Chance to swap tips for success

Nicola Porter

Excellent teaching and learning practices at Welsh secondary schools and colleges were showcased at a national conference for pedagogy in Cardiff yesterday.

Teachers from across Wales lined up to hear fellow professionals' recipe for success in the classroom. Among them was Barbara Thomas from St David's Catholic college in Cardiff - the only sixth form in Wales. Her pioneering work on improving key skills among her Welsh baccalaureate students has won widespread recognition.

She said: "My practice of involving mentoring sessions for key skills not only improved performance at level 1, but gave advanced students considering a career in teaching a chance to test out their ambitions in the classroom. It was also an extension of the buddying schemes they were used to in high school."

The pedagogy initiative was officially launched in April this year.

The two-day conference, which ends today, is intended to give secondary school teachers a flavour of teaching innovation that they can share. It is also a chance for them to swap tales about schemes and ideas which have not worked as well.

Other schools showcasing schemes were Ysgol Christchurch in Rhyl, Rhydypenau primary school in Cardiff, Corpus Christi RC high school, also in Cardiff, Plascrug primary school in Aberystwyth, Ysgol Gymraeg and Ysgol Gyfun Gymunedol Penweddig, also in Aberystwyth, and Bassaleg school in Newport.

The Assembly government plans to develop a three to five-year strategy for pedagogy in Wales based on evidence collected from conferences.

Jane Davidson, minister for education and lifelong learning, also used the conference to announce the publication of a joint Welsh Assembly and Welsh Local Government Association report on narrowing the gap in the performance of Welsh primary schools.

An Assembly spokesperson said: "The important thing is that practitioners continue to move forward, and the profession reaches its own definition of pedagogy."

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Nicola Porter

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