Primary Rocks Live 2019

It’s time for the only blogpost I write each year. Yesterday was the fourth PrimaryRocks Live event, and I’ve been lucky enough to have tickets to all four now.

PrimaryRocks Live now feels like a homecoming. Entering that school is wonderful because it’s filled with likeminded people. There’s a buzz of energy and positivity in the air. I spent the first half hour hugging and chatting to people who I now only get to see at PrimaryRocks. I’ve come a long way from the first one when I sat on my own in the hall and cried.

After Gaz’s welcome (amazing as always,) the first keynote was Graham Andre, a legend in a shellsuit. Graham’s keynote was heartfelt, poignant and also really thought provoking. I loved hearing him talk so openly about that feeling of being at a crossroads, as it’s a feeling I’ve been having too. Also, I have to salute his commitment to staying in that shellsuit all day…

I think this year I struggled more than ever to decide on workshops because they all sounded so amazing. So for the first one I followed my heart and went to @parky_teaches workshop “Get your Geek on.” I’m often described as a geek by others, sometimes not in the most positive of ways, but lots of what was said in this workshop rang true with me. I’m definitely going to look for ways to bring my passions into the classroom.

Session 2 was an easy choice for me. I went to see Colin Grimes’ talk. I’d never met Colin before but had many conversations on twitter. His talk was amazing and was one I really wished members of my school’s SLT could have heard. He made some excellent points about new ideas and initiatives, about direction; that I think more leaders could do with listening to.

Session 3. I was intrigued by the title of Maaria Khan’s workshop (I’m not a fan of twee things like “Chilli Challenge” anyway) so found myself in her talk. Maaria spoke with obvious passion about the teaching of maths and I loved her point about raising self-esteem in mathematics. I have taken away some ideas for my maths lessons and am even more committed to get as far away from 3 way differentiation as possible. Maaria was really engaging and I would definitely recommend people see her speak.

The final keynote was Simon Smith and Chris Dyson who took us on a whistle stop tour of their schools and their passion for storybooks and mathematics. Both of these heads have achieved amazing things at their schools and it was brilliant to hear them speak together. Hearing two heads speak so passionately about staff well-being was amazing too, as often it feels like something that is paid lip-service. The singing was a great way to end the day on such a high too.

This year I ended up not going for #primarybeers afterwards as my house was in danger of flooding with the bad weather. Thankfully it’s fine now. I did miss that opportunity to keep talking to people though.

Oh well, maybe next year… 😉