Deputy Head Academic Hosts Conference Entitled ‘What Should Children learn?’

On 1st November 2018, Mrs White (Deputy Head Academic) hosted an educational conference at the Jesus College Educational Forum on the theme of ‘What should children learn?’ The Conference attracted 150 delegates from educational institutions across the UK, who came to hear a range of eminent speakers focus on the school curriculum and the purpose of education.

Questions posed and discussed, included: on what principles should a good curriculum be determined for a nation? How can a values-based approach underpin a good curriculum in school chains and trusts? How can we ensure the best curriculum for all pupils in practice within a school?

As part of the Conference, Mrs White presented the four dimensional model of education, as described in her recently published book, ‘A Good Education’. She was also able to outline how this model explains and informs curriculum innovation at St Faith’s.

Professor Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education and Director of Research at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge said of the conference: “This was a very useful forum in which to debate what we want from our education system and how we reconcile the potentially conflicting things we ask of our schools”.

Margaret White commented: “I was delighted with the enthusiastic support for the conference which shows how important this question is. Holistic education, underpinned by a secure and rigorous framework of thinking, emerged as common themes in helping to ensure provision which supports the flourishing of every child.”

Other speakers included Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, Tim Oates CBE, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development at Cambridge Assessment and Andy Wolfe, Deputy Chief Education Officer at the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership.

The conference was live-streamed and a video of the talks is available here. The event was well-attended by stakeholders from across the education system, both at primary and secondary levels, including schools from across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Dr Julian Huppert, Director of the Intellectual Forum, reflected: “It was great to have so many different perspectives presented, and I was delighted that the attendees included academics and researcher, but also practicing teachers. Any discussion of this topic must involve those who interact daily with pupils”.

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