By José Picardo
Shooting Azimuths is about constantly reevaluating where we are, where we need to go and how to get there.
Series 2 of the Shooting Azimuths podcast features the speakers addressing the Embley Education Conference, which takes place in Romsey (near Southampton) on 14 April 2023 - For more information and to book you place visit www.embley.org.uk/conference
Shooting AzimuthsJun 14, 2020
In this podcast I chat to Peps Mccrea, a teacher, writer and accomplished educator. We discuss the challenges faced by teachers, including the fact that teaching is a complex and difficult task, harder than brain surgery! Peps highlights that one of the main challenges faced by teachers is that some aspects of teaching are not intuitive and require research, practice and expertise to be understood, while another challenge is that a large part of teaching needs to be done automatically, which can make it difficult to change habits, so the more experienced the teacher, the more challenging it becomes to improve further.
Peps discusses how the lens of memory can help teachers understand how learning works and improve their teaching strategies. By understanding the main mechanisms at play, working memory and long-term memory, teachers can help students focus on the things they want them to learn and minimise distractions in the classroom. The focus for Peps is on "lean teaching" that eliminates waste and maximises learning time. Ultimately, learning memorising some facts is necessary for critical thinking, so teachers must find a balance between these two aspects.
Peps will be addressing the Embley Education Conference, which takes place on 14 April 2023. To find out more about the conference and to book your place, please visit www.embley.org.uk/conference
Osi Ejiofor is an experienced teacher and former Assistant Headteacher, who now works for United Learning as an Educational Technologist. In this podcast, Osi discusses the challenges of implementing digital strategies in schools and highlights the importance of tailoring approaches to individual schools and staff, as well as the need to engage people in the benefits of using technology in teaching and learning. Osi notes that technology can improve efficiencies and save time, leading to better classroom management and more effective teaching practices. Additionally, the use of technology can improve the assessment process by providing teachers with better insights into student learning. Overall, Osi emphasises the need for a collaborative approach to digital strategies in schools, with a focus on improving teaching and learning outcomes.
Osi suggests that communication is the key element in the success of implementing technology in schools. The communication network between IT specialists, finance people, senior leadership, and the person leading digital strategy needs to be in place. If there is a lack of communication, any model that is implemented will not be sustainable.
Osi will be addressing the Embley Education Conference, which takes place on 14 April 2023. To find out more about the conference and to book your place, please visit www.embley.org.uk/conference
Karen Wespieser MBE
In this episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Karen Wespieser MBE, a renowned educationalist with a background in educational research. Karen emphasised the importance of research in education, particularly the shift towards studying teaching practices and the science of learning. While systems-level research, such as government policies and funding, still receives significant attention, there is a growing interest in research that focuses on how to become a better teacher and how the brain influences learning. Karen discussed why it's crucial for school leaders to take an interest in research and how it can enhance teaching practice.
Karen also shared insights into her work as the chief operating officer of Teacher Tapp, a free app designed for teachers that sends three questions each day and shares the results with the community. Karen highlighted the importance of community support and knowledge-sharing among teachers, as the profession can often be isolating. Additionally, Karen talked about how Teacher Tapp benefits school leaders, as it enables them to compare their teachers' responses with the national average and make data-driven decisions based on the findings. Karen mentioned that Teacher Tapp has been collecting data for five years, revealing, for example, that while headteachers have the greatest sense of accomplishment in their daily work, they also experience the most work-related anxiety.
Karen will be addressing the Embley Education Conference, which takes place on 14 April 2023. To find out more about the conference and to book your place, please visit www.embley.org.uk/conference
Caroline Nokes MP
In this podcast, Caroline Nokes, a Member of Parliament, former UK minister and the current chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, talks about her experience in both government and in scrutinising government policy. She discusses the importance of building a committed team, inclusivity, and having clear direction when setting an agenda. Caroline also reflects on her leadership style, which has evolved over the years, and shares her positive and negative experiences working with different Secretaries of State. Finally, she discusses the challenges of chairing a select committee and the need to harness and direct people's energy towards the committee's agenda.
Caroline also highlights the challenge of diversity and inclusion in schools, particularly around issues of transgender rights. She suggests that schools need to set a framework policy but also address individual pupils' needs with sympathy and understanding. Caroline suggests that the role of government in supporting schools is to provide clarity, but that the government needs to make some tough decisions as to whether it wants to engage in culture wars or approach these issues in a supportive and constructive manner. Caroline also comments that it would be easier for the government to address these issues if it stopped viewing gender from a binary perspective.
Caroline will be addressing the Embley Education Conference, which takes place on 14 April 2023. To find out more about the conference and to book your place, please visit www.embley.org.uk/conference
Dr Emma Kell
Dr Emma Kell, a teacher and performance coach, specialises in supporting and empowering fellow teachers with a focus on well-being. She believes that well-being is closely linked to living and articulating one's values, and fulfilling them every day. Her approach to well-being is based on achieving overall goals and being satisfied with one's progress at the end of a working week.
In addition, Emma discusses how to handle negative feedback and stresses the importance of resilience. She also shares her personal experience of earning a professional doctorate in education, highlighting the potential benefits and drawbacks for educators thinking about embarking on one.
Emma also explores the connection between well-being and effective leadership. She suggests that leaders must balance the need to improve standards for students with the well-being of staff. She advocates for a culture that encourages people to ask for help and take responsibility while feeling content and proud of their work. Emma acknowledges the vulnerability of leaders and encourages the establishment of boundaries to maintain their own well-being.
Emma is a speaker at the Embley Education Conference, which takes place on 14 April 2023. To find out more about the conference and to book your place, please visit www.embley.org.uk/conference
This podcast features an interview with Alom Shaha, a secondary school physics teacher and father of two who has experience as a local councillor, school governor, broadcaster, and author. Alom credits his teachers for his love of science and education, and for inspiring him to pursue a career in science. He speaks several languages, including Spanish, and is interested in not just science but also pedagogy. He only discovered his passion for writing in his late 30s and hopes to continue working on his craft as a writer in the coming years.
Alom has also taught in different schools with different levels of professional development opportunities and support. He believes that senior leaders in a school should acknowledge the stresses and strains that teachers face and aim to create a working environment that allows teachers to perform at their best. He argues that when teachers feel safe, valued, and have opportunities for growth, this can lead to them taking up opportunities for professional development, which in turn benefits both teachers and students.
Alom is a speaker at the Embley Education Conference, which takes place on 14 April 2023. To find out more about the conference and to book your place, please visit www.embley.org.uk/conference
Martin Robinson has had a long and impactful career as a writer, education consultant, and teacher of drama. He taught in East London secondary schools for over 20 years before taking voluntary redundancy and starting a new chapter as a consultant. Martin's passion for education led him to write his first book, "Trivium 21st Century," which focuses on the idea of classical education through the lens of the Trivium (grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric). He is a firm believer in the power of classical education to help children think critically and approach the world with fresh perspectives.
Martin's latest book, "Curriculum Revolutions," is about the ever-evolving process of curriculum design and redesign. He argues that curriculum is not a static entity, but rather a dynamic and constantly evolving system that requires continuous assessment and improvement. The central thesis of the book is that knowledge leads to more knowledge, and Martin believes that a well-designed curriculum can provide students with the tools they need to acquire knowledge and continue learning throughout their lives.
Martin is a speaker at the Embley Education Conference, which takes place on 14 April 2023. To find out more about the conference and to book your place, please visit www.embley.org.uk/conference
In this episode I talk with Professor Dame Alison Peacock, who is Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching. Alison explains why it is important to raise the status of teaching as a profession; highlights the role of the Charted college in achieving this; advocates for a teaching philosophy that ensure that learning is without limits and in which children thrive with appropriate challenge; regrets unreasonable accountability in schools; and proposes a system of peer review that eliminates the need for Ofsted as we know it.
In this episode I talk with Clemmie Stewart, who is Senior Head of Prep Schools at Surbiton High School. Clemmie advises aspiring leaders on leadership behaviours; discusses the role of social media and podcasting (Clemmie hosts her own podcast with Dr Emma Kell) in developing the profession; refers to her TEDx talk to explain the difference between snowplough parenting and trampoline parenting; celebrates pupils' grit and resilience during the coronavirus emergency; explains the importance of children retuning to school after lockdown; and finally reflects on the importance of giving children the chance to succeed in whatever they are good at.
Oliver Caviglioli is is a former headteacher, author, designer and expert in visual teaching strategies. In this episode, Oliver explains dual coding and the benefits it brings to lesson design; discusses how visual teaching strategies help the learning process; talks about Walkthrus, his collaboration with Tom Sherrington; and highlights the importance of allowing teachers time to work collaboratively to design lessons.
Daniel Muijs is Deputy Director (Research and Evaluation) at Ofsted. In this episode, Daniel and I discuss why schools get inspected and what schools can expect from Ofsted in the context of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic; Daniel also provides guidance for schools, leaders and teachers generally on why and how to become evidence-informed. Daniel and I go on to discuss the value of basing educational decisions on research; and the importance of good quality initial teacher training and continuing professional development.
Daniel Sabato is Deputy Head (Academic) at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls. In this episode, Daniel and I discuss what schools can expect from exam results this year; the pros and cons of organising a teaching and learning conference; the importance of becoming evidence-informed; whether the genie is out of the bottle now that schools have been forced to contemplate alternative means of provision and conducting their business; and the "conveyor belt" style of education.
Dr Jill Berry is a former headteacher and author of "Making the Leap: Moving from Deputy to Head". In this episode, Jill talks about her experience as a head; shares her pearls of wisdom about transitioning to a leadership position within a school; discusses the benefits and challenges of undertaking a doctorate in education; chats about her involvement in WomenEd; and explains why she thinks workload is the number one problem for teachers and school leaders.
Andy Buck is a former headteacher, an author and a school leadership expert. In this episode, Andy and I discuss what makes a great school leader; the role of organisations such as the Chartered College of Teaching and ResearchEd in professionalising teaching; and the crisis in teacher retention.
Dominic Norrish is Chief Operating Officer at United Learning, a large group of academies and independent schools in the UK. In this episode, Dominic and I discuss what impelled him to pursue a career in education; the challenges and opportunities brought about by the forced pivoting to remote teaching and learning due to the Covid-19 crisis; and the importance of life-long education.
Shooting azimuths - A podcast about education
Shooting Azimuths is about constantly reevaluating where we are, where we need to go and how to get there.
In this podcast I get to talk with some of the people I admire the most in the word of education.
Please subscribe to follow my conversations with those setting the agenda and influencing the profession.