It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I write to inform you about next year’s Annual Conference, which will take place in Sao Paulo between April 6th and 8th. The theme is Creativity and we will spend the three days together exploring this critical educational concept through a variety of lenses, as well as discovering and unleashing our own creative potential. The conference will be followed almost immediately by a conference being organised by The British School of Rio de Janeiro around the twin themes of Language and Leadership (April 10th – 12th), offering an unprecedented “double bill” opportunity not to be missed.
Our two main speakers are Ollie Tunmer, of Beat Goes On, and Carl Honoré, a leading protagonist of the Slow Education movement. We anticipate that they will challenge us in very different ways to leave our comfort zone, question some of our long-held beliefs and reflect personally and professionally on the importance of creativity as a fundamental lynchpin of education in today's world. They will be joined by Ben Walden on Day 2, who will offer a third option during the breakout sessions, as well as working with the students.
Following on from this year's success we will keep a similar format, with a mixture of keynote presentations, breakout sessions, workshops and discussion forums, plus time for networking. The entire conference will take place in St Paul’s School and having spent a couple of days in the school working on logistics, I am very confident that it will be a perfect environment for the conference. We have also secured an excellent deal at the Meliá Jardim Europa Hotel, which I can vouch for personally, for under US$100 a night.
We are looking to emulate this year's outstanding array of workshops so please start thinking about both giving a workshop yourself as well as bringing along members of your staff who can give workshops. We would like the workshops to reflect the conference theme, and in particular to be as hands-on and participative as possible, so please bring along your most creative staff. They don't have to be teachers of the arts – they could be creative maths teachers, creative leaders, or anyone who has developed innovative and original strategies and solutions that are worth sharing.
For the students we are offering an integrated programme, including both participation in the main conference and independent sessions designed specifically for them. They will be exposed to a wide range of creative stimuli and then have the opportunity to work in small groups in the area that most interests them, culminating in a final “performance” whose exact nature will be determined as the week unfolds.
This proposal represents an important shift in emphasis for the students. Rather than fixing a final performance as the key objective, with the rest of the week being preparation for the concert, the focus will be much more on the creative process, with each student being encouraged to explore and push the boundaries of their own creativity. As such, we are not necessarily aiming at the most talented musicians or artists but rather looking to work with a broad range of students who are willing to explore and unlock their creativity in a variety of circumstances and contexts. We will be sending
6th September, 2017
more details soon but please start to think about who you might want to send. They will be hosted by families from LAHC schools in Sao Paulo.
I will be sending more details about both the main conference and the student conference very shortly but please start thinking now about who will be coming from your school. We will be setting early deadlines with the aim of having registration completed by Christmas in order to facilitate planning and hosting of students. And don't forget to include the Rio conference in your planning.