On Thursday June 16th, I left home at the unearthly hour of 7am to ensure bagging one of the sought after parking spaces at Exeter Uni for the SWAT conference. I was due to present a workshop with my colleague from Eggbuckland who was kindly driving and despite my cough and sore throat we talked all the way to Exeter, attempting to perfect our presentation.
As the sun attempted to break through the mist, we pontificated on the importance of the – in our opinion – incorrectly titled “soft skills”, & managed to reach the Uni and one of those coveted spaces. The Forum, a relatively new area of the University, is a fantastic space and ideal for this kind of conference – lots of well-appointed classrooms for a variety of audience sizes and a fabulous lecture theatre for the keynotes – one before and one after lunch – with tiers of comfortable high backed swivel seats.
As well as the wide variety of workshops there were also opportunities to listen to student speakers from some of the schools including our own brilliant Alfie Carlisle.
I listened to one speaker on how to prepare for, apply to and interview for a new job or role – no amazing new insights but presented with some humour and relevance.
Our talk on the necessity for employability skills in addition to exam grades unfortunately only attracted five delegates so we had somewhat over prepared resources, but at least the nerves were gone in time for my final workshop choice which was a very interesting explanation of growth mindset in action throughout Gt Torrington School.
An eclectic and on the whole valuable day – wish I’d been presenting earlier so as to lessen the stress!
Here is my not very successful attempt at putting the day in rhyme…
So delegates who made up the quorum
Were asked for a short piece to blog
About the conference in Exeter’s Forum –
That’s the reason for this monologue
Communication as in sharing good practice
Or gath’ring classroom top tips and some notions
No end to the subjects designed to attract us
From growth mindset to prep for promotions