Over 400 staff within the Potteries Educational Trust attended the largest staff development day to date.

After an eventful and unexpected two years, the Potteries Educational Trust (PET) was delighted to welcome the return of their annual staff development day on Friday 18th February.  

Over 400 employees from the City of Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College, Biddulph High School, Moorside High School, and Werrington Primary School attended the day. 

The day enabled the collective learning community to come together and share best practices/teaching techniques and strengthen relationships.

The day started at Staffordshire University’s LRV with performances from Sixth Form College Music students Henry Hulstone and Bohush Hovarth followed by an introduction by Mark Kent, CEO and Heather McLaughlan, Deputy CEO of the Potteries Educational Trust.  

Renowned education author and motivational speaker Alex Quigley delivered a keynote speech focusing on the importance of reading and vocabulary, providing teachers with the knowledge and skills to teach reading with confidence.  

Alex Quigley commented, “It was a real privilege to be at the Potteries Educational Trust to give a keynote on reading. I enjoy being able to speak to groups of teachers, particularly when you have primary, secondary and college teachers all grappling with the challenge of reading.” 

Afterwards, there was a selection of over 50 bespoke workshops presented at the Sixth Form College. Staff were able to choose from four categories: academic/teaching and learning, pastoral/supporting students, professional development, and staff wellbeing. 

The workshops varied from retrieval practice, metacognition, Covid catch-up, pediatric first aid, pensions to yoga; there was a myriad for all to choose from. 

Presented by a range of staff within the trust and external professionals, the workshops firmly embedded the Potteries Educational Trusts ethos of a learning community.  

Heather McLaughlan, CEO of the Potteries Educational Trust, stated “Staff within the four academies have had the opportunity to showcase their talents and skills.” 

Mark Kent said, “It was great to have all colleagues from across the academies with us for the inset day. Staff participated with great enthusiasm in all the workshops making the day extremely successful.”  

Teams across the trust were able to mingle during breaks, lunchtimes, and workshops, allowing them to meet with like-minded colleagues.  

Liz Robinson, Headteacher at Biddulph High School said, “It has been a brilliant day to bring all our institutions together working towards a common goal. We have had a fantastic range of workshops and opportunities for staff; everyone has had a successful day.” 

Phil McLaughlan, Headteacher at Werrington Primary School commented, “There have been plenty of great networking opportunities for staff; it has been great to put names to faces who we have only seen in the virtual world.”  

Georgia Grant, Deputy Headteacher Moorside High School said, “What a brilliant start with an amazing keynote from Alex Quigley. The day confirmed that the PET strategies align to where we are going as an institution.” 

Staff regrouped within their department to reflect at the end of the day. They also shared thoughts and began plans to implement new techniques and methods within their institution.