VNET Summer Conference: Quality First Teaching

Loading Events
This event has passed.

We look forward to welcoming you to VNET’s Quality First Teaching Conference on 5th July 2019 from 9am to 3:30pm at The Enterprise Centre at the UEA.

Every member school or federation has two free places at the conference available on a first come first served basis until all spaces are filled, so please book now! 

Keynote Speakers

Mark Burns – Quality First Teaching

We are pleased to be able to bring Mark Burns back to Norfolk to deliver our Keynote address and to help us lead workshops throughout the day. Mark has worked in a number of VNET schools over the years and is very highly regarded by those who have worked alongside him or listened to him speak. Mark has co-written the best-selling books Outstanding Teaching: Engaging Learners, and Outstanding Teaching: Teaching Backwards, both with Andy Griffith. He has worked extensively delivering and coaching on the TES Training Award shortlisted Outstanding Teaching Intervention in schools nationwide, and his own training programme – The Uncertainty Principle – was also shortlisted for a prestigious TES Award.

Richard Jackson, MBE – The Winning Edge – Mindset Management

Studies have shown that in almost all areas of life, 80% of success can be attributed to the appropriate positive attitude or mindset. Mindset Management is THE key determinant in organisational success – it even affects your people’s willingness to embrace and fully implement the ‘how to’ you give them. Richard will show us how to tap into the huge potential we have to control our own success and the contribution we make to our organisations.

Primary Workshops

Giving Great Feedback – Mark Burns    

Feedback is regularly cited in international research as an essential ingredient in effective teaching. Yet the research also shows that it is often ineffective. In this very practical session we will explore the knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits of both teacher and learners, needed for feedback to be consistently effective and have maximum impact on learning. Identify the barriers to effective feedback in our classrooms; Analyse the ingredients and processes that leads to high quality questioning and dialogue in the lessons; Leave with a toolkit of ideas and strategies for use on a day-to-day basis.

Planning Backwards – Mark Burns

From working with thousands of teachers in primary and secondary schools, it became clear that there are certain teachers who outperform, on every level, their peers in the same school and others. They were the focus of our book, Teaching Backwards’. What was it that made them so effective? This practical hands-on workshop will examine key aspects of their own thinking about planning and teaching that ensure these teachers create high quality learning. Examine a planning methodology that can be used to collaboratively plan new sequences of lessons or critique existing planning; Identify areas to refine and focus improvement; Develop a wider range of tools and strategies to impact on all learners regardless of starting points.

Improv(e) your Teaching Skills – The Serious Fun Group

Improve the quality of your teaching skills through the use of the techniques and skills of improvisational theatre!  Research has shown improvisation to be a powerful teaching tool in promoting innovation, non-verbal communication, spontaneity, intuition, interactivity, inductive discovery, active listening, team-building, creativity and critical thinking.  These skills are beneficial across the curriculum from the humanities to the sciences and, particularly, the PSHE syllabus. But they don’t only benefit the students; teachers also gain. By participating in the games and exercises we play, educators find their engagement, creativity and enjoyment during lessons greatly improved.

The Generous Professional: Teachers sharing best practice within schools and between schools – John McConnell, Lionwood Teaching School

Collective efficacy is about the power of teachers to improve outcomes for children when they work together.  This workshop, led by Lionwood Teaching School, will explore how a collaborative culture can be created and developed to meet the needs of all of our pupils.

Unlocking the more able: Building challenge and support across your curriculum – Jonathan Nice and Victoria Groom

Understand the key characteristics of more able learners and leave prepared to help them achieve all they are capable of – across the curriculum. This workshop considers the varied profiles of ‘more able’ learners, provides practical solutions to support them to achieve their potential and demonstrates how this understanding can be applied across the curriculum. Run by experienced advisers and drawing on real-classroom experiences, the session includes a takeaway guide to developing achievement for more able learners.

Exploring and evaluating your emerging curriculum – Clare Fletcher, Yare Education Trust

Curriculum breathes life into a school’s vision of education: it is purpose enacted. Schools tend to spend a lot of time thinking about how children are going to learn, rather than what. When schools start to think about what they want children to learn – when they start to think hard about their curriculum – they also need to plan systematically how they can build their curriculum, so that children remember it. In this session you will be introduced to a review structure to help you do this, alongside the opportunity to think about what makes great teaching and learning.

In the New Framework, Cooperative Learning is Quality First Teaching – Jakob Werdelin, Werdelin Education

In this exemplary lesson, Cooperative Learning activities combine the key elements of Quality First Teaching to support “remembering and integrating new knowledge into larger concepts” with written evidence to facilitate spaced retrieval practice, consistent with the 2019 framework. All activities have demonstrated their worth in the Sheringham SSIF project, which has successfully closed gender gaps in Maths, and will work Monday morning in any key stage/subject. We will refer directly to Barak Rosenshine’s Principles as summarised in Tom Sherrington’s new book, with special focus on the relationship between direct instruction and peer learning.

Quality First learning environments – Emma Adcock

This session distills some of the main messages from recent, robust research about the role of the environment in Quality First Teaching. Developing an understanding as to how to create learning environments that enable every child to progress and thrive.

Developing Subject Knowledge – Rob Brewster, Sheringham Teaching School

The report ‘What Makes Great Teaching?’ suggests that (Pedagogical) content knowledge has strong evidence of impact on student outcomes (Robert Coe, 2014). The OFSTED 2019 document ‘Overview of Research’ states: ‘If curriculum lies at the heart of education, and subject lies at the heart of curriculum, then it follows that teachers need solid knowledge and understanding of the subject(s) they teach. How much subject knowledge do you need? What is the nature of the knowledge? How do you get it?

Teachers as Researchers to improve pupil outcomes – Roger Higgins, Norwich Research School

With the idea of using research evidence to improve outcomes here to stay, is it the job of schools to encourage teachers to act as researchers in their classrooms? Exactly what is achievable, reasonable and desirable in our schools? This session will expand on Dylan Wiliam’s argument that “teaching will never be a research-based profession”. Various models of teacher professional development will be considered as vehicles for engaging teachers with evidence-informed practice, drawing on the experience of the Research Schools’ Network working with primary schools across the country.

Secondary Workshops

 The Secondary network will have their own workshop room and a selection of speakers who will come to you so you can all work together and hear Secondary focused input. Mark Burns, Richard Jackson will both be delivering  secondary specific workshops throughout the day.


We are also pleased to announce that car parking and a park and ride service will be free on the day – just one of the aspects of feedback we have taken on board from previous conferences!


To request a place/s, please fill in the form below. You will then receive an email confirming the request. For Primary school colleagues you will also receive a link where you can book your workshop places on a ‘first come, most likely basis’
Secondary school colleagues have a separate programme focused on KS3-5 content which has been created for that group.

Oops! We could not locate your form.