The 30th October saw over 400 WWPAT colleagues come together for our 4th Festival of Learning.
Our theme this year was ‘Old But Gold’. The wheel of fashion in education is forever turning and we mustn’t lose sight of great practice of the past – great teaching is enduring. Senior leaders, teachers and support staff had the opportunity to pause and reflect, accessing an array of high quality workshops. From games based learning to critique, relational practice to SEND, EYFS to attendance, wellbeing to personal development, there was something on offer for everyone.
The day kicked off with Darren Holmes, CEO at Enquire Learning Trust. He spoke passionately about developing a culture in which everyone believes they can be better because ultimately, the better we all become, regardless of our individual roles, the better the offer for the children and communities we serve. Following Darren’s inspirational start to the day, colleagues then attended three pre-booked workshops of their choice, offering bespoke CPD tailored to their roles, responsibilities or to their interests and wonders.
Our CEO, Kate Davies, closed the festival, sharing the importance of culture, being the ‘teacher’ or adult we all needed when we were younger. She implored all participants to remain professionally curious as curiosity is the engine that drives continuous learning. Within our annual Festival of Learning, the emphasis is not solely on professional development but also on fostering a mindset of curiosity and collaboration. We often underestimate the importance of cognitive diversity in seeking solutions but also extending our thinking beyond our own experiences, our views and our opinions. Quite rightly, we do not always have the answers to the many questions that education poses but you can bet the answer is somewhere in the room; we just need the will, desire and the opportunity to seek it out. Days like the our teaching and learning festival do offer exactly that. Colleagues are encouraged to explore topics beyond their immediate roles, embracing a holistic approach to personal and professional development; enhancing individual skill sets but creating a more adaptable and resilient workforce enable us to be the absolute best we can be for the children within our care.
As a trust, we see the great value of not only embracing the expertise of those within but see the valuing and challenging our thinking from those beyond, and it was therefore a privilege to have colleagues beyond White Woods sharing their knowledge, their experiences and their thinking with White Woods colleagues. The day was littered with a number of innovative workshops from ”Cultivating Meaningful Relationships” to ”Games Based Learning” ‘to “Practical adaptive strategies for SEND learners.” A huge thank you to our Workshop presenters for their professional generosity on the day.
The video below beautifully captures our Festival in a snapshot and why White Woods PAT is a special place to work!