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The inspiration behind The Marches Festival of Education

Sarah Longville, Executive Headteacher at The Marches School, discusses what to expect from the festival

Posted by Lucinda Reid | June 04, 2017 | Events

On Thursday 29th June, the second Festival of Education will take place. The event will bring together some of education’s brightest minds to inspire headteachers, teachers, business managers and students from primary and secondary schools around the country.

With the event just around the corner, Executive Headteacher at The Marches School, Sarah Longville, explains what attendees can expect from this year’s event:

Can you explain a bit more about the theme of this year’s event, ‘leadership’? Why was this the chosen theme?

The Festival of Education encompasses a wide spectrum of leadership at all levels, from the children involved in the festival to the adults. We want to celebrate the concept of moving forward in your own learning and having the confidence to lead in every aspect of education you are in.

For us, it’s all about giving teachers and pupils the confidence and the toolkits, skills and strategy needed to further themselves personally and professionally.

What makes this event different compared to other similar events?

This event is a unique opportunity as the speakers we have confirmed at this year’s event are world-class. Last year, we saw the fusion between young people learning and adults learning. The workshops that happen throughout the day happen in tandem – adults will be in their workshops and hear from keynote speakers and will come out and see active learning taking place with young people involved in similar workshops. This fuses the learning for everybody and makes learning extremely exciting and very vibrant. Everyone involved gets a real sense of happiness, and this positive stimulation is when you are at your optimum for learning.

Why are CPD events like this so important for schools to attend?

CPD events like this are important because they bring national speakers together in one space, on one day for teachers and young people to experience new thoughts, new ideas – to learn together rather than in isolation.

It’s especially important in the Midlands so that education professionals from across the region can come together and hear from world-class speakers without having to travel to London or Manchester. For this to happen in a semi-rural setting is not only unusual, but unique.

Which speakers are you most looking forward to hearing from on the day? Why?

All of our speakers are incredible in their own right. But personally speaking, it has to be Sir Robert Winston, Andy Buck and Will Ord, but there are also some fantastic business speakers like Robert Forrester from Vertu Motors. His journey to where he is today really stands out to me.

Which single aspect of the event are you most looking forward to?

It has to be the children’s workshops. There will be a live operating theatre in the Primary Zone (Operating Theatre Live). It’s essentially a portable operating theatre, allowing students to get hands-on with real anatomy in a clinical setting – I might find myself sneaking out of the main hall to go and see it! It’s fascinating. Aardman Animations will also be re-appearing at the festival this year. Seeing Shaun The Sheep created by lots of different young people was a highlight for me last year, so I’m sure it will be again this summer. The fun and the wonder that the children got from their team was brilliant.

Why should headteachers / teachers / heads of department attend the Marches Festival of Education?

The line-up is outstanding. If I could have made a wish list of speakers then this would have been it. It’s an opportunity which shouldn’t be missed because they are world-renowned speakers and their thoughts and ideas will make a significant difference to any teacher attending. Everyone is sure to leave inspired and look at things differently and take away something valuable that can be shared with their colleagues.”

Why should business managers attend the event?

Business managers should attend because they have the top people from the EFA attending their workshops as well as inspirational speakers.

Who would your dream speakers be for next year’s event?

Brian Cox and David Walliams.

For more information, visit The Marches School's website.

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