I work with a wide range of schools all over the UK. The success of my workshops, talks and training sessions is reflected in the fact that the majority of the schools I have worked with have made repeat bookings.
Click here for the list of schools and organisations where I have provided speaker events, training or consultancy services.
These courses can be run as a full day, immersive course for groups, or adapted into shorter sessions for whole staff training, pastoral team training or for twilight workshops. Any school booking will involve dialogue as to your specific needs and the emphasis of the talk will be adjusted to form a bespoke experience.
Academy Groups, Federations, School Networks
These courses can be run for pastoral teams or teachers across your network as part of a centrally run Continuing Professional Development scheme. The particular benefits here lie in enabling colleagues in different schools to network and share good practice across the group of schools.
1. Observant teaching: emotional aspects of teaching and learning
Heighten awareness of the emotional factors that enter into the process of teaching and learning – with a focus on the teacher’s perspective
Improved understanding of the nature of the interaction between teacher and student may help both to work towards a more fruitful relationship
Heighten awareness of the emotional factors that enter into the process of teaching and learning – with a focus on the pupil’s perspective
Develop observational skills – students and self
Developing an understanding of patterns to negative teacher / learner relationships and how to move on ‘stuck situations’
This course can be adapted for the delivery of cross-phase training (primary and secondary colleagues together), or for secondary school professionals, as well as the primary school context.
2. Developing your skills as a Form Tutor
A training day for all staff, tutors, co/assistant-tutors
Adolescent brain development, and the emotional changes forming the backdrop to the learning experience
Dealing with groups of adolescents – the pleasures and pains
The nitty gritty of the job – the admin, the activities
Modelling behaviour as a helpful adult figure – developing emotional literacy, openness
Knowing your group and being known and understood by them
Working with individuals
The teacher’s role and responsibility linked to safeguarding and supporting the child in terms of mental health and wellbeing
Professionalism: boundaries and teamwork
3. Bullying and group dynamics
This day centres on thinking about adolescence, conflict and aggression in school environments. Topics include:
Reflecting on the types of bullying commonly encountered in our schools. Trends at different age groups. Relational, indirect aggression, social aggression.
The internet, cyberbullying and the role of the school.
Using form time and PSHE to develop a meaningful dialogue about boundaries, tolerance and assertiveness in relationships.
Dealing with difficult groups of students – teaching groups, pastoral groups, cliques.
How to monitor the cultural climate within your year group. Overt supportiveness vs covert cliques.
4. Adolescence and the secondary school teacher
Different stages and changes in adolescence
Adolescence, anxiety: thinking about how schools are able to provide a containing and facilitating environment.
Pupils in difficulty. Looking at the ‘presenting’ problems in a range of ways. Exploring the possible meanings behind behaviour issues.
5. The approach of adolescence and the Primary School Teacher
Early onset of puberty in girls, the onset of puberty in boys
Emotional development, development of the personality – family life, life with peers, school life
Changing relationships and development of self-awareness and self-consciousness in the peer group
Anticipation of endings and new beginnings
Close relationships, cliques, groups, gangs
6. Inspiring student leadership and enhancing the pupil voice
Develop the credibility and impact of your school council & leadership structures
Consider links between the School Council and the Pastoral agenda.
Develop your vision for ways in which school councils and leadership opportunities can work to integrate and improve the pastoral ethos of your school in developing:
A listening environment
Leadership, critical thinking and agency throughout the student population
A spread of constructive student engagement in the running of the school - citizenship
Better understanding of relationships within schools – improving assertiveness and dialogue between the student body and the school.
7. Managing confidentiality and disclosures in your school
Developing a listening culture in school
Mind the gaps: identifying different agendas that come into play with respect to confidentiality.
Safeguarding issues and confidentiality. Looking at the complexities of managing self-harm / eating disorders with a focus on liaison with the child in school, liaison with parents and other childcare professionals and with staff within school. An unfolding case study to discuss and share best practice ideas.
8. Pastoral teamwork – developing resilience and reflectiveness in your pastoral team
Examining complex case studies
Evaluating and identifying areas for improvement in the pastoral chain
Supervision, line management, teamwork in other caring professions – what can schools draw from?
Work discussion techniques – developing reflective support groups for those at the emotional frontline
9. Listening skills, empathy and professionalism in emotional situations. (Union reps, managers)
Managing difficult conversations
10. Dealing with Parents in Emotionally Fraught situations
Child / young person’s perspective, parents’ perspective, school perspective
Parents and their relationships with school and authority ‘ghosts in the classroom’
Ensuring involvement of the growing child according to age, stage and developing autonomy
11. The Role of the Head of Year – an Intro
Managing tutor teams – exploring ways of bridging the gap between vision and reality.
Managing difficult conversations in highly charged situations: pupils, parents, staff.
Adolescents: anxiety and aggression
Thinking about your profile as a pastoral leader
12. Developing your impact as a Pastoral Leader
Developing your profile with students. Using assemblies to set the tone, knowing your year, proactively managing your contact with all sub groups, consultation on matters affecting the year group.
Communication with parents – raising your profile, and shaping shared expectations.
Development planning and working with teams of staff – your tutor team, the wider team of pastoral leaders, and the senior team.
Raising standards – your tutor team.
Handling complex pastoral scenarios and difficult conversations.
Looking after yourself – dealing with fraught situations.
Training teachers to understand ways of ensuring 1:1 discussions with children are facilitating and boundaried. Develop understanding of how teacher mentors can:
Assist personal exploration
Model a reciprocal process
Giving attention - listening
Using their attention – helping them clarify what they need to work on
Provide a sense of the school’s commitment to and recognition of them AS AN INDIVIDUAL
14. Thinking about the lost middle and the hard to reach
Reflecting on different patterns of behaviour, and different personality types in the classroom. Developing your toolkit as a teacher to think about the quality of their learning experience, and how to reach out to less responsive and less communicative students.
Introverted students – how they work, how they learn, how they shine and how they can feel undervalued / be valued and understood differently
Being an individual within a group – conflict and anxiety
The function of ‘staying under the radar’
Ways students can show resistance to learning, resistance to being taught
Underlying anxieties that can form obstacles to development and the ability to make use of teacher input
Building bridges with reluctant adolescents.
15. Working with parents: dealing with anger and aggression
A twilight workshop
Recognising and preparing for emotionally fraught situations
Understanding the emotional framework which can contribute to anger / aggression from parents
Responding to aggression (email, phone, face-to-face)
Self management strategies and school support systems.
Social and Emotional Development in the Early Years and KS1
The social and emotional development of young children as they make the transition from home / pre-school settings into school environments
Attachment theory - secure bases for interacting
The influence of siblings and peers
Ways in which primary school teachers can provide a facilitating environment