On Monday 2nd December we attended the EPC Conference at the Institute of Physics focussed around the topic of: ‘New Curriculum, New Challenges: How to deliver quality and innovation from 2014.’ The conference was a fantastic opportunity to bring together publishers, policy makers, educators and interested parties to discuss how and why we will ensure that the new curriculum changes are successful and work in conjunction with all parties.
The day started with a keynote speech from Elizabeth Truss, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Education & Childcare where she highlighted some insightful statistics around the use of textbooks in UK schools – these show that textbooks are only used for teaching 10% of the time in UK schools compared to statistics in the high 80’s and 90’s for other high performing countries such as Singapore and Korea. For Liz, this is something we need to bring back in order to build and develop our ‘core knowledge’ across Maths, Science, English and Language teaching – an area where the new curriculum will aim to target. A key factor of changes in the UK curriculum is focussed around our international neighbours; what can we learn from them by broadening our horizons and embracing some of their cultures and ideas? As our core knowledge becomes more important, this will in turn grow the economy – if textbooks are a way of inspiring growth then we must do what we can to make these as inspiring as possible for children and learners.
The rest of the day covered innovation in the classroom, teacher communities, and subject expert opinions on resources, sharing of resources, a case study on a computing MOOC and how we ensure and show pupil progress. William Edwards School was part of a demonstration that showed us how they have implemented ‘innovation’ into their school with writeable walls, double projectors and an app developed by teachers for teachers; the project was hugely successful in engaging students, getting teachers excited about pedagogy and ultimately giving the students the best possible environment and platform in which to thrive in.
Seeing the demonstration of the Computing MOOC by OCR and Cambridge University Press was also highly innovative; with an international shortage of computing specialist teachers the development of a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) was a fantastic way to build a peer-to-peer learning experience focussed around the teacher and the learner which allows a form of assessment and self certification.
What makes a KS4 MOOC? Thanks to @HodderHistory
Towards the end of the day there was more of a focus on assessment and looking at ways to ensure and show students progress with teaching. There were some excellent examples of ways in which we can assess and lots of different methods relating back to assessment data, having ‘proper’ textbooks and excellent teachers but the heart of the debate remained around the child – where they are able to go and what is the best way to get them there.
The conference itself gave an excellent insight into how the new curriculum is going to change a number of areas within the Education sector; teachers, schools, policy makers and publishers are going to need to adapt and come together to champion innovation, broaden the horizons of learning and how we do that and ultimately to have a great curriculum, great teachers and great resources to give the learner the best possible experience.
Here at Inspired Selection, we are passionate about the publishing industry; we talk about publishing, read about publishing and attend all major publishing events like the one you’ve just read about. We would love to meet you at events so do feel free to come up and introduce yourselves! If you’re interested in opportunities within publishing do keep in touch and register for our Vacancy Update Service as well as keeping up to date with us on Twitter