The ideas that will inspire the next generation

The Education Show 2016 returns to the NEC, Birmingham from 17 to 19 March bringing the latest innovative ideas, resources and insights to enthuse anyone interested or invested in the education sector.

Now in its 26th year, The Education Show has become the recognised event for educators to keep up to date with the latest developments in education, and for those looking to find out how to make their school an even more inspirational place to teach and learn.

This year, the show is furthering its mission to provide an extensive programme of free continuing professional development (CPD) by partnering with non-profit organisation, the Teacher Development Trust.

The CPD programme will be peer-led and free to all practitioners, to ensure teachers get as much out of the event as possible. Promoting equal opportunities in all schools, it has launched the Leaders Campaign, funded by the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA). The campaign will help school leaders from outside the West Midlands area to attend the show for the first time by allocating 75 vouchers of up-to £100 to those that fit the criteria.

Caroline Wright, director general designate at BESA says: “Our latest research shows that there is a growing desire and need by teachers for high quality CPD: 48 per cent of primary schools and 41 per cent of secondary schools state that CPD will be a focus for 2016/17. BESA feels it is therefore very fitting and important that teachers have access to the wealth of CPD and product information available at the Education Show, hence our investment in providing funding for the travel to and from the event, to ensure this is accessible to as many educators as possible.”

Anita Pal, event director at i2i Events Group comments: “The Education Show is dedicated to providing the best support and guidance to teachers and leaders, completely free of charge. The Leaders Campaign will offer leaders the opportunity to visit the show and help ensure equal opportunities for all teaching staff to receive the high quality CPD, training and development they need for a successful career in education. The show also has a School Leaders Designated area, offering school leaders the opportunity to speak to expert suppliers about the solutions and services they can provide to schools.”

Speaking to visitors at The Education Show, the one reason that they give for attending year on year is ‘to learn’. Each year they visit the show to gather advice, guidance and ideas from both the exhibitors and the top quality training and continuing professional development programme on offer.

Last year, 60 per cent of the 10,000 strong audience were first time visitors. The total number ranged from those involved in primary school (40 per cent), secondary school (10 per cent), early years (nine per cent), further education (eight per cent) and higher education (five per cent).

Of the leaders and decision makers present, 33 per cent were head teachers, 24 per cent deputy head teachers, six per cent principals, eight per cent directors, five per cent governors, four per cent school business managers and bursars, with 20 per cent consisting of other senior leadership positions. In total, leaders made up 19 per cent of the total visitor audience. The show is ideal for those looking for inspiration and innovation in general teaching resources, school services, teacher training, SEN resources, assessment tools, educational toys, computer software, interactive resources, and outdoor play furniture.

In the theatres
This year’s show welcomes a number of education visionaries who will be speaking across four different theatres about some of the most challenging topics educators are currently facing. The Central Feature Theatre, dubbed the heart of the show, will be hosting seminars and discussions addressing the changes to assessment. Focusing on teaching innovatively to improve literacy skills across all subject areas, the Theatre will look at assessment changes across primary and secondary educational institutions.

Speakers taking to the Central Theatre stage this year include Nick Gibb, Minister of State at the Department for Education (DfE), who will be delivering an update on the educational landscape and Robert Winston, researcher, doctor, writer, broadcaster and Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London, who will be discussing ‘Learning Values’.

Having served as Shadow Minister for Schools from 2005 to 2010 and as Minister of State for Schools from May 2010, Nick Gibb is responsible for teachers and school leaders, curriculum, assessment and qualifications, school accountability, underperformance and improving school-to-school support, and school admissions, exclusions and attendance.

Elsewhere, Nadiya Hussain, winner of the Great British Bake Off, will be discussing ‘Growth Mindset and Educational Story’, while James Lissaman, assistant head teacher at De Lisle Collge, presents on ‘Life after levels: How are your peers progressing?’ Hear how this primary and secondary school have faced the removal of levels challenge and their victories so far, including the incorporation of the key elements of a good assessment system and translating these into the classroom, setting appropriate targets, tracking and effectively measuring pupil progress post levels, and demonstrating progress for Ofsted governors.

With a new curriculum that pushes for mastery how do teachers make sure that this can happen? In his talk on ‘Developing mastery in the classroom through personalising learning’, Kevin McLaughlin of Old Mill Primary School will discuss how developing a personalised learning approach can help children master the content the curriculum demands of them.

Additionally, ‘Practical steps: Life without levels’ will question whether new assessment systems are robust enough to enable senior leadership teams to monitor the effectiveness of the curriculum that is being taught in the classroom. ‘Engaging students: Gaming through the curriculum’ will inspire visitors by showing how quizzes, virtual reality and video games can be adapted and utilised in the classroom to further enrich lessons.

A great send off
The Early Years and SEN Theatre is dedicated to exploring the key challenges faced by SEN and early years professionals. The sessions will provide advice on meeting the needs of early years and SEN students.

This year, the pick of the bunch on the stage is Rosie King, storytelling activist and winner of Emmy’s Kid Award, who will present ‘What’s great about Autism?’.

Meanwhile, ‘SEN: Making the most of your budget’ looks into a number of insights that can help SEN departments spend effectively and with impact, and ‘Continuous Provision in the Foundation Stage – Play as a differentiation strategy’ will seek to clarify the reality of differentiating in early years. Hosted by Alicia Blanco-Bayo, pre-school manager at Kirkham Grammar School, the seminar will also look at how play can be differentiated, how to plan for differentiated play, and how to orientate children so that they can initiate play that had previously been differentiated.

Finally, Beccie Hawes, head of service at Rushall Primary School, looks at ‘Supporting effective teaching and assessment of reading in your Reception classrooms’.

A STEM of possibilities
The Maths and Science Theatre will host The Big Bang ‘Meet Me’ on 18 March. The event brings together teachers and employers to share ideas, stories and best practice for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) events.

The Maths and Science Theatre will immerse educators in teaching techniques and effective learning strategies through seminars, workshops and demonstrations to enhance maths and science lessons.

There is nothing particularly new about the concept of flipped learning or the flipped classroom – giving work to pupils before a lesson. What does make a significant difference is the use of technology to enhance this experience. Kirsty Tonks, assistant principal at Shireland Collegiate Academy will take a deeper dive into the journey of 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. Along with Jen Devaney, the project manager, ‘Flipped classroom: Reinventing your maths lessons’ will demonstrate how using technology to deliver this methodology can accelerate and deepen the learning.

The ATM perspective on assessing mathematics in the new curriculum exemplifies how to use rich tasks to assess both content and process skills. During Heather Davies’ session on ‘Assessing mathematical thinking for KS1, KS2 and KS3 teachers’, ATM will explore a task and the best approaches available.

Also discussing mathematics, David Youdan and Nigel Steele of IMA trace out the key skills for educating better mathematics educators in their session on ‘Creating tomorrows Head of Maths’. David Youdan is the Chief Executive of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, working in support of Council and directing the Secretariat. David has worked on the NCTL Maths Initial Teacher Training Scholarships programme since its inception. He launched the IMA MathsCareers website, possibly the most successful STEM careers website with about 250,000 visitors each year.

Elani McDonald will also address the demands to incorporate IT into advancing teaching of maths and science as a process of bettering understanding of STEM subjects. Middlesborough College’s Richard Spencer, finalist of the secondary Global Teacher Prize, provides his top tips to get students interested in science, while there will also be a seminar exploring what ‘outstanding’ levels of science looks like and how you can replicate this for students – from primary to A levels.

Learning Through Technology
Brand new for 2016, the Learning Through Technology Zone is dedicated to educators who want to source the latest technology products and services for education establishments. This specific technology‑focused zone is a key opportunity to reach educators who are interested in purchasing learning technology products and solutions.

With computing now part of the curriculum and technology becoming increasingly prominent in the learning environment, educators need to develop their skills and resources. Over half of schools in the UK anticipated that by 2015, over 50 per cent of teaching time will incorporate ICT. Therefore, the Education Show will be leading the technology transition once again.

Additionally, following the mass success of the National Curriculum Theatre at last year’s show, Scholastic’s Reading Hub builds on the company’s mission to help support reading schools and will include seminars and workshops by best-selling children’s authors, international literacy experts and practitioners on guided reading, reading assessment, Reading Recovery and more.

An added feature this year will be a reading clinic where teachers, literacy coordinators and head teachers can sit down with consultants and discuss the needs of their school, and how experts can help.

Showcase of products and learning resources
The three-day event will once again host over 300 exhibitors, all offering a wealth of knowledge and experience in their fields, and will provide teaching professionals with the opportunity to explore hundreds of exciting resources and products. Here is an outline of the exhibitors you can expect to see at the show.

Gifts for Little Hands is a new company that will be showcasing its products at the Education Show this year. Gifts for Little Hands is dedicated to supplying affordable, high quality educational and creative gifts to schools and nurseries. Its products are aligned to the early years curriculum and allow a more personalised service, as gifts can be purchased based on the child, their age and their educational requirements. There are products to suit every child and a range of gifts that will help parents to support their child’s personal and educational development at home. Gifts for Little Hands is also dedicated to supporting fundraising activities. Visit stand E106 for more information.

London Emblem Ltd, the UK’s leading supplier of badge-making machines and components, has been supplying the education industry for over 50 years and will be exhibiting on stand A88. All of its machines are UK engineered and manufactured, so they are of the highest quality and reliability, and its badge making machines are the most versatile on the market. London Emblem supplies school enamel badges such as Prefect, School Council, Eco-School, and Star of the Week; all badges are available in a variety of shapes and colours to suit your needs.

The FitNut Program (stand F119 Launch Pad) is a practical, fun and engaging fitness and nutrition learning resource designed to promote healthy habits in students. The cross-curricular program can be used within a unit or as an individual lesson, and can be differentiated for different age groups. The FitNut Program is multi‑sensory and comes to life through the FitNut Superstars audio visual materials, physical exercises and hands on practical nutrition education.

Speech Link helps to support speech and language in the classroom and improves attainment for those pupils with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). The user friendly, online packages deliver evidence of narrowing the gap for disadvantaged pupils and aim to empower education professionals. The standardised assessment identifies pupils with difficulties understanding core language skills. Identified pupils receive a tailored programme of interventions. Retesting provides evidence of levels of improvement, essential for Ofsted and the Pupil Premium. Visit stand C118 to find out more and to receive a special Education Show discount code.

IPEP Limited, the creator of the UK’s first fully interactive physical education (PE) planner, tracker and assessment tool, iPEPlanner (iPEP), will be showcasing its innovative software at the Education Show.

The iPEP revolutionises the way primary schools plan, deliver and assess their PE lessons. In addition to dramatically improving PE standards, iPEP strives to save schools time and money through its platform which allows teachers to easily create long, medium and short term lesson plans within minutes. The fully interactive assessment tool enables tracking of individual pupil development allowing for accurate and efficient reporting. Visit stand A48 for more information.

Remember your library card
ASCEL Schools Library Services UK, a unique and affordable library service for schools, will be exhibiting its products and services on stand B89. The service is run by experienced librarians who are qualified to provide expert advice and support in creating and sustaining an outstanding school library, as well as guidance on how to use and manage resources in the school. ASCEL aims to lead excellence in library services for children, young people and schools, so that every child has the opportunity to be inspired by an exciting and stimulating library environment. The service includes a range of fiction and non-fiction books and contemporary resources that can be purchased to help instil a love of reading in all pupils and ensure that schools’ libraries support the school curriculum, as well as encouraging pupils to read for pleasure.

Laveer Legal (stand K88) is an employment law specialist firm that supports schools and academies with HR and employment law matters. It offers expert, bespoke and cost-effective support to educational establishments and ensures employment contracts are fully compliant, investigations and disciplinary processes are carried out correctly and, in the unlikely event that a school is faced with a claim, provides a membership scheme where clients can access legal representation at a heavily discounted rate.

At Laveer Legal, clients are assigned their own lawyer from the outset and have access to a helpdesk service that provides immediate and unlimited employment law and HR advice.

Plastic Tokens, the UK’s largest token manufacturer, will be exhibiting on stand C48-D49. The tokens and collectors can be used for a number of things including: schools rewarding good behaviour, cashless currency at events and festivals, and to create visually impressive voting systems. It provides a range of sets that start from small desktop tubes, perfect for use in classrooms, to floor standing tubes that sit perfectly in school receptions and assembly halls. These colourful tube units are a great way to show off your school’s achievements and are used to positively reward children and show them how well they perform individually or as part of a team.

Publicly-owned buying organisation, YPO, supplies education establishments with everything they need to operate successfully, including over 30,000 products and 80 frameworks. YPO is working with social enterprise organisation Community Inspired to launch FundEd, a new programme to help schools across the UK access vital funding, from sources such as crowdfunding, grants and sponsorship. The FundEd programme aims to help raise £300m additional funding for schools by 2020. YPO is 100 per cent publicly-owned, meaning that all profits are returned to its members and customers for reinvestment in frontline education. At The Education Show, it will be focusing on innovative STEM resources, making savings and generating income and investment. Visit stand F18 to discover more.

A helping hand
The SEN Information Point will once again be hosted by nasen, providing visitors with valuable insight into policy changes and the statutory requirements of the new SEND Code of Practice.

Nasen is the UK’s leading organisation that provides training, development and support for those who work with or care for children and young people with special and additional educational needs and disabilities.

The association helped to curate the show’s three-day SEN CPD programme: free to attend seminars and workshops developed to enable best practices and outstanding methodology for pupils with SEN to be shared and discussed. The team will also be launching free online training for all schools in order to help embed the reforms in the SEND Code of Practice and continue to develop excellent provision. This free training will use existing expertise to share the most effective practice with schools.

To help exhibitors plan their route around the show, BESA will be on hand at the BESA Show Information Point. The association’s knowledge and experience will help visitors plan their time at the event and ensure they get as much out of it as possible.

Getting to the NEC
The NEC is just ten minutes by train from the centre of Birmingham and 80 minutes from London, with Birmingham International airport and railway station located within the same complex as the NEC.

Birmingham International train station is just a five-minute walk under a covered bridge link from the show, linking The Education Show with all major cities in the UK. The NEC is situated eight miles East of Birmingham city centre, at the hub of the UK motorway network. Visitors from any direction can travel to The NEC site directly using the following motorways – M1, M5, M6, M6 Toll, M40 and M42.

The NEC is also easily accessible from all London airports, however, the most convenient is Birmingham Airport. Once you’ve landed in Birmingham, you can take the Air-Rail Link which operates every two minutes and has a one-way travel time of 90 seconds. The link operates daily between 05:15 and 02:00, connecting the airport passenger terminals and The NEC.

The Education Show is jam-packed with innovative ideas, resources and insights to advance pedagogy, so whether you’re a teacher, SENCO or pupil, there is a reason to visit the show.

You can follow @EducationShow on Twitter for further news and updates, or join #EdShowChat every last week of the month.

Further Information