Oxford NQT Early Career Development Conference

The first Oxford NQT Early Career Development Conference was held at Lady Margaret Hall on Saturday 18th June 2016.

Thirty-nine NQTs, the majority of whom were PGCE Alumni of the Department of Education, took part in a variety of workshops on Mindfulness in Schools, Values-themed Learning, Understanding, Preventing and Deescalating Behaviour, the Prevent Agenda, the Growth Mindset and Widening Participation. There was also an opportunity for delegates to visit the MSc Learning and Teaching Poster Conference which was being held simultaneously across the road in the Department.

At the beginning of the day delegates were welcomed to Lady Margaret Hall by Dr Ann Childs, fellow of the college and PGCE tutor in Chemistry, and by Trevor Mutton, PGCE Course Leader at the Department of Education.

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Delegates were welcomed by Trevor Mutton and Dr Ann Childs. Dr Katharine Burn chaired the conference.

Viv Ellis, Professor of Educational Leadership and Teacher Development at King’s College London and a former PGCE English tutor at the Department of Education gave a keynote address entitled Thriving not surviving: some ways of flourishing as a teacher. He brought with him Kenny Frederick, formerly Headteacher of George Green’s School and now a PhD candidate at Brunel University and Robert Mahon, Head of English, Sion Manning School, London and an alumnus of our Department. They talked from their first-hand experience of working with new teachers, giving hints and tips on how to make the best of a teaching career and to overcome the many challenges faced in the first few years.

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The keynote address was delivered by Robert Mahon, Viv Ellis and Kenny Fredericks

The final session of the day brought together a panel made up of Department staff, NQTs and current students and OES committee members to address issues around planning a career.

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Chair Dr Katharine Burn (left) introduces (from left to right) Nigel Fancourt (MLT course director), Derek Peaple (Head of Park House School), Simon Bayliss (NQT of the Year 2015) and Helen Woolley (Head of Educational Research ) – both at Oxford Spires Academy – and Andrew Seber (CBE). Both Derek and Andrew are members of the OES Committee.

The full programme for the day can be downloaded here.

To see more photos of the conference and the workshops, click here.

Delegates gave their feedback on the conference. You can download a pdf copy of the results here.

The NQT Conference organising committee members are:

  • Katharine Burn (PGCE History and the Oxford Education Deanery)
  • Ann Childs (PGCE Chemistry)
  • Nicole Dingwall (PGCE English)
  • Emma Klose (Oxford Education Deanery)
  • Laura Molway (PGCE Modern Foreign Languages)
  • Phil Richards (OES Administrator)
  • Linda Robins (PGCE Office)
  • Andrew Seber (OES Committee)
  • Nicola Warren-Lee (PGCE Geography)

It was organised in co-operation with the Oxford Education Deanery which in turn is involved in the organisation of the Oxfordshire NQT induction programme through the Oxfordshire Teaching Schools Alliance (OTSA). For further information, visit the Deanery website.

Some later feedback from a participant in the conference:

Dear Derek Peaple,

I attended the NQT conference in Oxford and was inspired by your initiative of using Olympic and Paralympic values for learning and fostering a positive ethos.

I am in my second year of teaching; last year I was the mind-set representative for my department and was in charge of implementing and trialing strategies proposed by the mind-set leaders. This year I am leading mind-sets and the school agreed that we needed a huge shift in approach and tactics. The school’s previous mind-set system was hugely rejected by the students to the point where the word ‘mind-sets’ alone causes eye rolls and long sighs. So, when you spoke about your method of using Olympic and Paralympic values to promote positive mind-sets I was intrigued.

Having been British champion and 6-year consecutive Welsh Champion I am deeply interested in sports mentality and its values and am always trying to encourage my students to adopt the same psychology. It would be brilliant if I could now make this a whole school focus.

I would like to take on board your initiative and to introduce the Olympic values to my school as a way of thinking: a vehicle for students to approach their learning in a more positive and resilient manner.