Inspiring! Curriculum Conference 2019

Pupils from Gurnard Primary School opened the Conference with a performance from ‘Matilda’

Only a few times in life have I wanted to capture the atmosphere in a room and bottle it. On Friday 11 October 2019 at Oakfield CE Primary School, I had that feeling, at the Isle of Wight Cultural Education Partnership’s Curriculum Conference.

The words ‘inspiring’ and ‘buzzing’ were heard in the corridors and I knew we had achieved a great experience and quality CPD for all the teachers that had attended. With over 50 teachers representing 25 Island schools, and around 15 arts and heritage organisations, the day was a huge success.

The day was launched by children from Gurnard Primary School with a confident and professional performance of extracts from ‘Matilda The Musical’ – a piece they had rehearsed with professionals from Royal Shakespeare Company and The Mayflower Theatre as part of a recent collaboration. This set the scene for a full day of in-depth CPD facilitated by renowned educationalist, Professor Mick Waters who led attendees on an engaging journey of exploration into how arts, heritage or cultural experiences can lead to deep, embedded learning that richly enhances pupil outcomes.

Professor Mick Waters inspired, engaged and entertained in equal measure

Other speakers during the day included The Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Councillor Paul Brading, who spoke with passion about the Island’s unique cultural offer and the great opportunity it offers to local schools.

Teachers chose from a range of short, impactful workshops on topics including: curriculum design, STEM to STEAM, Artsmark and Arts Award.  Throughout the day, participants had access to information exchange and networking via a marketplace showcasing the work of Isle of Wight schools and cultural and heritage organisations. 

The event was brought to a close with a thoughtful summary of key themes from Arts Council England’s South West Relationship Manager for Children and Young People, Rajni Patel. 

One teacher who attended commented

“Thank you so much. Everyone is buzzing. This is just what we needed.”

Gallery of images from the event:

If you would like a copy of particular presentations, please get in touch.

Available here:

Written by Lucy Marder (Artswork) in collaboration with Sarah Girling

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