Outstanding teaching assistant work promoted in Cheltenham

Cheltenham College Preparatory School hosted an annual conference attended by over 220 staff from schools around Gloucestershire

The conference was the result of a collaboration between Cheltenham College Preparatory School and Gloucester Road Primary School, and was designed to ensure that Teaching Assistants within the county had access to the latest thinking in the sector.

Dr Paula Bosanquet opened the conference as the first keynote speaker. Paula is Head of Training and Development at the University of East London and leads on work Maximising the Practice of Teaching Assistants (MPTA). She spoke passionately on the need for teaching assistants to encourage pupil independence in learning.

Lee Parkinson, well known and highly regarded for his ICT blog as ‘Mr P’, delivered the second keynote speech of the day. He has worked as a primary school teacher for eight years and integrated iPads into the classroom successfully as a teaching aid for all pupils. He shared with the audience his insights on how to integrate and maximise the use of technology in the classroom to increase learning outcomes.

Dr Paula Bosanquet

Attendees at the conference also had the chance to take part in workshop sessions throughout the afternoon and network with their peers over lunch. The packed agenda was brought to a close with attendees returning to their schools armed with plenty of new techniques and ideas to try out in the classroom.

Rachel Hamlyn, Deputy Head, Academic, at Cheltenham College Preparatory School, commented: “Encouraging exploration, development and achievement is at the heart of what we do at The Prep and this extends not only to our pupils, but our teaching staff too. We have been delighted to host teaching assistants from across the county today and give these invaluable members of our teaching teams not only the opportunity to participate in some very inspiring INSET, but the chance to network and collaborate with colleagues from other schools.”

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