King’s Group is a collection of 9 British international schools in the UK, Spain, Panama and Latvia. During their Professional Development weekend, over 400 teachers from King’s Group schools and from COBIS (Council of British International Schools) came together in Madrid with the opportunity to attend a huge variety of workshops on a number of teaching topics.
We were delighted to be asked to run a series of five workshops during the weekend around the themes of employability, essential skills and the world of work in the classroom. The conference had a dual aim this year: to provide both food for thought and practical tips for teachers to implement straight away, which was exciting for us as our sessions focused around discussion and practical strategies for teachers to take away.
It was a real highlight to discuss the need for essential skills such as Teamwork, Listening and Problem Solving with the King’s and COBIS teachers and to find out that students in Spain, just like students in the UK, struggled with some of these skills. Teachers could really see the benefit of developing these skills in their own classroom.
Furthermore, a few sixth-form teachers noted the difficulty in securing work experience for their students in Spain and so the need to bring the world of work into the classroom is perhaps greater than in the UK where many schools have provision for this.
The Madrid workshops were a great reminder that whilst students’ context may be hugely different, their need for skill development to ensure they can succeed, is universal. Furthermore, the best-placed people to ensure the development of essential skills are classroom teachers who know their students so well and can use their pedagogy not only to inspire and impart knowledge to their class but also to prepare them for future success.
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