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An engaging and inspiring weekend, at the FTS Annual ITT National Conference

The Future Teaching Scholars (FTS) team welcomed its Year 4 Scholars to the annual ITT (Initial Teacher Training) National Conference, in Birmingham at the Crowne Plaza NEC Hotel.

Our dedicated Year 4 Scholars, who began their Initial Teacher Training in September this year, gave up their Saturday to attend a programme featuring session speakers, including Amjad Ali, and for the first time, several alumni Scholars from our first graduating cohort earlier this year. 

Many Scholars also joined us for dinner, on the Friday evening, where Nina Dhillon, FTS Programme Director, gave an inspiring speech about the realities and rewards of teaching. 

“Teaching is arguably one of the most important jobs – now more than ever,” Nina began. “But there will be days where you’ll face challenges. Because if anyone thought teaching was easy, everyone would be doing it.” 

“But on those days, I urge you to remember why you got into teaching,” Nina continued, “It’s the pupils; your pupils are the future and you are in the career where you are needed most. Learn from our conference speakers this weekend, but most importantly celebrate your own successes.” 

The Conference began on Saturday morning, with an opening session led by Amjad Ali. One of the most crucial takeaways for Scholars focused on the importance of reflection in teaching, when things don’t go quite to plan. “You can’t judge yourself on the outcome of one lesson,” Amjad said. “You have to reflect, tweak, change and adapt.” 

Other sessions were held simultaneously throughout the day and included the following topics: 

  • What Every Teacher Should Know 
  • Progression and The Maths Curriculum 
  • High-performance Classroom Culture 
  • Reinventing The Wheel: Maths Resources 
  • Teaching Maths Through Problem Solving 
  • Proof In A-level Mathematics 
  • Low Prior Attainment Pupils and Numeracy 

The final session of the day, attended by all Scholars, was led by Roger Terry, who focused on practical techniques to boost confidence in the classroom. From using staging to communicate expectations to pupils, to how posture and a strong core can instantly translate into confidence, our ITT Scholars took away numerous confidence-boosting tips, to try out in their classrooms. 

 Anna Searle, UK Director at Education Development Trust, who attended the conference commented: 

“It was wonderful to meet and spend time with the Year 4 Scholars.  The event provided the opportunity for them to share their experiences over the last 3 years, particularly how they had been impacted by undertaking their degrees during the covid pandemic and to focus on their successes despite the challenges.  It was particularly interesting to hear how they are settling into their current schools.   

The passion and commitment they are bringing to every day is inspiring. They are clearly taking every opportunity in their schools, to continue learning. The conference provided the chance for them to reflect on the past term and share experiences with each other, to learn together.  It was a great opportunity to get to know some of the scholars more, hear their stories and their ambitions.  An absolutely inspiring experience for me and I wish every one of them, the very best for the year ahead and their future teaching careers.  

Marian Gould, Deputy UK Director at Education Development Trust, was also at the conference and shared her reflections 

“A super event, which proved to be both informative and supportive for our Year 4 Scholars.  It was particularly pleasing to see our alumni Scholars return to deliver sessions and generously share the invaluable experience and expertise, which they have gained in the early part of their careers.” 

The Future Teaching Scholars team would like to extend a big thank you to our session speakers, Amjad Ali, Beth Sladen, Sam Crome, Katie Karran-Antrobus, David Burghes, Derek Robinson, Paul Glaister, Shadia Moore and Roger Terry, for sharing their knowledge and expertise with our Scholars. 

We look forward to hosting a conference for Scholars in Years 5 and 6, of the FTS programme, in May 2023.