Wales' first ever Trainee Teacher Conference
Thank you very much for organising such a great conference for the trainees - I know from their comments today that they gained an enormous amount from the day. They responded very well to the drama session in the morning, and the workshops in the afternoon.
Catharine Bleasdale - Trinity College Carmarthen
The 29th of September saw the first ever Trainee Teacher conference in Wales take place at University of Wales Trinity St David in Carmarthen in association with NUT Cymru. The day saw almost 70 trainee teachers attend a packed programme of key speeches and workshops.
Attendees from Estyn, the Welsh Assembly, the childrens Commissioners Office and Carmarthen Council added weight to a high impact and far reaching day that certainly had a huge impact on the knowledge.
In the run up to the event we undertook a preliminary ’needs assessment’ which showed that only 5% of trainees would felt confident dealing with a racist incident. This showed the huge demand for these sorts of days and also the need to ensure that the correct level of support is there for trainee teachers as they go out into schools across Wales.
Forum Theatre performance:
The day started with an excellent drama based exploration of Racial Issues within schools by Theatr Fforwm Cymru. The hour long activity was placed at the beginning of the day in order to make delegates aware of the real life incidents of racism they may come face to face with during their work in schools. During the performance members of the audience were asked on to stage to show how they would deal with certain scenarios while other trainee teachers gave direction and advice. The session really gave trainees the chance to deal with real life issues in a safe environment, and the chance to try out their ideas without the danger of making costly mistakes.
It was also an invaluable activity for our key speakers who were able to link their presentations to the performance and highlight key points.
After a short break attendees from a number of high level educational establishments including Estyn and the Welsh Assembly spoke to trainees about their statutory requirements and how to link their work in with schoolpolicy and the inspection framework. Along side this Stuart Williams from NUT Cymru spoke to the delegates about their involvement with the event and the history of the union.
Documents from these agencies were also downloaded onto the memory sticks alongside our resources and lesson plans.
During lunch trainee teachers were invited to enjoy a selection of home made delicacies from around the world including samosas, bhaji’s and a number of rice dishes. During this time trainees were also invited to talk to representatives from both
In the afternoon delegates took part in a carousel of four different workshops.
- How to use your Racism the Red Card resources in the classroom
- Terminology—What is acceptable and how you can talk to young people about it
- Using Drama as a stimuli for PSE
- Ensuring a safe environment through P4C
The workshops lasted 40 mins and were extremely well received with 49% of respondents stating that they were the highlight of the day.
At the end of the session delegates were given a USB drive to use in their schools which included our education packs in both English and Welsh and printable resources as well as a number of statutory and school policy documentation.
Initial Feedback has been excellent. At the beginning of the day only 5% of Trainee Teachers said they would feel confident dealing with a Racist incident, by the end of the day this had risen to almost 70% - with none saying they wouldn't feel confident at all.
96% of attendees also rated the day as either excellent or very good.