Friday, 21 June 2019

Ann Gravells CPD Event 2019

Last Friday on 14 June 2019 I attended Ann Gravells' CPD Event 2019 in Leeds.  As I have been out of the post-16 and skills sector for some time, I thought this would be ideal to get get up to speed with what is happening in this area.  In my current organisation at Nottingham Trent University, they have a small further education provision and has it's own Institute of Education.  So by attending this event it will give me a feel for what has changed (or not), whilst supporting my work with PebblePad that is used in this area and in degree apprenticeships.

Here's a blog post, in note form, of the nuggets of information I got...

Kick off @AnnGravells #CPD2019! Excited to be updated on current and new initiatives in the education and skills sector. And of course meet Ann herself.


  • Aim/about what's current, new initiatives and embracing the changes
  • Event theme: 'Improving professionalism to achieve outstanding teaching, learning and assessment'
    • Ann - "We all want to be the best we can be, but sometimes we can do things a bit better".  So this theme will help address this, as well as having fun in networking and sharing with others
    • Health warning issued over the USB fans in the our goody bags - don't put near your hair and don't put your finger in it! 😂

TQUK - End-Point Assessment

  • Approved to deliver End-Point Assessment (EPA) (from registration to certification/completion)
  • Develop learning resources to support apprentices
  • Table discussion outcomes on the EPA process:
    • Timeline of the EPA - who's role is it to do EPA?  When does it get done?  How long do learners have to wait?  Risk of learners taking certificate and not pursuing the EPA.  What s the drop out rate of this?  Although standards should say learners must follow organisational procedures.  Issues around creating their own standards around qualifications - who approves these?  The quality department?  Writing standards is a huge job.  Where is the standardisation?  PebblePad used to support apprenticeship programmes.
    • Examples of assessment methods used:
      • Professional discussion
      • MCQs/SJT/On-demand test
      • Practical observation
      • Business project
      • Competency based interview

Ann Gravells - Update 2019

Sharon Mansell - Teaching, Learning and Assessment Approaches

  • Formative assessment and progress
    • Starting point to delivery
      • Lots of ways establishing a learners starting point - initial assessment, interviews, Recognition of Prior Learning, CVs, skills scan, observation of skills
    • Target setting and softer skills
    • Feedback and feed-forward
    • Terminology
    • Consistency and progress
  • Teaching and learning approaches
    • Frequent changes of activities
    • Knowing what outcome you require for each individual
    • Example activities (experienced as group activities)
      • Card activity (demonstrating progress through the taxonomies within the 'Three Domains of Learning' by Bloom et al 1956)
      • It’s all in the eyes (got a nice mention from a fellow delegate, I've got "kind eyes" 😉
      • Bingo

Ann Gravells - Quality, compliance and accountability

  • Ann - "You can do a really good job, but not do it right", i.e.:
    • "You can offer a quality service without being compliant
    • You can be compliant without offering a quality service
    • The key is to offer a quality service and be compliant"
  • Quality service or product?  It's both
  • What is quality?  "I think it’s anything you do which can increase your organisation’s reputation, and achieve a positive outcome for your learners."
  • How can you be compliant?
    • Follow internal policies and procedures
    • External regulations and guidelines
    • Awarding body qualification specifications and requirements
    • Apprenticeship assessment plans
  • We are offering a service as well as a product
  • What issues can impact on quality and compliance?
    • Factors affecting this:
      • Internal pressures
      • Lack of staff training, support and guidance
      • External pressures
      • Expectations and assumptions (it's ok to challenge an External Quality Assurance (EQA), it shouldn't affect your position).  Even if you are pally with them, challenge their decisions.  If you are an EQA, ask the centre to challenge you
      • Complaints and appeals
      •  Corruption/bribey/bullying - find courage and stand up if something is not right (we know right from wrong).  Be brave and say I don't agree with this and see what response is
      • Policies and procedures
      • Technology - changes and keeping up to date
      • Values and mission statement - are they realistic?

Debbie Forsythe-Conroy- The journey to outstanding (with a focus on teaching, learning and assessment)

  • What does outstanding look like? (Leadership and Management)
    • Governance
    • Learners at the heart
    • Consistency
    • Performance management
    • Resources
    • Employers
    • Quality cycle
  • Learning, Teaching and Assessment
    • The learner journey
    • Teaching characteristics
    • Learning (including English, Maths and ICT)
    • Support for learning
    • Assessment
  • Table discussion outcomes (discuss the key characteristics you would expect to see in a brilliant session?):
    • Characteristics in a brilliant lesson - ensure that everyone has learnt, know your learners, different teaching styles, assess as you go (questioning) active learning, proving your teaching, innovate in teaching, learner engagement, differentiation, 'learning pit', achieve learning outcomes to get out of it, everyone involved and included - all in the classroom, but peer observation and coaching influences this - seeing how others handle teaching and the challenges it brings.  Sparkle factors (key factors to consider) - differentiation, individual targets, learners allowed to shine, - inclusive - all involved, fun!  Learning should be fun, supporting each other, courteous environment and professional ethos, zero tolerance of inappropriate behaviour, set ground rules, spontaneity well planned session, lots of variety, high professional standards
    • Suggested:
      • Impact on learning!
      • Effective objectives set
      • Evidence of individual progress in the session
      • Focus on individual not cohort
      • Do the activities add value?
      • Are learning objectives achieved and how will learning be checked?
      • Are learners given directed study (homework)
      • Key factors to consider - what makes a brilliant lesson
  • Quality of Education - three 'I's
    • Intent
      • Curriculum design, coverage and appropriateness
    • Implementation
      • Curriculum delivery
      • Teaching (pedagogy)
      • Assessment (formative and summative)
    • Impact
      • Attainment (qualifications and assessments)
      • Progress
      • Knowledge and skill development
      • Destinations

Final thoughts

  • Key things I gained from attending this event:
    • Refreshed my understanding of the Internal/EQA role - tasks carried out and challenges up against.  Regarding PebblePad, informs the approaches an I/EQA will take when added as an 'External' to conduct sampling
    • Clarity on the EPA process, possible challenges that is poses on both learner and organisation and potential assessment methods that can be used
    • Ways that employers and training providers should meet the 20% off-the-job training requirement for apprentices
    • What makes a 'brilliant lesson' - the key characteristics needed to make it a success
    • Reminder to read or find a summary of the Augar review to identify the impact on both HE and FE
    • Revisit the 'Three Domains of Learning' by Bloom et al 1956.  A popular method to construct lessons and scaffold learning activities.  Useful to reinforce identified purposes of Technology Enhanced Learning
  • The event enabled me to draw on my previous further education work in teaching teachers and delivering the Digital Learning Design apprenticeship
  • Further education and skills sector really does a lot of the hard work in building learners social and interpersonal skills and core subject knowledge, before they go onto higher education to increase the depth of their knowledge
  • Ann modelled her knowledge, skills and experience proficiently - she's extremely inclusive by welcoming people into every aspect of what she is delivering.  Including her openness to work with others through her consultancy work
  • Ann Gravells Ltd is not just an individual it is a community, one of like-mindedness, accessibility and inclusivity.  When I see or hear Ann Gravells, I instantly feel supported and in good safe hands - now that's a powerful feeling to get from an author/consultant/brand
  • I'd definitely come to another of Ann's events, I want to be part of this community.  The pace and content was just perfect

Ann kindly invited me to bring along some signed copies of 'Learning Technology' to sell on a stand she had set up for me.  Here's me signing some in preparation - thank you Ann.

Ann loves taking selfies with her readers and signing copies of her books - I brought a couple of mine for her to sign.  Here's me alongside her holding a copy of my book, as requested by Ann.  This was a huge pleasure to meet her as she has inspired my teaching practice since I got the 'teaching bug'.  I sold a few signed copies of my book, even Ann bought one for herself .  Damn, I should have got pictures of the others holding their copy!