One week since Primary Rocks Live 2018 and finally time to sit and write a few reflections on the day. We shared the journey across the Pennines with Rich Allman from the pioneering Malton Community Primary School. There were not many James Corden ‘Carpool’ moments, but the drive gave us a much needed opportunity to share thoughts about pedagogy, politics, physical activity and gender. The latter two areas continued our discussions about a previous blog post involving Super Movers and Alex Scott‘s pioneering work.
This was our third time of visiting Medlock Primary School for Primary Rocks Live. Again we were blown away by the fact that hundreds of teachers and school leaders are willing to give up their time in order to share ideas and celebrate learning – despite the cutbacks and excessive workload.
There were many reasons to be cheerful. In no particular order:
- Nina Jackson’s keynote – including getting the hall dancing to Pharell Williams & the Minions.
- The Primary Head and Old Primary Head sharing their thoughts on authentic leadership – reminiscent of David Baddiel and Rob Newman!
- Talking with Jenna Lucas about balance.
- Catching up with awesome people such as Tim Brogan and his team at Holy Rosary Primary School, Adam Chase, Simon Smith, Simon Kidwell and many more.
- Man hugs with the legend that is Chris Dyson and his quote, “Tagtiv8 Changes Lives!”
No More Boys and Girls
The highlight came courtesy of Kathryn Morgan and Hannah Wilson: “Come and listen to Graham Andre – he’s talking about gender and equality.”
Having met Graham a number of times, it seemed bizarre that we’d never heard him present. So, thank you Kathryn, Hannah and Graham. It seemed ironic that Graham’s session was in a classroom with this poster by the door:
To find out more about Graham’s recent journey and findings, check out this article from Innovate My School. This focuses on the BBC’s programme, ‘No More Girls and Boys: Can Our Kids Go gender Free?’
Listening to Graham reminded us about how tag rugby inspired us to create our Physically Active Learning (PAL) games in the first place. When we taught in schools in Yorkshire, we encountered tag rugby for the first time via Bradford Bulls and were wowed by the way the game involved girls and boys on the same level. We are always pleased when teachers comment on the fact that our approaches engage all children, both physically and mentally. Watching children compete and collaborate during the PAL sessions, we often hear teachers say, “I didn’t know she could do that!”
To find out more about our PAL approaches, just reach out.
To find out more about Graham and aspects of his presentation, check out #genderequality, #nogendertoys, #nomoreboysandgirls, #smashingstereotypes. We also urge you to check out @WomenEd for inspiration, links and ideas. On a practical note, check out @ThisGirlCanUK, who are making massive differences to the way girls think about themselves – with health benefits and more.
Since this post was written, we have had the pleasure of meeting Caroline Ash, a wonderful Deputy Headteacher at Horton Grange PS in Northumberland. Check out her links with the Gender Charter and read her blog post, ‘Closing the Gender Gap’. Truly provocative and informative!