Astra Teachmeet 2019!


    Providing a welcome break from all things Brexit, the Astra Teachmeet 2019 certainly did not “die in a ditch”, attracting a record number of over 150 primary and secondary teachers and current trainees from across Buckinghamshire on 16th October 2019.  

    Our fantastic hosts, The Royal Grammar School High Wycombe, provided an inspiring venue, excellent resources and superb refreshments to lift our end of half term spirits, while talented presenters shared top tips for cutting workload and improving student performance.

    Particular thanks need to go to Sabrina Lawson, Alex Wallace and Jo Holdsworth at RGS for organising and facilitating the event as well as sourcing the all-important cake, tea and biscuits.  We are also grateful to the fabulous teacher presenters, listed below, who spoke at the event on a wide range of interesting topics.

    Our speakers on the night were as follows:

    Sian Corbishley – Royal Grammar School (English): Visualisers; Liz Herrera – Beaconsfield School (MFL);  Abbie Mitterhuber – Chesham Bois CE School (primary): Humanities and Creative Curriculum Marking grids (Whole Class Feedback); Rachel Branton – Waddesdon – Senior Leader (History): Assessment and Feedback; Brett Court – Amersham School (Senior Leader): Feedback not marking: guiding ‘next steps’; Alex Lee – Royal Grammar School (PE); Pete Wood and Lee Rowe-Elliott – Royal Grammar School (Biology); Candida Javaid – Royal Grammar School (MFL); Georgina Francis – Royal Grammar School (Art).  


    Additionally, we are grateful to the charismatic and engaging Ross Morrison-McGill from @TeacherToolkit who delivered the keynote speech on challenging our working habits in order to achieve better results and an improved work/life balance.

    During his speech, Ross challenged us to rethink our use of data to inform student progress, and take more control of our professional development.  In keeping with current priorities regarding both the retention and recruitment of teachers, his focus on making the profession “do-able” was timely and much appreciated.  

    His other influential ideas, including the “5 minute lesson plan” provided some powerful ways for our audience to consider a more streamlined approach to lesson planning, delivery and assessment.  


    Evaluation forms from those attending the event record an overwhelmingly positive response to the Teachmeet keynote and presentations, including the value of ideas that could be used immediately in the classroom such as the use of visualisers and Twitter.  Participants also celebrated the opportunity to network with colleagues and share ideas with others.  

    We do take on board other feedback about the opportunity to offer more subject / phase specific Teachmeets in future, as well as ensuring the heating controls are turned up a little more in the Queens Hall!  On behalf of Astra and the RGS, we would like to thank everyone who attended, participated and presented on 16th October - and we look forward to seeing you at the next Astra event soon!

    Posted on: 04/11/2019