Breakout sessions

The conference will host a range of practical workshops covering a variety of topics. 


  • English: English teaching, learning and assessment: investigating professional practices, hosted by Claire Collins.

This breakout session will focus on some key developments in post-16 English, such as using post-16 phonics approaches in Functional Skills, General English Competencies in T Levels and non-linear curriculum design on GCSE programmes. We will ask what persists in terms of our professional practices as English teachers and to what extent do we need to investigate and adapt our teaching approaches as curricula and policy contexts change. To help us answer these questions, we will consider the findings from research projects from across the post-16 sector.

Claire Collins is a post-16 learning and literacies specialist, who leads national development programmes for the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) and other sector bodies. Currently, she heads up a national OTLA programme in English, the ‘Shaping Success in maths and English’ programme across the North and East of England, and a programme focusing on maths, English and digital literacies in T Levels. Claire‘s academic background is in philosophy and adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL. She has taught in FE colleges, adult and community learning, work-based learning, secure estates and workplace settings and she is the production editor of the Research and Practice in Adult Literacies (RaPAL) Journal.

  • Digital: Teaching and Learning for the Z Generation, Esam Baboukhan

The session will explore the range of tools within the Office 365 suite to use in your Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) and help you engage with the new generation of learners. 

You will discover how Esam Baboukhan, awarded Pearson’s Digital Innovator of the Year award in 2019 (Silver), has utilised and integrated the different applications within Office 365 to: 

  • augment teaching, learning and assessment
  • engage learners and enhance the learning experience
  • improve learner autonomy and independence
  • reduce teacher/practitioner workload and improve efficiencies.
  • accessibility and inclusion 
  • amplify the learner voice 
  • improve communication and collaboration between teachers, students, parents and tutors.

The session will cover the Why, How and What.  These will include the following apps: 

  • Microsoft Teams 
  • Forms 
  • OneNote for Classroom 
  • Stream 
  • Flipgrid 

You will also discover the range of features to support accessibility and inclusion.  

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing: Education Support Partnership panel 

The Education Support Partnership will host a session showcasing the findings from recent research into the mental health of people working in the Further Education sector.

  • Technical Education

More information to follow.

  • Early Career Zone

Magnificent Methods: Hosted by Geoff Petty

Some teaching methods hit the spot according to cognitive science, and raise attainment exceptionally well in rigorous classroom trials. They are routinely used by exceptional teachers. In the morning breakout session, Geoff looks at questioning methods and formative methods that far outstrip common practice.


  • SEND

Introduction to Autism and sensory issues: Kath Wood

This 30-minute interactive session will introduce you to the topic of autism by looking at some facts and figures about the condition before focusing on the sensory issues learners may face and how you can ensure your learning environment is adapted accordingly.

Walk a Mile in My Shoes: Annie Pendrey

Share some case studies of FE tutors and how with the provision of professional development and opportunities, we are providing positive experiences for learners with autism. There will also be a brief introduction to 'Making Sense of Autism' and 'Good Autism Practice'.

  • Digital: Support to teach the new Essential Digital Skills entitlement, Vikki Liogier (ETF), with Sero Consulting

The new Essential Digital Skills entitlement will enable adults aged 19+ with no or low digital skills to undertake ‘essential digital skills’ qualifications free of charge from 2020. The aim is to give everyone the opportunity to benefit from digital technology and stay safe online.

The new qualifications will be available for teaching from August 2020. Independent research commissioned and just published by the ETF shows that practitioners feel positive about the updated standards set out in the new entitlement, saying that they are more relevant to the way technology is used now and predicting a strong uptake of courses by learners. However, practitioners have also emphasised the preparatory work that needs to be done to support delivery ahead of the new qualifications going live. 

The ETF has responded by commissioning a significant CPD programme, led by Sero Consulting with DESQ and SkillsLogic, to support teachers and trainers in delivering the new entitlement. This breakout session will introduce the blended training and support that will be offered as part of the programme. Delegates will have an early opportunity to see the forthcoming bite-size training modules and get a taste of the face-to-face training, with an opportunity to provide feedback and to help shape the formation of the programme.

  • Mental Health and Wellbeing: Workshop on learner’s mental health, Nicole Capon.

Poor mental health can affect us all at any point. Knowing how to support a learner living with a mental health diagnosis can help to promote engagement and peer support. In this interactive workshop we will be looking at ways to encourage learner activity for those who are dealing with symptoms poor mental health.

  • Different Learning Environments

More information to follow.

  • Early Career Zone

How to teach even better: Hosted by Geoff Petty

Geoff gets strategic - lesson planning can waste your time as plans often can’t be reused next time. Topic planning can be reused, so it saves planning time, differentiates better and far more easily, if you build a ladder of tasks for each topic from easy to more challenging. No more planning multiple lessons for different groups or individuals. In this afternoon session, Geoff asks: how do you plan a topic, and how do you sequence methods to ensure differentiation?  

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