Author Archives: Karen Duxbury-Watkinson

Cinderella’s reflection on a day at #PedagooLondon

So, I sit on the train home like Cinderella having to leave early in case she turns into a pumpkin, or fall over! After an amazing day at Pedagoolondon, I am trying to be reflective on all the amazing inspirational ideas I have heard to day. Whilst also getting my head around the fact that the people I have been tweeting with for the last six months are actually ‘real people’, who like me have their insecurities of meeting the real life versions of their avatars.

The keynote by Keven Bartle was inspiring ( I think I am going to use this word a lot!). We have to be ‘Trojan Mice’ bringing innovation, focus and above all “pedagogy, pedagogy, pedagogy ” to our classrooms. Bravely we need to use ‘Guerilla’ tactics to push up standards and improve the outcomes for those pupils in our classrooms. Only by doing this from the ground up will we show the government, senior leadership, OFSTED and the media that we are truely are a profession who take our practice seriously. One by one our numbers will increase and we will make a difference which, if shared slowly, will percolate our everyday practice and we will encourage more risk taking to push our learners forward and achieve their potential. Bring on the MONKEYS, let the mess begin.(

From there, I went to Rachel Stevens @murphygirl, looking at how to do ‘Group Work’ better. The reasons for not doing it are often due to our relecutance and nervousness in handing over learning to the children . It’s messy, how do we manage it, how can we prove they have learnt what we want them to, how do we evidence that elusive “progress” ?. She gave us some amazing strategies to setting up ‘Habits of Mind’.to give us as teachers confidence in managing group work effectively. If you want “a bag of tricks” then you can DM her for the contents. But these “tricks” will allow risks to be taken with some “gurillela” teaching thrown in.

Then on to planning with the exceptional Hayley Thompson @HThompson1982 the 7E’s of planning. The focus was ‘How to ensure we focus on the learning of the students rather than the teaching.’ Making sure we are focusing on the concepts, ideas in more detail, and how we will engage them from the start to ensure that you carry them with you through the ultimate goal, of making independent learners who know how to investigate and develop learning and knowledge gathering, rather than those who rely on us to give them the information needed to pass the exam. (

The atmosphere as we moved around the corridors of the IOE was amazing, teachers sharing, talking, smiling about what they are doing and learning, plus lots of wide eyes looking like they couldn’t possibly absorb anymore information but still two session to go!

I opted for David Fawcett and his PBL/ SOLO mash up. This has triggered more brain cells and neural pathways being fired up than I thought possible. Getting the big question, purpose behind the why you are doing this project, getting the buy in from community, locals and experts to show the value of the project. Do something that might have an impact on the community rather than some made up scenario. I am inspired to move forward with my ideas for my disengaged Year 9. The wonderful Hayley Thompson has happily offered to do work together on ideas. This is the true impact of these sessions where teachers from far and wide come together to share, offer support, extend our thinking. (

We are on to session four by which time I’m exhausted and a little sweaty but going for a SOLO experience with Joe Freeman@biomadhatter. Here I got to spend a lovely 30 mins chatting with Andy Knill @aknill about how we have used SOLO in our classes and where we go from here. (

This is where I need to digress to one of the many highlights of the evening as Andy route marched us around London in search of the Holy Grail that was Macdonalds. We passed the ‘Green Man’ noting location for the later more traditional Teachmeet. Only to get a frantic tweet from Helene to say it’s the wrong ‘Green Man’. We noted new location and set off on our route march up Great Portland Road, with Mr. Knill leading the way almost getting us run over!

We arrive at the right ‘Green Man’ this time to discover a relieved Helene and Kev who had ten minutes earlier thought they’d be presenting to an empty room. Very quickly the room filled up,and there was a palpable buzz about the room and this wasn’t just the noise of all the phones and iPads being put on charge as they were exhausted from the earlier events of the day.

The beers, wine, and some soft drinks were purchased and the TeachMeet in its truest form started with Andy Knill starting us off and then the steam train that is the wonderful sharing of ideas, suggestions flowed with some memorable performances from Jenny Ludgate @MissJLudd with her Monster Cook Off, @ICTmagic, magic video session with a voice made for radio, many others who I lost track of, and then just as ’The marvelous Kev Bartlett’ stood to do his thing, the quickest ever departure ensued and I was gone, like Cinders, running towards the tube, to catch my carriage to whisk me away from an inspiring, challenging, fun and exhausting day home.

My abiding memories of today will be laughter, sharing, meeting great teachers and believing in a profession that has at its heart the welfare of the children that walk through our doors, ensuring we are doing our very professional and personal duty for them everyday. Thank you Pedagoo.