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Practitioners look beyond Covid and test a ‘national conversation’ model

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This Spring, the first ‘national conversation’ of its kind will see practitioners discuss lessons learned during the pandemic; how to support learning in the next phase; and how to ensure their learners progress. Experiences will be shared, and findings will help to inform national policy.

Short films to spark the conversations will feature leading academics Robin Bannerjee, Graham Donaldson, and Louise Hayward, along with Mike Griffiths, a former practitioner deeply involved in the development of the Curriculum for Wales.

The potential and opportunities offered by the new curriculum to inform approaches to teaching and learning in the next phase will be a sub-theme throughout.

A representative from every school and setting will be able to attend. That person does not need to be a senior leader, but will be capable of instigating similar conversations back at their school, and feeding back from the event. Booking is via Regional Consortia, which will fund each participant for 2.5 hours for attendance, and importantly to share the learning with colleagues in school.

Inevitably held online, practitioners will join virtual discussion groups – bringing together ideas and perspectives in sessions led by fellow practitioners.

These ‘national conversations’ will also be a useful test-bed for work to develop a national network of practitioners and stakeholders to take curriculum realisation forward. The sessions will give useful insight into the reach and accessibility that virtual events can offer, and how a “hybrid” model of face-to-face and virtual events could provide a template for a national network.

An extract below from the facilitator briefing on the ‘conversations’ provides more insight into what these events hope to achieve:

The purpose of these sessions is to:

  • Give practitioners time and space to reflect and think about how we move together out of the current disruption
  • Get practitioners to take what they’ve discussed back to their schools to inform their own local approaches to these issues
  • Inform the national policy response to addressing lost learning time, moving forward towards our education reforms

Shared ways of working:

Throughout, we want these conversations to embody and promote the shared ways of working developed as part of the curriculum reform process – that is:

  • Development through co-construction
  • Equity in co-construction
  • Space and time to think and engage
  • Clear understanding of ‘why’ things are learned and done
  • Critical engagement with expertise
  • Leadership at all levels
  • Operating as learning organisations

The Information page on Hwb has more information. After the series of events, findings from the conversations will be analysed and summarised as a supplementary resource.

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