‘Putting excellence into practice’


‘Putting excellence into practice’

29 Jun ’18 Teaching 0

Visiting Jose Picardo for the second time, he was no less a gentlemen, if a considerably busier. Today, Jose was hosting ‘Putting excellence into practice’ – Hampshire Collegiate School’s inaugural “Teaching and Learning Conference.”

It was a beautiful day, a stunning backdrop, warm and welcoming hosts (thank you Jose and Cliff) and importantly a opportunity to make new acquaintances, reaffirmed connections and attend two first-class sessions, thank you Matt Benyohai and Daniel Muijs.

Matt is a teacher of Physics and Head of Scholars & Academic Enrichment at Surbiton High School. Prior to teaching Matt worked as a data architect, designing data for investment banking. He single handedly showed us the nonsense and noise of our reporting systems. I am hoping that our conversation will continue.

Daniel Muijs doesn’t really need an introduction, however, Ofsted’s new Head of Research is refreshingly candid, honest and knowledgeable. His workshop on metacognition clearly demonstrated why metacognition is struggling to take root in education practice. His session also provided an opportunity to meet and observe Oliver Cavigliol, that was a real treat.

I have to admit I am not a huge fan of keynotes and panels. Informative, yes. Self-selected, not exactly. However, what I did say on the day stands true. Lucy Crehan offered some insightful commentary, moreover, I found it as interesting, observing which of those comments were then amplified via social media by the audience.

As for the panel discussion – I enjoyed Ed Dorrell’s compering and recorded the panels response to the opening question. “What does excellence look like in education?” I’ll leave it up to you to decided.

What does excellence look like in education?

Mike Buchanan – Vice Chair of HMC & Headmaster Ashford School

  • Relationships – as demonstrated by adult to adult, adult to student, student to student interactions
  • Achievements – broad and deep
  • Knowledge
  • Agency – do the young people act to change their world
  • Networks – cultural capital
  • Ethical basis for interactions – service to others
  • Wellbeing – based on individual
  • Skills – ask great questions and the courage to ask them.


Jon Coles – Chief Executive United Learning

“I don’t know. It depends… As yet we don’t know enough about neuroscience and learning… Opinion is too often based on flimsy evidence.

It depends:

  • Excellence – a one-size-fits-all approach is wholly inappropriate
  • Best from everyone – (expectations, belief structures)
  • Content – powerful knowledge is enabling
  • Education with character
  • Leadership in every role (responsibility)
  • Continuous improvement. Do better. Borrow with pride.


Lucy Crehan – Education explorer and consultant – Author of Cleverlands

“It’s difficult to see. All the heat and light going into the students and not into showing others what your doing.”


Thank you Jose for the invitation.


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