What it means to attend a Prince of Wales summer school

10th June 2005 at 01:00
Lesley Pemberton, head of English at Spalding high, Lincolnshire: "I first came to a Prince of Wales summer school in 2003 and it was a wonderfully inspiring occasion which really put me back in touch with the reasons why I wanted to teach English in the first place - a love for literature and wanting to pass that on to young people and share my enthusiasm."

Dan Jenkins, head of English at St Thomas More school, Westcliff, Essex:

"This gives me time away from school to think about what I do and question my practice. You feel valued because this is not some flat-pack hotel somewhere on the ring road. You get treated as if you matter and you have the opportunity to talk to some very influential people in education."

Gareth Davies, head of English at Sawtry community college, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire: "The most important thing I get from these schools is a reaffirmation of why I taught in the first place. It means you know you have like-minded people behind you, to give you enough backbone to teach as you think you should and to take a risk."

Lesley Bilby, head of history at Brookfield community school, Chesterfield:

"These schools are valuable because it is subject-specific professional development which teachers so rarely get. What is usually on offer on courses tends to be pedagogy, rather than what makes you passionate about your subject."

Graham Waites, Ivybridge sports and community college, Ivybridge, Devon:

"As a head of history I get an enormous amount out of these courses. There isn't an awful lot on subject-specific professional development around so to come here and listen to leading practitioners in their fields is just extraordinary and we need more of it."

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