The NACE National Conference 2017 will feature keynotes from Professors Robert Winston and Simon Colton, policy updates from the DfE and Oftsed, and a day of practical workshops on the theme “giving talent space”. Scroll down to find out what to expect from each session.

For information about the presenters, click here.
Keynotes: Professor Lord Robert Winston and Professor Simon Colton

Policy updates: DfE and Ofsted

21st century education: is the curriculum fit for the future?

Dr Chris Yapp

There is a broad consensus that around 40-60% of current jobs can be automated over the next 20 years. What are the skills that more able learners need to acquire to be able to thrive in a world of rapid change? In this workshop, Dr Chris Yapp will use examples from science, the arts and humanities to illustrate the challenge for the curriculum.

The appliance of science: what can we learn from neuroscience and the science of learning?

Dr Richard Bailey

Head of research at the International Council of Sport Science and Physical Education, Dr Richard Bailey will introduce his “10 commandments” of the science of learning. The session will outline evidence-based principles that can be used to improve teaching and learning, with a focus on the more able – as well as busting some of the most common and harmful neuromyths.

Bringing practical space into the classroom

Rachel Jackson, European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO-UK)

British astronaut Tim Peake has spoken about his ambition of inspiring children to engage in STEM subjects, and to become more aware of STEM careers. For teachers who share this vision, Rachel Jackson’s workshop will offer a range of exciting resources and activities that can be used to support scientific work across the primary curriculum, using space as the context for learning.

Codebreaking: past, present… and future

Tom Briggs, Bletchley Park

What does it take to crack one of history’s most famous encryption machines, and how can teachers nurture the next generation of creative problem-solvers? Bletchley Park’s education manager Tom Briggs will offer the rare opportunity to try a working Enigma machine, exploring cryptography trends throughout history, and using the example of WWII’s celebrated codebreakers to explore the importance of giving young people space to develop and prepare for unknown challenges.

Meeting the needs of the exceptionally able

Sue Mordecai and Hilary Lowe, NACE

Aimed at secondary school teachers, coordinators and leaders, this session will explore:
  • Who we mean by exceptionally able learners and what their needs are;
  • How schools and classroom teachers can support the exceptionally able in their learning and social needs.
The session will draw on research into notions of advanced cognitive ability and share case studies to show what some schools are doing  to meet the needs of this fascinating, rewarding and sometimes challenging group of learners.

Differentiation and planning for the more able learner in English

Christine Chen, NACE

Aimed at primary teachers, this practical workshop will cover key strategies involved in growing children’s literary abilities, moving them from deeper reading comprehension to skilled writing composition, through the manipulation of language for effect. The session will be led by Christine Chen, an experienced consultant with expertise in the pedagogy of English and more able learners.

Using children’s maths solutions to take their working further

Ems Lord, NRICH
NRICH develops rich mathematical activities for all key stages, with low-threshold, high-ceiling resources designed to appeal to a wide range of children. A new selection is uploaded every half term, and classes are invited to send in their solutions. Some of the best solutions are published on the NRICH website, offering children the opportunity to share their ideas with a worldwide audience. In this workshop, NRICH director Ems Lord will explore ways to maximise the potential of these solutions with your own classes. The workshop will involve hands-on activities exploring the use of solutions, as well as the variety of ways your class can submit their ideas too.

Challenging STEM through partnerships

Dr Jo Foster, Camborne Science and International Academy

Dr Jo Foster is director of Nexus, a specialist STEM centre at Camborne Science and International Academy, where she is also vice principal. This workshop will explore how Nexus’ Gifted STEM Programme has been developed through partnerships with organisations such as the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS), Falmouth University’s Metamakers Institute, and Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, creating a bespoke curriculum and rich co-curricular programme for more able learners. Attendees will gain practical ideas and resources to implement a challenging STEM programme using effective partnerships.

Transition for the able student: good practice for primary and secondary

Renata Joseph, Canons High School

“The importance of a good start to a pupil’s secondary education cannot be over-emphasised. Leaders in successful schools set the right culture for learning that is embraced by their pupils from the outset.” (HMI report – KS3: the wasted years? 2015)
This session will benchmark best practice in KS2-3 transition for more able pupils, focussing on:
  • Academic transition based on effective partnerships with primary schools to inform KS3 learning;
  • Pastoral transition that continues to set clear and high expectations.

Provision and practice for the most able: schools working collaboratively

Dr Keith Watson, Portswood Primary School and Carl Iszatt, Highfield Primary School

Collaboration is well established within Southampton schools through federations, multi-academy trusts and teaching schools. This workshop led by representatives of Highfield and Portswood Primary Schools will cover:
  • Collaboration at different levels
  • Benefits of challenge and collaboration
  • Practical examples of working together
  • Opportunities to share expertise among delegates
  • Sustaining collaboration.
Between them Portswood Primary and Highfield Primary have achieved the NACE Challenge Award six times.

Careers education, information, advice and guidance – practical support for the most able

Michelle Spirit

Many students are disengaging from making career decisions, feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information available, and struggling to understand and evaluate their options. This cognitive burden and disengagement can be a particular risk for more able students, who often feel pressured to make a “perfect” choice. In this workshop, emotional resilience adviser Michelle Spirit will outline strategies to reduce the pressure experienced by students, helping them build the confidence and capability to make informed career decisions.

Supporting the able disadvantaged

Colin Parker, HT, King Edward VI Aston School

King Edward VI Aston School has probably the highest proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds at any selective school in the country, with about 40% of Year 7 and 8 students receiving financial support. In this session, headteacher Colin Parker will outline the school’s holistic approach to supporting able disadvantaged students – from an extensive pre-admissions familiarisation programme, to a focus on bridging the social and cultural gap, and a deeply embedded ethos of high expectations.

View the full conference programme, and book your place.