On Thursday 8 June, students from education and training courses across the North East gathered at the Radission Blu Hotel to take part in the first North East Initial Teacher Education Conference.
The conference, which was jointly hosted by New College Durham and Middlesbrough College, aimed to support Initial Teacher Education trainees in preparing for their careers in post 16 education.
The event centred around addresses from two keynote speakers. In the morning, Dr Paul Tully, Professionalism Manager at the Education and Training Foundation, discussed Transforming Professionalism in the Further Education and Training Sector. The afternoon session’s topic was Exploring the Golden Threads of Teacher Development delivered by Haili Hughes, the Head of Education at IRIS Connect and Senior Lecturer and Teacher Development Mentor Lead at the University of Sunderland.
Throughout the day guest speakers from high profile education establishments including Durham University, Areté Learning Trust, National Education Union and Teesside University delivered breakout sessions covering topics such as effective questioning, intelligent assessment design and implementing positive behaviour management in the classroom.
Event organisers Steve Bell and Sabrina Ahmed-Qureshi were delighted with the positive feedback from attendees. Steve Bell, Head of School at New College Durham, said:
“We worked hard to put together a fantastic day of networking, collaboration and professional development and were able to attract an enviable variety of speakers from the world of further and higher education and training. We wanted attendees to be able to take something away that will inform their practice moving forward and judging by the feedback we have received we achieved our aim.”
Sabrina Ahmed-Qureshi, Teaching and Learning Mentor at Middlesbrough College, added:
“We hope the North East Initial Teacher Education Conference will become a key part of the annual Initial Teacher Education calendar and look forward to seeing the impact of the conference feed through into our North East ITE community of practice.”
Anthony McClurry is studying his PGCE at New College Durham. He was very impressed by the topics covered in the sessions and the experience of those delivering them. He said: “The speakers were very informative. I picked up lots of tips and ideas that I can put into practice in my teaching sessions. I particularly enjoyed the session on reviewing educational theories by Jonathan Tummons and think there is a great deal I’ll be able to apply in the classroom. The whole event was fantastic, it was so interesting to hear from those who have varied and in-depth experience of teaching.”
Charlotte McKay is studying her Cert Ed at Middlesbrough College and is looking forward to putting different strategies into her work-based learning and curriculum design. She said “With Middlesbrough being in a deprived area, Sean Harris's session on ‘Education and Poverty’ and being aware of the context of the learners and how to support them in building their schemas before they come into the classroom is invaluable. I have enjoyed networking with other colleges and learning from everyone and updating my knowledge on the new professional standards.”
Lauren Risbrough a Certificate in Education student at Middlesbrough College said that “the Jonathan Tummons session on ‘Bad Theories’ was good because things do go out of date, and things change all the time in education, so it is important to attend events like these to keep teachers up to date and up to professional standards.”