Descriptions of the main themes and topics that our speakers intend to cover in their sessions are outlined below to assist you in gaining a strong overview of the conference:

Peter Kingham: ECTs & MENTORS

Peter Kingham has been directly involved in the development of Early Career Framework materials, working with one of the DfE-approved providers Best Practice Network. In this session, Peter will take stock of how implementation has gone so far during the autumn term and will be joined by schools that have rolled out the materials to discuss early challenges, how these have been overcome, and general trouble-shooting and best practice advice. He will also discuss the lessons learned from the ECF pilots, including advice for mentors as well as ECTs.


Emma Geall: ECTs & MENTORS

After months of preparation, The Halifax Academy will roll-out a fully funded Early Career Framework offer this autumn term and in this session coordinator Emma Geall will give us a warts and all account of how it has gone so far. She will be speaking three months into life under the ECF and will be discussing the main challenges so far, how the all-through academy has overcome these, lessons learned, and advice for other schools based on their experiences. Emma will also discuss the keystones of the school's ECF preparation, including timetabling, mentor support and training, and working with the Calderdale and Kirklees Teaching School Hub. As an all-through school, Emma will also give us her insights into the ECF roll-out within each phase – primary and secondary.


Peter Radford: ECTs & MENTORS

In this session for mentors and ECTs, wellbeing expert Peter Radford will dissect five of the most common pitfalls that can lead teachers to burn-out, overload and ultimately quitting the profession. As an ECT, the time is now to nip these threats in the bud and both ECTs and their mentors must be alert to the dangers. The practical session will raise awareness of the five pitfalls, discuss why and how they can become problematic and will offer tips and advice for protecting your wellbeing in each case. Peter will touch upon issues of mastering workload, avoiding the "busy-ness culture", staying true to your core values and how to manage expectations (your own and those around you) in order to teach well and never lose your love of the job. He will also advise how mentors can prepare their ECTs to handle these common challenges.


Sean Harris & Caitlin Tubby: MENTORS

In this session, mentor Sean Harris and ECT Caitlin Tubby Will discuss the secrets to a successful mentoring relationship. Despite working together during the pandemic, virtual working and lockdowns, following a range of processes and steps, Caitlin had a very successful first year and has achieved a huge amount. As a mentor, Sean has also benefited enormously from their sessions together. This workshop will discuss preparing for mentoring sessions, setting priorities, working together, things to avoid, things to remember and how to celebrate success - even when you've had a terrible day! Practical takeaways will include: how to get into a regular rhythm of coaching, learning and celebration; ensuring that your conversations add to the development of both mentor and mentee; actionable suggestions for making your sessions more practical, interactive and supportive; using the three As to make sure sessions are well paced and celebrate the wins; helping ECTs make a wider contribution to the edu-landscape; writing, blogging and researching as a mentor and mentee team; understanding how to make a difference with chocolate!


Hannah Wilson: MENTORS 

The mentor's role requires us to explore our professional and our personal identities. We are humans first and teachers second – but we often forget that. Most mentors will be supporting teachers from a diverse range of backgrounds and lived experiences so mentors need to appreciate the importance of this fact and be able to support the complexities of intersectional identities. As teacher trainers, we need to consider how we can empower early career teachers to be their authentic selves and how we can create psychological safety for courageous conversations. This session will offer some practical advice to achieve this as well as looking at how we need to start by reflecting on our own power and privilege, how we must do the inner work before we can start the outer work, how we can be inclusive allies and how we can stand in solidarity and speak out on issues affecting our mentees.


Dr Mari Cruice: MENTORS

Level 1 listening is when we allow our own thoughts to circulate as we listen to our mentee, being reminded perhaps of similar stories or anecdotes and waiting for an opportunity to speak. Level 2 listening, however, is when we can clear our mind of these distractions and focus instead on the person who is talking, noticing their pitch, pace, tone, volume, repetition, body language – all keys to helping us understand them completely. This practical session will dissect the art of effective listening and will equip ECT mentors with the skills they need in order to really listen to their mentees. Mentoring expert Dr Mari Cruice will discuss how we can train ourselves to use Level 2 listening to ensure maximum impact from our mentoring work.


Matt Bromley: ECTs

In this session, education author and advisor Matt Bromley will offer a range of practical advice and tips to help ECTs on their journey from "novice" to "expert". He will touch upon the tricks of the teaching trade and how to learn them, becoming an expert teacher and what this means, establishing the habit of cooperation to help support your teaching and keep workload in check, planning using a three-part learning process, and teaching using a four-step sequence. Lots of practical tips promised for both primary and secondary ECTs in this session.


Julie Norman: ECTs Primary 

A priority for all new teachers must be to build your "teaching toolkit", filling it with as many pedagogies, techniques, ideas and resources as possible to stand you in good stead for the rest of your career. In this practical workshop, Julie Norman will discuss what kind of things you need to have in your toolkit and how you can find and collect them. Ranging from wellbeing advice, to CPD, to teaching ideas and resources, Julie will discuss how to begin building you toolkit. She will consider how ECTs can constantly evaluate their practices to ensure they keep what works and stop or change what doesn't. She will touch upon the importance of observing other teachers in and beyond your school and how to make the most of these observations in order to improve your own practice. You will leave the workshop with a range of ideas for how to begin your toolkit and what to put in it!


Adam Riches: ECTs Secondary

Adam Riches does not mark books outside of lessons. Thanks to a range of in-class pedagogies and techniques, he manages to keep his marking workload down while ensuring student feedback is immediate, effective and responsive. In this workshop – which is aimed at secondary ECTs but which will no doubt be of interest to primary ECTs too – Adam will give his tips for how we can avoid marking becoming the most time-consuming element of our early years as a teacher. He will consider how to "live mark", how to mark more efficiently, how to make your marking and feedback more effective, and how we can measure the effectiveness of our marking without making more marking? Lots of practical classroom tips guaranteed!


Nansi Ellis: ECTs

You first years as an ECT should set you up to flourish as a professional throughout your career. Mentoring an ECT should be a rewarding role which develops professional practice. These aspirations can only happen if both roles are properly supported. In this session, Nansi Ellis will look at the rights and entitlements that both ECTs and their mentors can expect under the Early Career Framework, as well as general advice on effective practices for supporting ECTs and mentors so that they can thrive. Drawing on the National Education Union's work during the autumn term 2021, Nansi will highlight any emerging workforce and other challenges in the delivery of the Early Career Framework and discuss how these challenges might be overcome. The session will help ECTs to ensure they are receiving the full support package to which they are entitled and will help them to challenge poor practices that risk affecting their introduction to the profession. Likewise, by attending this session, mentors will understand their roles, responsibilities, rights and entitlements and will learn how best to ensure they get the support they need to fulfil this vital role.


Haili Hughes: ECTs

Mentors are an amazing support system in your early years of teaching but how do you make the most of them? From building a reciprocal relationship of trust and development to learning from their wisdom and practice, this session from Haili Hughes, the author of bestselling ‘Mentoring in Schools’ will bridge the gap between research and practice, providing tangible tips Early Career Teachers can take away and use in their own schools.


Garry Freeman: ECTs

An all-too-common challenge for new teachers is handling the range of SEND that are so often found in the mainstream classroom. In this practical session, Garry Freeman will offer tips, resources and ideas to support ECTs. He will discuss where to find useful information on the range of common SEN that ECTs will likely encounter, including ADHD, autism and others. He will discuss how to connect the information in student SEN profiles to teaching and supporting the actual child in the classroom, where you can go to find professional support (and it's not just the SENCO!), how to build relationships with parents and families, and how teacher-student relationships are at the heart of effective SEN support and teaching. He will also touch upon issues of teacher wellbeing and self-care.


Chris Misselbrook: ECTs (ON DEMAND) 

New to the profession, it is understandable that many early career teachers will feel anxious and uncertain as they step into the classroom as a qualified teacher for the first time. Focusing on the science behind anxiety and why we experience it, Chris Misselbrook will discuss strategies to help us change our relationship with anxiety so it doesn’t overwhelm us. He will touch upon issues of workload and in-class delivery as well as building good mental health and wellbeing from the beginning of your career. He will draw upon his own mental health journey and experiences to offer practical tips to early career teachers to help them cope with the stresses of the job in their first few years of teaching.


Chloe Testa: ECTs Secondary (ON DEMAND) 

In this practical session tailored for early career teachers, Chloe Testa will take a brief look at the theory behind metacognition strategies before considering why we use them in the classroom and – most importantly – how. She will offer a range of ideas for introducing metacognition to your teaching, as well as advising on how we can present metacognition to students in order to get their buy-in. The session will consider interleaving and space learning strategies among a range of practical methods.


Faye McGuinness: ECTs (ON DEMAND) 

Everyone knows the statistics about the number of teachers who quit the chalk-face within five years of qualifying. In this workshop, Faye McGuinness from teacher wellbeing charity Education Support will offer a range of information and tips to help you think about your own mental health and wellbeing, as you embark on your career in teaching. She will provide tips on maintaining a work/life balance and how to set effective boundaries and also will share tips on healthy habits that you can incorporate into your every day.