And we’re off – #LearningFirst Bath Spa, here we come!


#LearningFirst Bath Spa ‘Show & Tell’ 22nd September 2016

An exciting @BeyondLevels #LearningFirst Bath Spa conference format for you, which responds to many of your requests.

Rob: creating an assessment system that supports teachers identify next steps in learning whilst helping Senior and Middle Leaders identify those who need support.

Jack: I think the strengths of Sheffield were its ability to inspire and build a sense of a collective. I think the key next step is to open out the debate and to work out what the issues everyone is facing are and how to bring those to others with similar issues. I think there needs to be a significant amount of the same inspiration, especially for everyone who will hopefully be going for the first time. Have a look at Jack’s comments because he then goes on to suggest that we use ‘open space discussions’. We think that is certainly something for smaller more focussed events, but have decided against the approach for Bath Spa.

Kathleen:  Would love to go into more detail on the HOW of it all – balancing learning first with overarching accountability.

Chris: In the Final report on AWL one of the recommendations is to have SLEs with specialism in assessment in all TSAs to support good practice and work on developing an appropriate CPD. Maybe in Bath someone could share ideas how it could be done.

In response to Chris, Aimee said: I am an SLE with a specialism for assessment and sat in the conference yesterday thinking how every assessment SLE would have been inspired by the amazing things we talked about and how the SLE system seems like a good way to share the passion and ideas through a national network. Very interested in taking this further!

Aimee also suggested: Some kind of view of what the inspiration we took away from the day yesterday looks like in reality? What an amazing profession we work in.

Andrea: Bringing and sharing ideas would be amazing if practicable……and primary / secondary options perhaps?

Kat: Good Independent schools don’t have the same accountability and many don’t do SATs. They have been using a ‘without’ levels approach – I think it would be interesting to pursue the opportunity of finding out more about how they have gone about assessment for learning.

Simon: Great day yesterday! There was a purity about it that was truly enervating and, indeed, liberating. Offering the stage to so many willing and worthy speakers made it what it was. That said, I am wondering if something can be created that allows for further exploration of thoughts shared.

Karys: It would also be wonderful to see lots of practical examples of AWL from schools across the country; journeys from colleagues who have exercised their professional courage even when seemingly swimming against the tide. I really valued the panel debates yesterday – it would be great if delegates could also question or contribute in some way. Thank you so much for everything – what is happening here feels very special. Read Karys whole comment because she also mentions the assessment of schools and staff, which might be a focus of another event, if the #LearningFirst community thinks that would be useful.

Cathy: Loved yesterday in Sheffield but would like more focus on EYFS at the next event. The culture in this phase is already more like where the whole of education needs to be … Start with the child …always!

Karen: Is it possible to get colleagues from all sorts of different settings – small school inner city, large school rural, high mobility, no mobility, EAL, mostly high attainers and so on to share their practical approaches? Or even a discussion around does one size fit all pupil groups? As Michael said about the marking and EYFS vs Year 6, it would be really interesting to hear & discuss approaches in different settings.

Clare: Further sessions showcasing bold, brave and innovative practice from other schools would be great too.

Matt: I would share Karen’s views – as an SLE in a secondary school I would love to see some examples of practice both in secondary schools like mine and primaries.

Hannah: Please read Hannah’s comment – she has just great ideas, which chime with Jack’s, that we would definitely consider for future events.

Debbie: I also agree with Clare that we need to consider how the conference can reach out to more vulnerable schools and help them to feel brave in their context. Looking forward to Sept!

Marc: Marc’s comment regarding subject specific assessment is definitely something we would like to explore. There may be colleagues who would like to share subject specific approaches at Bath Spa.

You can read all of the comments here.


So, come to….

#LearningFirst Bath Spa ‘Show & Tell’

If you want to…

Hear from, and ask questions of, Tim Oates, Mary Myatt, Sean Harford, Sarah Earle, James Pembroke and Dame Alison Peacock.


Share and/or help critique, practical examples of how schools are creating assessment systems and practice, that put #LearningFirst

Share and/or help critique,  practical examples of how schools are developing their arrangements for transitions that put #LearningFirst

There are 200 tickets available, so tickets will be on a strictly first come first serve basis.

The tickets will be via Eventbrite again, so if you know you had problems with this system last time, please email to give the email that worked for Sheffield, in the end.

The venue: Bath Spa University, Newton St Loe, Bath, BA2 9BN.

Timings: 9.15 Registration opens Day ends at approx 4p.m.

Costs: Due to the continued generosity of our speakers and hosts, we are able to offer this conference FOC. However, we have not yet secured sponsorship for refreshments, so we may have to ask you to pay for these. We anticipate that this would be in the region of £10 per person.


So what next?

We would love to hear from colleagues in as many roles and types of settings as possible, across EYFS, KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, who are creating assessment systems and practice, that put #LearningFirst. Also, from colleagues who wish to share practical examples of how their school, or schools, are developing their arrangements for transitions that put #LearningFirst.

This is an opportunity to share and celebrate your work with others. Also, an opportunity to have your work professionally critiqued to help you with next steps, if you would find that useful. Sounds scary, but trust us, you will be in the very safe and positive hands of the #LearningFirst community.

If you would like to come to #LearningFirst Bath Spa, you will need to secure a ticket. All existing members of the #LearningFirst community will be emailed next Friday (17th June) offering them a chance of securing a ticket.

We currently have nearly 900 in the #LearningFirst community, so only colleagues who have already signed up, will be offered a delegate ticket. If this conference is as useful to you, as we hope it will be, we will continue to organise events across the country, so colleagues who do not manage to secure a ticket this time, will have other opportunities. We also hope to stream or, at least, record the day, so folk will have that available to them too.

  1. Hi Aimee and Chris
    I’m also an SLE – Assessment and am very interested in exploring how we can share good practice and potentially create a shared language/understanding of assessment post-levels. Whether this is possible is open to debate – clearly there are a lot of different/conflicting schools of thought – but I’d love to try. I’m going to be meeting our teaching school manager in the next few weeks to start a conversation. Where are you based?

  2. Hi Dan,
    I’m based in Derbyshire – our TSA is busy working on assessment as we speak. Why not send me message via Twitter and we can get in touch. Perhaps through the SLE network we could do something really helpful and make something brilliant happen and offer something great to share #LearningFirst! @aimeetinkler

    • Hi Helen. You need to be a signed up member of the #LearningFirst community. First step is to complete the form on the “Are you in?’ page on this website.

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