On 17-19 March 2016, thousands of educators came together at the NEC, Birmingham, for the 26th Education Show, looking to gather new ideas and insights to improve teaching and learning.
As the recognised event for the latest and most innovative developments in education, the Education Show is a key event for teachers each year, with an extensive programme of free continuing professional development (CPD) and advice from hundreds of leading education providers.
This year, the Education Show furthered its mission to provide educators with the highest quality free continuing professional development (CPD) and resources, by partnering with non-profit organisation, the Teacher Development Trust. The Trust helped to curate the free CPD programme for the Education Show 2016 in line with new standards for professional learning.
With technology still high on the agenda in UK schools, the show’s dedicated ‘Learning through Technology’ zone returned to the show floor, providing teachers with insight into the most innovative technologies and practices, and guidance on how they can be used to enhance learning.
Free CPD programme
The show also welcomed a number of education visionaries to speak across the four different theatres, with visitors gaining insight into some of the most challenging topics currently facing educators. Here’s a snapshot of some of the key speaker sessions.
Robert Winston, doctor, writer, broadcaster and professor of science and society at Imperial College London, spoke in the Central Feature Theatre in a seminar focusing on ‘Learning Values’. His session discussed how we learn and how learning can be improved for all, and touched upon the science of learning.
Kathryn Asbury, professor and author at the University of York, addressed genetic research in teaching and learning during her session. Kathryn’s session entitled ‘G is for Genes: What does genetic research have to offer to education?’ discussed why pupils differ from each other and what that might mean in education. Kathryn lectures in psychology in education and is co-author of ‘G is for Genes’, which examines the genetic influence on academic achievement.
The winner of the BBC’s Great British Bake Off 2015, Nadiya Hussain, also took to the Central Feature stage to speak about ‘Growth Mindset and Education’ in a question and answer style session, which was extremely popular with visitors.
Every year, the Early Years and SEN Theatre is dedicated to exploring the key challenges faced by professionals specialising in this area. This year was no different, with several inspirational speakers from the education sector taking to the stage to provide practical advice on meeting the needs of these children. Sessions included a talk from Rosie King, storytelling activist and winner of Emmy’s Kid Award, who presented ‘What’s great about Autism?’
Sharing STEM success
In the Maths and Science Theatre was The Big Bang ‘Meet Me’. The event brought together teachers and employers so that they could share ideas, stories and best practice for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) events. The session included an exciting discussion from EngineeringUK about how employers and teachers can encourage more young people to explore STEM professions.
Visitors to the Education Show 2016 once again had access to an inspiring programme of free CPD and training, with sessions taking place throughout the show, in a number of theatres across the show floor.
On Thursday, James Lissaman, assistant head teacher at De Lisle College, led a session on ‘Life after levels: How are your peers progressing?’ in the School Leaders’ Summit. The focus of the session was on how primary and secondary schools have faced the challenge of the removal of levels and its victories so far. James discussed how to incorporate the key elements of a good assessment system into the classroom; how to ensure practitioners are challenging pupils effectively and setting appropriate targets; and how attainment can be tracked effectively and used to demonstrate progress for Ofsted, governors and parents.
Kirsty Tonks, assistant principal, and Jen Devaney, project manager, both from Shireland Collegiate Academy, discussed the ‘Flipped classroom: Reinventing your maths lessons’. During the session, they addressed MathsFlip, an Education Endowment Foundation funded project which looks at the impact of adopting a Flipped Learning method with Year 5 and 6 pupils in mathematics, and demonstrated how using technology to deliver this methodology can accelerate and deepen learning.
Latest products and resources
The three-day event also provided education and teaching professionals with the opportunity to get hands-on with hundreds of innovative products and resources, from over 300 exhibitors, all offering a wealth of knowledge and experience in their field.
B Squared presented Evisense, a brand‑new web application that captures key events in a child’s journey through their education – from early years into early adulthood. Evisense stores evidence of a pupil’s progress and achievements via photos, videos, school work and associated comments. Visitors had the opportunity to see the Connecting Steps software, which tracks progress across all subjects of the new National Curriculum, and includes GCSE tracking across Key Stages 3 and 4 as well as a new assessment for profiling autism.
Educater, a person-centred communication and tracking system built specifically for the education sector, was on-hand to offer advice and guidance to visitors at this year’s show. The product is designed to dramatically reduce the administration burden within several key areas, including school tracking and assessment and SEND paperwork. One of its latest modules includes STATonline, the only tracker specifically designed to manage STAT Sheffield content. The partnership between STAT Sheffield and Educater has enabled them to create an online system which is designed to be intuitive to use, quick to deliver the needs and requirements of staff and has the potential to impact directly on teaching and learning.
Memory Owl also exhibited at the Education Show. It offers a new and unique way of learning times tables using memory techniques and is aimed at Key Stage 1 and 2 pupils. The product has been created based on the concept that there is no need to remember numbers, and instead encourages children to remember short stories about Memory Owl and his friends in the wood. Available in a book, colouring book, teachers’ resource pack, flash cards and website, schools can also become members to have access to a web app, including narrated stories and a quiz, reduced price books and resources.
Created by a team of qualified teachers, SATs Companion is a unique, comprehensive online resource to help pupils prepare for the new 2016 Key Stage 2 SATs at home or at school. The system has an advanced question and test bank that allows differentiated questions, contents, and styles – just like the real exam. It offers timed practice test sets, printable worksheets, digital micro lessons, a revision bank, advanced reporting, instant marking, pupil rewards system, and progress trackers.
Supplier of quality stationery products for over 35 years, STAEDTLER celebrated its 50th anniversary at the Education Show. The company showcased its top selling stationery items and also introduced new products including the Teachers Marking set, in bright on-trend colours.
Avantis showcased its multi award-winning LearnPad tablets, 65” interactive displays, tablet management software and a host of new classroom technology. Visitors to the stand also had an opportunity to see the revolutionary wireless charging solution, ClassCharge for iPad along with ClassBoard, a free, intuitive parental engagement app. ClassBoard is a free, simple and innovative solution that engages parents in their child’s learning; it allows teachers to securely share images, videos and documents, giving parents a view of their child’s education as it happens. Any schools who registered at the stand received a free goodie bag.
SuperStickers showcased its new Teacher’s Sticky Notes, sparkling sticker designs and stationery sets at this year’s show. The company is passionate about praising and encouraging children at school in order to boost their self-esteem and support their academic development, as a ‘Well Done’ sticker, ‘Teacher’s Award’ badge or ‘Super Effort’ stamp may seem small, but they make a child feel really proud of their achievements, spurring them on to work harder. SuperStickers also offers personalised rewards, and colourful classroom display posters and time-saving resources for teachers. The Targeteers range of stickers covers every target across the primary curriculum, and handy Learning Records provide an at-a-glance log of a child’s progress and attainment at Key Stages 1 and 2.
Sharing SEND knowledge
Nasen, the UK’s leading organisation supporting those who work with or care for children and young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities, helped to curate the show’s three-day SEND CPD programme. The seminars and workshops were free to attend and gave education practitioners the chance to share and discuss outstanding methodology for pupils with SEND and best practices.
To help exhibitors plan their route around the show, the British Educational Supplier’s Association (BESA) was once again on-hand at the BESA Show Information Point. The association’s knowledge and experience helped visitors plan their time at the event and ensure they got as much out of it as possible.