Another leap back in time to Muse Issue 6, the June 2009 Conference edition! The Editorial from this edition (below) gives a flavour of the articles to be uploaded in the coming weeks. Enjoy! – Ed.

Editorial (Issue 6, Conference June 2009)

Welcome to the new Cramlington Learning Village, and to our 2009 conference on next generation learning. After a rollercoaster of a year in which we admitted years 7 and 8 for the first time and over 1000 new students including the year 9 cohort, we are settling in well to the two tier system and enjoying developing an enquiry led curriculum for the whole school. The new cohorts came in to a superb new building informed by much research, with learning spaces designed by teachers in concert with the architects and many other agencies including the BSF Faraday project, and the Eden Project.

Welcome also to this special conference edition of The Muse, our in-house teaching and learning bulletin. Now in its third year, The Muse was started as a vehicle in which teachers could reflect on their classroom practice and share ideas. It started on a trial basis – would busy people in our profession really want to invest their precious time committing thoughts to paper? Well, with 24 contributors so far, many who are now established authors within these pages, I would say the staff have given the green light to continue. Spending time reflecting, whether in discussion or writing is an invaluable experience for moving forward our own professional learning.

We continue to share ideas with, and get much inspiration from PEEL, the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning and many staff continue to look far and wide to seek out best practise to inform our teaching. Much of our CPD centres on aspects of the Cramlington framework and it is with a focus on effective learner behaviours, and input from PEEL, that the article on page 32 [Coming soon on the blog! -Ed] explores ways in which to develop independence in the classroom.

The Muse has also proved to be an excellent way of cascading to staff information from training courses that have been attended. A superb example is provided here by Karen Blackburn (pg 29) who has distilled the thinking around gifted and talented provision and has opened the debate in school as to whether we should maintain the G&T register at all!

Throughout the course of the day you will no doubt have been introduced to the Cramlington model for teaching and learning. The final article in these pages focuses on one of the key elements that underpin this framework, assessment for learning. This has been produced in association with one of the Gatsby Foundation’s technical education projects TEEP, Teacher Effectiveness Enhancement Programme, and provides many ideas and devices that can be employed right away as well as thoughts to promote discussion or perhaps professional learning conversations. Within these pages you will also find a pair of articles in Silent Teaching (pg 20) showing how teachers have piggybacked ideas to enhance lessons, as well as many other great ideas offered by various members of Cramlington’s staff.

As you peruse these pages, bear in mind that there are articles written by, and aimed at, teachers at all stages of their professional careers, from NQTs, to heads of faculty and senior management. So you will find, as do our own staff, that some articles will be more pertinent to your situation than others. And frequently what is read here, as with good ideas anywhere else might simply provide the seed for further inspiration, just as any good muse should do. The articles we have included represent a typical spread from the short life of The Muse which is published termly.

Have a safe trip home.

Fergus Hegarty



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