I hope that you are all well and that the run up to the end of the year is going smoothly. Progress on the conference has been slower than I had hoped but the pieces are starting to fit together and we will have the registration system up and running by the end of next week at the latest, for educators, students and choir members, so please have your information ready.
I am happy to announce that our fourth keynote speaker is Barb Oakley, who will be providing us with some fascinating insights into how the latest brain research can help us as educators to understand more fully what is happening in the minds of our students. So our four main speakers are:
• Douglas Fisher, who will be focussing on engagement by design, high-quality instruction, collaborative learning and close reading
• Rhonda Bondie, who will be exploring a range of approaches differentiated instruction that take the student as the starting point
• Barb Oakley, who will be addressing learning how to learn, teamwork and active learning, riveting online classes and women in STEM
• Nikki Woodson, who will be sharing some very practical and innovative strategies for leaders to put students at the centre
These will be complemented by breakout speakers who will offer insights into EAL, the use of technology to transform learning and the design of schools that put students at the centre, with one more still to be confirmed. And finally we are pulling together a varied and interesting range of workshops for the second morning of the conference, which will include offerings by some of the keynote and breakout speakers, plus concept based learning, school review, safeguarding, and several sessions on Early Childhood education, so far.
Taken together, I think that this represents an unprecedented range of top quality sessions that should provide something for everyone and a lot to take back to your schools. We still have some spaces for workshops so please see the letter that accompanies this one and contact Louise Simpson if you are interested in offering something.
For the students we have contracted the services of Envoys to provide some of the activities planned for them and also to collect all of the students from the airport. They are a well-established company, extremely highly recommended by the local schools, and having met them personally I feel very confident that they will add considerable value to the student programme.
The music teachers from the schools in Bogota have been working on hard to put together the programme for the choir and I expect to have that very soon. As soon as I have the details I will let you have them.
Finally, we have been working closely with the NH Teleport Hotel on the details of the spaces that we will require and the menus for the lunches and dinner. We are very close to signing the contract with them and I should have booking information with you by next week at the latest.
I apologise for the delay in getting more detailed information to you, which is partly a reflection of the complexity and richness of what will be on offer, but please rest assured that there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes and that the final outcome will be worth the wait.