We are delighted that the Fife Pedagogy team shared their account of their first Brainstrust experience with us – read how they got on in the account below. Thanks to Ross for sending this in.
Four members of the Fife Pedagogy Team attended the SELMAS Brainstrust event centred on ‘Leading Change in Changing Times’. Peter McNaughton, Head of Education and Children’s Services in Fife spoke passionately about what he believes are the key attributes and qualities of effective leadership in times of significant change.
Key messages which particularly resonated with us were those of building strong relationships with pupils, staff and parents and empowering leaders at all levels in order to create a shared vision.
‘Releasing Energy’ in such a way throughout our learning communities, involving all stakeholders and their skillsets, can drive improvements and deliver effective and sustainable change.
We also recognise that in a continually changing world, schools/leaders must be ready to evaluate existing practices within their setting, using data, first of all to support collaborative planning of models and then throughout to ensure that any change in approach has a positive impact on our learners.
Our team were delighted to have the opportunity to discuss the key challenges in relation to the changing educational landscape. As various discussions generated a number of key reflection points to consider moving forward.
The team look forward to learning more about future SELMAS events to connect with our partners to effectively support young people.
Fife Pedagogy Team
Join us for this year’s SELMAS Forum DinnerThursday 17 May 20185.30pm to 9.00pm
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”Antoine de St Exupery
There are many different routes to success for our young people. For most it is a straightforward ramble to the top of the mountain; for some it will involve lots of detours to explore interesting, less direct pathways.
As always, our excellent and provocative speakers have been asked to challenge your thinking and generate lively debate. They will suggest that success looks different for different learners, and invite reflection on whether, as educators, we offer sufficient flexibility and individualisation to those who shine in different ways. They will consider whether our current school system is more concerned with “gathering wood” rather than with helping young people to develop a deep yearning for “the vast and endless sea”.
Speakers will include:John Loughton is founder and CEO of leadership development social enterprise Dare2Lead He is an internationally recognised youth leader and campaigner, as well as being a past winner of Big Brother.
Wendy Seager is an actor and theatre maker. She is a founder member of Wildfire Theatre and is on a mission to bring women from disadvantaged backgrounds into the theatre.
Ian Rivers is Professor of Education for Social Change and Head of the School of Education at the University of Strathclyde. He is a developmental psychologist and HCPC registered health psychologist specialising in the study of the bullying behaviour and its psychological impact.
The Forum is the highlight of the year for all SELMAS fans – good food, good conversation, good fun.Don’t miss out!
Cost: £29.00Book on Eventbrite at SELMAS Forum Dinner 2018
Event Address:St George’s School for GirlsGarscube TerraceEdinburgh EH12 6BG
We don’t like you to miss out so, in case you missed it, here is the full programme from our recent conference with presentations embedded, where possible in the presenter’s name. Here are some SELMAS members and speakers working hard on the day!
SELMAS Conference: 6th February 2018
Risk and Change: The Challenge of Leadership
Jay Helbert Head teacher Glassary Primary School and Tayvallich Pre-school and Primary School
Lesley Riddoch Commentator, broadcaster and author
Practitioner session: Gillian Hunt: Independent Educational Consultant
Janice Macinnes Senior Education Manager (Early Years), Schools and Lifelong Learning, City of Edinburgh Counci
Fiona MacDonald Head teacher, Cross Arthurlie Primary
Kate_ROBINSON_ Head of Strategic Operations, HundrED
Anthony Dunn Working with schools to transform internal and extended communities
Louis Moore – Louis’ Eggs. Student entrepreneur
Practitioner session 2: Gillian Hunt, Stephen Ross Head teacher Craigroyston High School, John Davis Professor of Childhood Inclusion, University of Edinburgh
John Swinney Deputy First Minister
Conversation – DFM and Keir Bloomer
Reflections : Keir Bloomer Independent Educational Consultant
22 March 2018, 4.00-6.00pm:
Inverkeithing Primary School, Hillend Road, Inverkeithing, KY11 1PL
Leading in time of significant change
Come and discuss with Peter McNaughton, Head of Service, Fife Council.
The biggest challenge we face as educators in 2018 is to deliver on the promise of Curriculum for Excellence. It can be argued that we are too far into what is inaccurately known as the ‘new’ curriculum, to cite its ‘newness’ as the reason the anticipated improvement in achievement and attainment for children across the board has yet to materialise, or to explain why international comparisons fail to show that Scottish education is once again moving towards its rightful status as a world leader.
Peter is Head of Service in the Education and Children’s Services Directorate in Fife Council. As a former HMI and with a wealth of experience in school improvement, Peter will give his honest and unequivocal assessment of the successes and failures along the way, as teachers have worked to implement Curriculum for Excellence. He will suggest where we go from here in addressing the issues and realising the ambitions we have for all our young people.
Come along and hear what Peter has to say, then engage with him and with colleagues in discussing how we can Make Scottish Education Great for every single child and young person.
We are grateful to Inverkeithing Primary School for hosting this SELMAS Brains Trust, which is a FREE event, open to ALL with an interest in this important issue. Inverkeithing is readily accessible from the Queensferry Crossing and by train. Support us as we try to move more SELMAS events outwith Edinburgh
SELMAS Forum: Coming soon
17 May 2018, 6.00 – 9.00pm
St Georges School, Edinburgh
More details soon on https://welcometoselmas.wordpress.com/
6 February 2018
The Merchants’ Hall, Hanover Street, Edinburgh. £80
SELMAS aims to support, encourage and provoke mature conversations in areas of immediate relevance and interest to educational leaders, and the 2018 conference will deliver on this ambition.
This is our latest conference, and offers a timely debate on leadership in the light of current governance reviews – not to be missed!
The Cabinet Secretary, John Swinney will update conference on the progress the government has made with the proposals outlined in Empowering Schools
View Conference programme
The venue is a bonus: the remarkable Merchants’ Hall in central Edinburgh, where ‘Art and Architecture have combined to create a building of grace and distinction’.
The cost is an added bonus: at £80 we have managed to reduce the cost by £10 from last year, thanks in part to our sponsorship once again from the Scottish College for Educational Leadership.
Book your place on eventbrite now!
Please note that if, in booking through Eventbrite, you ask to pay by invoice, you should either undertake to pay personally or, if paying through your authority, you must supply a purchase order number for invoicing. To pay by invoice, you must order your tickets and checkout, THEN SELECT ‘pay by invoice’ IN THE OPTIONS AT PAYMENT METHOD.
Cabinet Secretary for Education, John Swinney
Jay Helbert: Experienced headteacher who has overseen and coordinated a range of leadership programmes including Collaborative Middle Leadership, Towards Headship and Into Headship
Lesley Riddoch: is one of Scotland’s best known authors, commentators and broadcasters. She is best known for broadcasting with programmes on BBC2, Channel 4, Radio 4 and BBC Radio Scotland, for which she has won two Sony speech broadcaster awards.
Kate Robinson: is Head of Strategic Operations of HundrED, a two-year think and do tank taking an extensive look into the future of K-12 education. An official part of Finland’s centenary of independence in 2017, HundrED interviewed 100 global thought leaders, created 100 case studies of innovative education happenings worldwide, and trialled 100 new experiments in schools across Finland.
Louis Moore: is 14 years old and attends Firrhill High School. He is a keen cyclist and is a member of the Edinburgh Road Club. He enjoys being in his school soul band and plays guitar and cornet. He also runs a business called Louis’ Eggs.
Keir Bloomer: is an independent education consultant. As a member of the review group which wrote “A Curriculum for Excellence”, he has been closely involved with curriculum reform and recently chaired the Higher Order Skills Excellence Group. He now undertakes curriculum and professional development work.
Contact for information:
This is a guest post from Jay Helbert of SCEL. Jay chaired this year’s forum and also wrote this interesting reflection about his impressions of it – thanks on two counts, Jay, from your friends at SELMAS.
This year’s forum took place at St George’s School, Edinburgh with a focus on the child outside the system. This was my first time at a SELMAS forum and as chair, I took this as an opportunity to challenge those in attendance to be provocative, think creatively and be brave in their conversations and beyond. This is not to say I think teachers and education leaders are fearty or faint of heart. In fact to do the very jobs we do requires great doses of fortitude, courage and resilience. Rather the challenge was to use the forum as a space to imagine and think beyond the system.
We were joined at the forum by a number of innovative thinkers who, more importantly are also innovative doers. First of all, Paul Blackwell, of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service told us of how a chance conversation with a colleague in Police Scotland led to him tackling the issue of gang violence and anti-social behaviour. This is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when people think beyond the traditional and prescribed parameters of one’s role or agency to create sustained change. Paul’s message was clear and reflected what was to become a theme of the forum:
“Be the person who brings change about, often it starts with you.” His philosophy of developing solutions with gang members rather than delivering solutions to them, or worse doing things to them is an example of genuine engagement.
The second speaker of the night was Fiona McKenzie, a former music teacher who now runs Centre Stage Communities Ltd, an organisation that uses the arts (and food) to engage people of all ages – current members range from 3 weeks to 106 years old. Fiona’s talk achieved that rarest of things by having people laughing one moment and choked up the next. This wasn’t mere ‘edutainment’ though. Fiona discussed her team meetings where, when new ideas are discussed, staff are encouraged to ask, “What’s the best that can happen?”. This take on an old question shifts the emphasis to encourage people to imagine a preferred future and then set about making it happen.
He drew a circle that shut me out –
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
– Outwitted by Edward Markham
Fiona was followed by Ian MacMillan, an experienced leader from the financial industry and third sector. Ian is a non-executive director and chair of Cyrenians, a charity that re-engages those who are excluded, from education, employment or society. Ian was very honest about the fact that teachers and school leaders face a wide range of challenges, from bureaucratic demands, through to the changing nature of curricula and assessment arrangements. He did, however encourage us all to remember the passion we have for education and continue to kindle the spark that glows within.
“You can’t light the spark in others of it’s not burning brightly within – the greatest thing a teacher does is light a spark, create a trigger moment which creates passion, confidence and allows learners to be free.”
Ian shared his learning from David Marquet’s experiences as a submarine commander when he turned USS Santa Fe from the worst rated ship in the US Navy, into the best. The key messages can be found in this inspirational and short video clip.
Our final speaker of the night was Gillian Hunt, who reminded us of some stark statistics about the number of young people who leave school without a ‘positive destination’ or more worryingly without a sustained positive destination that enable independent living and positive life experiences. Many children leave school at 16, but moany of these have disengaged by time they are in second year. Again Gillian was clear that the majority of young people are engaged in school and are served well by schools, however she is seeking a solution for those to whom school is perhaps not the most conducive environment for learning. Inspired by Newlands Junior College, Gillian is working with a range of partners from the public, private and third sectors to establish a junior college in Edinburgh.
The forum finished with a very lively panel session where we explored the question – should we have to leave the system to bring about real change? This led to some deep discussion about the definition of ‘the system’ (are we not all the system?), the power of Mavericks (should we subvert the rules if we know it is the right thing to do? If so what risks do we take?) and how any individual can change such a vast system (one lone actor can seem like a nut, but when followers join, you have a movement).
“We but mirror the world. All of the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we change ourselves then the tendencies in the world will change.” Mohandas Gandhi.
Throughout the night, I was reminded of an analogy my first head teacher, used to use; some people are like thermometers – they are good at telling you it’s too cold. Others are like thermostats – they figure out that it’s too cold and then do something about it.
It’s up to you folks. Are you a thermometer or a thermostat?
Personal Note: This blog is a personal reflection of the night as experienced through my eyes and ears. The beauty of SELMAS forum is that because of the structure and wonderful people present, every single person will have had a unique experience – it would be great to hear yours.