Owen remarked, "Today showcased the strength and dedication of our WAT Family. The collaboration and enthusiasm from everyone involved were truly inspiring, and it’s clear we are all committed to continuous improvement and excellence in education."

A Day of Unity and Growth

The WAT Collaborative Inset Day was more than just a day of professional development; it was a celebration of our commitment to excellence and ensuring all our staff and children can thrive. The diverse range of sessions ensured that every staff member, regardless of their role, had the opportunity to learn something new and valuable.

As we reflect on this successful day, we extend our heartfelt thanks to all our speakers, including Doug Lemov, Craig Barton, Nicola Foote, Nick Elston and Helen Taylor-Brimson whose expertise and passion made a lasting impact. We also express our gratitude to all the attendees for their active participation and dedication to professional growth.

As Dawn Haywood perfectly captured the spirit of the day, "Today was a testament to the strength of the WAT Family. Together, we are building a community of lifelong learners committed to unlocking the academic and personal potential of our students."

As we move forward, we are excited to implement the insights and strategies gained from this day of learning. The WAT Family continues to thrive, united in our mission to create high-performing schools and make a positive impact on society.

Thank you to everyone who made this day possible. We look forward to many more opportunities to learn and grow together.]

A full gallery of the day can be found here: