Speakers including the Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, acclaimed children’s author, Michael Rosen, and a host of education pioneers provided fresh insight and inspiration for teachers and service providers from all areas of the education sector at the 2022 Bryanston Education Summit.
With a record number of delegates, the wide range of presentations at the event focussed on the challenges and opportunities for providing children with the transferable skills and qualities to achieve fulfilment in an ever-changing society and workplace.
In his opening address to Summit delegates, Richard Jones, Head of Bryanston, emphasised the importance of energising and enthusing young people so they are comfortable with change and well-equipped to take uncertainties in their stride. “Faced with constant change and rapidly evolving technologies, teachers and parents have no way of knowing what jobs their children will have in the years ahead, so we need to look beyond outdated systems that focus so much on exam marks and traditional areas of technical competence,” he said.
“Resilience, adaptability, inquisitiveness, imagination and an ability to think for one’s self are all qualities that will not only be front of mind for tomorrow’s employers but will also be fundamental for personal happiness and well-being.
“This poses quite a challenge for today’s teachers all over the world. But, by embracing such targets and acknowledging the unknowns, we can fine-tune the learning experience of our pupils so they are more able to look to the future with confidence and have every opportunity to live happy and fulfilling lives.”
In a rousing presentation, Michael Rosen expressed surprise at becoming a social media sensation as a “nice Grandad” with his ‘hot potato’ meme. He highlighted the value of rhythm in the use of language and the importance of leaving scope for interpretation and imagination by not trying to say everything.
The considered use of language, particularly in the wake of the pandemic, was followed up by several other speakers who referred to the unhelpful and counterproductive nature of terms such as ‘catch-up learning’ and ‘missed education’.
Sally Wilson, head of Blandford School, pointed to the value of peer-to-peer mentoring to help restore balance between extracurricular, academic and wellbeing activities as a result of the disruption to school life during the pandemic.
Sally referenced the inspiring work of another speaker at the Summit, Natasha Eeles, the founder of the Bold Voices social enterprise that is helping to prepare and empower school communities to recognise and tackle gender inequality and gender-based violence. (Natasha’s work was featured in School House’s Autumn Winter 2021 feature, Bold Voices, by former headmaster of Bryanston, Mark Mortimer)
Similar themes for developing and maintaining a positive classroom culture and a progressive sense of community were further developed by many of the other speakers including Mark Finnis, Peter Radford, Alex Lewis, Christian Saenger, James Shone, Chloe Mills, Oliver Caviglioli and Kevin George.
The Bryanston Education Summit 2022 featured presentations based on three core areas – Teaching and Learning, Creativity and Wellbeing. “We’re delighted with the positive feedback from delegates,” says Bryanston’s William Ings who oversaw the organisation of this year’s Summit.
“Our aim was to create an event that would inspire, engage and motivate teachers and educationalists. The Summit provided a long overdue opportunity for everyone to be together in one place where they could listen to the views and thoughts of a diverse range of respected commentators and share ideas and experiences with peers.”
See Bryanston’s online listing here.