Choose your sessions


Doug Fisher and Aida Allen - Better learning through structured teaching

Building student competence requires precision teaching and not prescriptive methods for engaging students. This session focuses on the Gradual Release of Responsibility and provides participants with information about implementation of an instructional framework that ensures student success, including establishing purpose, modeling thinking, guiding instruction, productive group work, and independent learning tasks. We will examine the outcomes of high quality instruction, including increases in student achievement and decreases in attendance problems.

Rhonda Bondie - How to manage differentiated instruction or differentiated instruction made practical

Teachers know that students come to classes with divergent experiences, understandings, interests, strengths, and needs. However, finding sustainable ways to respond to student diversity, daily is among teachers’ greatest challenges. Through practical examples, participants will learn a four-step decision-making method to determine the when, how, what, and why of differentiated instruction. Participants will use already existing materials to adjust instruction to increase clarity, access, rigour, and relevance for all learners resulting in a classroom culture where all students feel engaged, valued, and stretched.

Daniel Bonilla - Architecture allied to pedagogical innovation

What is the value, or the added value, of a good architectural design for pedagogical innovation?.
Shaping the artificial environment by means of architectural design provides an enormous opportunity to encourage desirable behaviours. I will present a number of examples of my own school designs, showing how simple strategies can contribute to creating an innovative atmosphere, or to encourage teachers and students to work in a group, and how to obtain added pedagogical value when building an educational infrastructure.

Patrick Mussolini - The Adolescent Brain: Perceived Weaknesses - Actual Strengths (part 1)

Anyone who works in middle-level education knows that the adolescent brain functions in ways which differentiate it from learners at other levels. While these differences present challenges for the educator they also present opportunities. These sessions aim to explore current research regarding adolescent brain development and the unique ways in which its function can foster learning.


Doug Fisher and Aida Allen - Group work

The power of peer-to-peer learning has been well documented in the research base of effective instruction. Perhaps the most influential theorist on the role of peer-assisted learning is Lev Vygotsky, who believed that all learning is mediated by interactions with others. Therefore, collaboration with peers becomes a necessary part of the learning process of a child. In this session, we will consider the ways in which productive group work compliments instruction in a gradual release of responsibility framework.

Rhonda Bondie - Agile teacher thinking to meet the needs of all learners

Differentiating instruction requires agile teacher thinking to design instruction that meets the needs of all learners. We will examine sample situations from real classrooms to practise responding to academic differences on our feet as learning unfolds in the classroom. Participants will be able to adjust instruction using inclusive directions, alternating structures, providing help, and structuring student choice or options to increase clarity, access, rigour and relevance for all students every day.

Daniel Bonilla - Master plans: Educational infrastructure planning

What is a Master Plan for a school? Why is it relevant to have one? A school’s infrastructure is constantly under pressure to change in response to new technologies, modifications in local regulations, or other factors. These may range from simple measures such as laying a new footpath to large expansions of built areas. Therefore, planning school infrastructure with a vision of the future is critical, especially considering that in many cases economic resources are limited, and that schools tend to develop over decades. Even when a school is built in one go, changes - due to new technologies or modifications in regulations - might still occur over time and need to be contemplated within the master plan.

Patrick Mussolini - The Adolescent Brain: Perceived Weaknesses - Actual Strengths (part 2)

Anyone who works in middle-level education knows that the adolescent brain functions in ways which differentiate it from learners at other levels. While these differences present challenges for the educator they also present opportunities. These sessions aim to explore current research regarding adolescent brain development and the unique ways in which its function can foster learning.


Nikki Woodson - Is it Working? A Comprehensive Guide to Ensuring Student Success

Coaches use data to secure victory; mechanics use data to get the engine started; and physicians use data to heal. In our schools, data is used to inform instruction and enhance student achievement. But how do you use the immense amount of data in an organized manner to really increase achievement? Participants will learn how to organize, filter, and effectively use data to inform instruction without intimidation.

Barb Oakley - Integrating teamwork and active learning into the classroom

Studies have revealed that allowing students to work in groups and teams both inside and outside the classroom enables them to achieve higher grades, learn at a deeper level, retain information longer, become less likely to drop from a program, acquire greater communication skills, and work more effectively long-term in their chosen vocation. Neither students nor instructors can be naturally be expected to know how to work effectively with student teams. But in fact, there are only a few simple steps instructors need to take to help students form strong teamwork skills while simultaneously reducing the instructor’s own “office hour overload” and ensuring that students receive fair grades for team-related efforts. This workshop provides university-level instructors a simple framework to easily create and effectively handle student teams—a win-win for instructor and student alike!

Michelle Coleman - Balancing Authenticity and Accessibility - What English Model, How and Why?

This session is designed to raise awareness of the challenges non-native speakers of English face in the English-speaking classroom, and to open discussion about how to raise teachers’ awareness of accommodations they can make to ensure that language is inclusive and not a barrier to learning.

Natalia Castillo - Placing student voice and choice in the center: designing GRASP tasks with technology

In this session attendees will review key elements of Backwards design and GRASPS tasks where students need to consider goal, role, audience, situation and standards in order to create a product that allows demonstration of understanding and developing explicit connections with real life scenarios. Technology will be presented as a tool that can help modify or redefine assessment tasks and allow students to create variety of products that address their own learning styles and interests, increase collaboration, improve communication in group settings and introduce multiple sources of information in the classroom to generate solutions or responses to a problem.


Jennifer Imholt (Search) - Search Associates in Latin America

Founded in 1990, Search Associates has become the world’s leading recruiting agency for international schools, with an outstanding track record over more than 25 years, including close and long-established relationships with many schools and candidates in Latin America. We are now eager to build on this tradition and expand our presence and activity throughout the region, so as to meet more effectively both the recruitment needs of schools and the career aspirations of teachers. We are therefore looking forward enthusiastically to our first experience of an LAHC conference, not only the opportunity to share our current plans but above all to learn from school leaders in the region about their recruitment challenges, and explore how best we can deploy our expertise and experience to help Latin American schools and teachers in the coming years.

Luke Liddle (ISCA) - “Forget the parents, let the students decide!” Is parent decision making the biggest threat to our students becoming successful, global and adaptable citizens in the future?

Learning is a personal experience, it is not defined by time spent on a topic or by the end of the school year, it is an ever evolving journey, one that is geographically footloose and something that thrives when individuals take ownership of their learning goals, achievements and outcomes. But is this possible in our schools? Private schools have paying customers - the parents. These parents want the best for their child but are in danger of taking over the decision-making process. This workshop will focus on the choices students have in preparing themselves for the future economy and how these choices may be at odds with the parents' expectations. For example it is now common to question whether university is right for everyone? The graduate premium falls every year. There are more privately educated UK students than ever before shunning the pressure of university and associated debt to pursue apprenticeships and vocational training. Students are electing to develop their life skills to make them competitive in the future, ever changing economy. One would expect this trend to continue and we can therefore question if parent expectation and decision making are the biggest threat to our students becoming successful entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders of the future economy.

Claire Dunn (GL Education) - Are attitudes holding your students back?

Most assessment carried out in schools delivers the teacher’s perspective of the student – what have they achieved? What should we expect of them? Only by looking at things from a student’s perspective can we understand what they feel capable of, and determine what learning and pastoral support they may need. The Pupil Attitudes to Self and School (PASS) survey provides benchmarked data that can provide a fresh perspective from the whole-school down to the individual student:

• Do your students feel that they have the toolkit they need to learn?
• Do you have a disengaged cohort?
• Is a lack of self-belief preventing some of your students from reaching their full potential?

Claire Dunn, GL Education’s International Manager, will explain how the reports answer this kind of question and look at some of the intervention strategies schools are putting in place to address these challenges.

Mark Evans (Penta) - What’s the point of accreditation?

Mark is one of the most experienced school inspectors/accreditors currently working internationally. He will use his understanding to outline the main benefits and pitfalls of subjecting a school to an accreditation process, looking at many options, including British Schools Overseas (BSO). Included in the presentation will be the benefits of training as a school accreditor/inspector, how the crossover between (e.g.) LAHC and Penta or CIS and Penta works, how we deal with host country legal requirements, and the joys/challenges of the self-evaluation process.

Alex Hill (Teach Away) - International education recruitment: The hiring trends you can’t afford to ignore in 2018

At a time when hiring international educators is more competitive than ever, going the extra mile to understand how to reach and attract quality teachers is no longer optional - it’s vital.
To find out what truly makes teaching candidates tick, Teach Away surveyed our extensive online community of job-seeking educators. The result is our comprehensive report on the latest trends in international education recruitment. Featuring data-driven insights and advice from international education recruitment experts, this workshop covers everything schools need to know about hiring teachers internationally, including what drives candidates to teach abroad, their key motivations and frustrations when looking for employment, and where they go to research and search for new jobs.

Nihad Cehic (CEM Durham) - Data analysis: Putting the student in the centre

How can you use data effectively for target setting?
The British School of Rio use CEM data, alongside other methods, to effectively set targets for their students for iGCSE and the IB Diploma and to analyse performance.
This session will provide an overview of CEM products and how they can be used to support school aspirations and attainment.


Rhonda Bondie - Effective Questions

Effective questions produce thinking. Learning is the result of thinking. Therefore, questions are one of the most important tools used in teaching and learning. Participants will examine how teachers can ask fewer and better questions leading to more thinking time in class and explore hands-on routines to help students generate questions to further their learning. In addition, we will examine the role of questions in differentiating instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Barb Oakley - Lights, camera, action … CUT!

Have you ever wanted to dive into the e-Learning movement? E-Learning is amazing as it allows for a flexible and accessible learning environment. Online learning collaborations, lively discussion forums and virtual simulations can create a thriving e-learning community. But at the heart of e-Learning – at its very core – lies the content videos. These videos can make or break our e-Learning experience. The videos must be energizing, captivating and immersive. They must immediately resonate with who we are and what we want to learn. As such, a truly amazing e-Learning experience starts with creating mind-blowing videos that translate the very passion we all feel for our content matter. The aim of this workshop is simple: we will help you make your own engaging e-Learning video. This is a hands-on workshop that will take you through key aspects of the creation of a short video on your choice of topic. Throughout this workshop you will gain experience on how to sketch out a short video, the software and hardware needed and editing power. We’ll also give insight into what’s happening “behind the scenes,” in people’s brains, that can make certain features of video exceptionally compelling for viewers. So what are you waiting for? Join our e-Learning movement! To join this workshop, BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop), and download the Camtasia 30-day free trial

Doug Fisher and Aida Allen - Close Reading

Attending to the information presented in the text, while recognizing assumptions, background knowledge, and biases held by the reader, helps the reader deeply understand that which is being read. Close reading is an instructional approach that teaches students to engage in all of these behaviors. As part of close reading, students encounter a text and read that text several times, often for different purposes and based on different questions. As part of close reading, teachers and students ask questions of the text. Some questions can be answered without having read the text; others require a deeper understanding and evidence from the text. In this session, we focus on questions that require repeated close readings in order to be answered. These questions include general understandings, key details, vocabulary and text structure, author's purpose, inferences, and opinions and arguments.

Ana Raquel Suarez and Ana Candel de Cabrera - Let it go!

This session will describe how we decided to move away from fixed timetables to a free flow - Reggio Emilia influenced learning environment. We will address the challenges we faced and still face. We will discuss the changes we have seen amongst the adults but especially how the learning journey has improved for the children. We noticed that with our change of approach the children's learning became more significant to them...they had the time to reflect and develop their ideas, to solve problems, to take risks. They became highly motivated and we noticed that behaviour issues reduced considerably. The environment is set up in a way that allows all children to feel challenged and satisfied at the same time. There are opportunities to play in groups, in pairs or alone and to satisfy the needs at any given stage of development. One of the main features of our setting is our access to the outdoors. This provides an incredible range of opportunities for us to prepare many different learning settings which address the needs of all children in our care.

Natalia Castillo - Assessing students through creation: developing formative assessment with posters, videos, infographics and mind maps in technology infused settings

In this session attendees will be presented with specific tools and strategies to develop formative assessments with technology. Moving from the idea of quizzes and multiple choice questionnaires, attendees will be able to explore and use different formats that allow students’ demonstration of understanding, engaging them with the use of image and audio, helping them develop thinking skills like reflection and creation.

Chris Binge - Changes that put students at the centre

How can we change our education programme to put students more at the centre of their learning?
The session will look at changes that have been successful in various schools where the presenter has worked. These will include radical changes in curriculum design that give students more choice in courses, the content of courses and the way that students choose to learn. We will look at how mixed age teaching can put students in control of their learning and that of others.
We will look at an assessment model that stresses the student role in describing their progress over the opinions of adults, and how this can be firmly based in the development of soft skills.
We will see how using students to describe and publicise their school environment gives them more ownership of the environment they learn in.
We will see how it should be students who take on such tasks as writing the school annual report, the teaching and learning policy, the acceptable user policy and other documents.

Julia Briggs and Kelby Marks - Implementing and leading a concept-based curriculum

What is concept-based learning and why is it so important? Including, overview of Erickson and Lanning theories; the significance of forming conceptual understandings and transferring these to new situations; the development of synergistic thinking between facts and concepts.
What practical tools can teachers implement in the classroom to develop concept-based learning? E.g. use of intellectual journals to record statements of conceptual understandings, track thinking over time and note reflections about how thinking has changed to promote integration of thinking and metacognition" "appropriate use of case studies and thoughtful selection of factual examples; inductive teaching methods to promote intellectual integrity, etc. What difficulties have we encountered while seeking to implement a concept-based curriculum? E.g. resistance from some colleagues; reconciling inconsistencies between our consultant’s advice on what constitutes exemplary practice with the demands of external examinations; over-stressing conceptual relationships at the expense of grounding these in factual content, ineffective implementation and returning to traditional methods, etc.
What leadership strategies are supporting the implementation of a concept-based curriculum and what lessons are we learning? E.g. need for ongoing in-service training; supporting Departments through coaching; aligning with PM and PD; creating staff Clusters for collaboration and sharing good practice.

Alan Downie - When are you ready for a review?

When asked if they are considering a school review, many heads say “Oh, we are not ready for that”. This workshop will look at the tremendous flexibility of the review model, which allows schools to tailor it to their particular needs and circumstances, and makes it a very powerful formative assessment tool for a school at any time in its evolution. By the end of this session participants should be very clear about the difference between review and inspection, the central importance given to classroom practice and the supportive and developmental nature of the review process.

Louise Simpson - Developing a safeguarding culture in your school; you have the policy, what next?

Safeguarding children in schools and having an active and visible approach to child protection is not just about having policies in a file in an office and ticking a box on an inspection visit.
This workshop will cover aspects of safeguarding to develop a strong and proactive culture of child protection in school and will give participants the chance to reflect on their own school circumstances and consider ways to help all staff develop a positive attitude.
The workshop will include discussions and activities on:
• Safer recruitment practices
• Staff training and induction
• The importance of the pastoral team
• The local context and relating to external agencies
• Consideration of some ‘what if’ scenario

Tom Gething - Lessons learned from the Mexican earthquake

Representatives from the LAHC schools in Mexico will share their experiences from the recent earthquake and the lessons learned. What worked well? What didn’t? What could have gone wrong? What did we need to change? How can we be better prepared for the next earthquake?


Rhonda Bondie - The Secrets to Motivation in Inclusive Classrooms

What moves you to act? What makes you invest time and energy in one task but not another? How can classroom culture foster feelings of intrinsic motivation including: independence, belonging, competence, and meaningful learning? Through practical routines, we will examine research on motivation and self-regulated learning to learn how to use "Rhonda's Rules for Implementing Classroom Routines" to build an inclusive classroom culture where ALL students develop deep, durable, and flexible understandings of course content; feel empowered to take academic risks; put forth effort and persist in the face of academic challenges; and experience academic success.

Barb Oakley - Broadening your passion! Encouraging women in STEM

Women and men develop with equal, often outstanding, abilities at math and science. However one of women’s advantages is that they also often have a developmental edge over men when it comes to verbal abilities. The result? When women hear the ubiquitous advice to “follow their passions,” they sometimes turn towards their undeniable strengths outside STEM. Passions develop about what we are good at. Some subjects—like STEM—take longer to get good at for both women and men. This talk helps women recognize that it’s sometimes important to be patient with passion—don’t just follow your passions, broaden them!

Patrick Mussolini - Creating Lessons Designed for the Adolescent Brain

By developing an enhanced understanding of how the adolescent brain functions and the unique attributes middle-level learners bring to the learning process, teachers can be better prepared to design and implement effective lessons. This interactive session will explore a model of lesson design that keeps the unique attributes of the adolescent brain at the forefront of the design process. Participants will investigate sample lessons and artifacts, listen to teacher / student feedback, and reflect on their own practice.

Helen Binge - The importance of motor skills in Early Years: a practical guide

Helen, a Chartered Paediatric Physiotherapist, will take a quick tour of the most relevant and current research on the importance of gross motor skills and their effects on behaviour, fine motor control, language acquisition, cognitive skills and all-round learning. She will then present some practical activities for the classroom, the playground and home that participants can take back and apply in their schools, rounding off the workshop with a short question and answer session.

Michelle Coleman - Spoken Classroom Discourse - Using Speech to identify Language Needs

This workshop is designed to raise awareness of where errors come from in emergent language, the importance of addressing error in spoken and written language, and how educators can use this to inform teaching. There will be a sample of language taken from a Primary level student, but this session can be transferred to all school sections.

John Mackenzie - Rethinking it all

In this session I will share Dunalastair’s experience of embracing Project/Problem-based Learning as the driving force of our curriculum. Starting from a brief discussion of why we took this decision, I will highlight the major challenges and successes experienced along the way and how it has impacted on students, teachers and our understanding of school management. There will be plenty of opportunity for questions and answers at the end.

Nick Thody - Learning for Today's World

Today smartphones tell us which is the best restaurant nearby, how to select the quickest route to work; IA writes news stories, trades on the stock market and advises doctors; 3D printers make body parts for humans and gene editing brings extinct species back to life. “Everything's amazing and everything is horrible and it's all moving too fast” (Tim O'Reilly: What’s the future and why it's up to us.) In this changing world schools must: agree on a definition of learning, understand the global contexts in which we work and align practices to ensure the work is relevant, effective and consistent. We won't agree this in 50 minutes but we can have some fun setting out the agenda and thinking about future.

Trevor McGaw and Chris Agate - Developing a safeguarding policy – getting started

This workshop is aimed at schools that do not yet have a safeguarding policy in place and want guidance on how to get started. The presenters will share their own experience of developing policies, procedures and protocols at the Anglo Colombiano over the last few years, highlighting the challenges, opportunities, successes and failures encountered along the way and providing practical advice and guidance to workshop participants.

Amy Clifford - Equal opportunities in early childhood education; play and gender stereotypes

It is globally understood and undisputed that children learn through play. In this workshop we will reflect on our own classroom environments and the playful learning opportunities that we offer. How does the culture of play in our classrooms challenge gender stereotypes? How can we ensure equal opportunities in learning from the very beginning of children's life in school?

Gabriel Rshaid - The school of the future now

Educational change is generally expected to be originated top down, via all-encompassing policies or external programs that generally lag far behind the level of awareness of educators about the drivers for change, as well as being vulnerable to forces that result in that the outcomes are, more often than not, out of sync with the times and counterintuitive to the very rationale for change. Instead of waiting for an institutional tipping point, the talk covers specific strategies to initiate an organic process of change, from the classroom upwards, through specific entry points that allow every teacher in any setting to start developing the school of the future right away.