Our annual Inspire Teacher Leads Conference aims to bring colleagues from the Inspire Schools Partnership together to network and gain valuable CPD insights and opportunities. We welcomed sixteen Inspire Teacher Leads on 15 March, all of whom are responsible for co-ordinating the Inspire Scholars 9, 10 and 11 Programme in their schools.

The day began with a welcome talk by Katie Inwood, the Inspire 9, 10 and 11 Programme Lead, outlining the aims of the Inspire Scholars Programme and its development since 2022/23. St John's President Sue Black then gave a fascinating talk about her research and the H-unique project funded by the ERC.

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The morning workshop was led by Professor Deborah Eyre from High Performance Learning. HPL currently works with 120 schools across 23 countries, helping teachers to secure a consistent culture of high expectations and building cognitive and lifetime success for their pupils. Deborah shared the development of her research and was inspirational in her view that every pupil has 'the potential of high performance', despite 63% of teaching staff not believing the vast majority of their pupils are capable of high performance. Colleagues then engaged in an activity to explore how high-performance learners think and behave so they could apply this to their own teaching practice.

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We’d like to thank Head of Student Wellbeing, Hanne Clark, for leading the afternoon sessions with her insightful Q&A on common wellbeing issues at university and the advice and guidance that may be needed for pupils in Year 11–13.

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The final part of the day was led by Joe Rowntree, from TalktheTalk Oracy (pictured with Katie, Petros Spanou and TalktheTalk director, Mark Farmer).

Joe engaged the Inspire Teachers in a number of ice breakers to demonstrate how to build confidence among their pupils in discussion-based activities. Joe then introduced the PEEEP technique and tailored this specifically to one for the Inspire Club Classes.

TalktheTalk did an excellent job of making a bespoke workshop, adapting to the requirements of the Inspire Scholars Programme and a number of the Inspire Teacher Leads have since applied for our Aspiration Fund to run a student Oracy workshop by TalktheTalk.

" I found the linking in the Inspire Art History resources with oracy really powerful. Oracy is very big in school right now, and I welcome more ideas in improving children's oracy in classroom. " Inspire Teacher Lead

Reflecting on the workshop, Joe commented:

'The staff (CPD) session was characterised by a good display of energy, engagement and commitment from the Inspire Teachers. Their proactive approach from the outset, as evidenced by their eagerness to participate, answer questions, and actively engage in the activities, was impressive. It was particularly gratifying to witness the delegates collaborating effectively in groups whilst doing their PEEEP speeches, gradually embracing challenges, and stretching their boundaries by delivering group presentations on various portraits facilitated by Katie. This exercise not only fostered teamwork but also encouraged personal growth as individuals stepped out of their comfort zones. The session culminated on a high note, leaving all participants with a sense of fulfilment and achievement. I would like to say a big thank you to Katie for her organisation and for inviting me along to be part of such an inspirational and rewarding day.'

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Thank you to all those involved in organisation of the day and to our Inspire Teacher Leads for their continued dedication to the Inspire Scholars Programme.