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World Visible Learning Conference 2016

Mrs Michele Thomas, Headteacher of Pembroke Dock Community School was recently personally invited by Professor John Hattie (author of Visible Learning and Visible Learning for teachers) to present at an international teaching and learning conference.

Michele Thomas, headteacher, Stefan Jenkins, acting deputy headteacher and Katie Morris, senior leader spoke at the Visible Learning World Conference in London.

The two day conference was attended by world-renowned experts and professors who are concerned with educations methods and school improvement including Professor John Hattie, Professor Guy Claxton, Professor David Hopkins, Professor Shirley Clarke and Andy Hargreaves.

Mrs Thomas had recently spoken at the recent Welsh Leadership Conference in November about the Visible Learning approach that had been implemented at the school since September 2014, and with Professor John Hattie in attendance, the school were asked to present to a wider, global audience. 

The school have been using the Visible Learning approach since Mrs Thomas had heard about the research and studies of Professor John Hattie who has completed a synthesis of more than 800 meta-studies covering more than 80 million students over 15 years.

Michele Thomas, headteacher, said “Visible Learning is when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and helps students to become their own teachers. Since introducing Visible Learning into the school following whole school training, pupils have taken responsibility for their own learning and have become assessment capable learners. We are excited to continue to learn from John Hattie’s ongoing research into what works best in school improvement. We are so pleased to have welcomed over 40 schools from across Wales to Pembroke Dock Community School on our open days through the year. Sharing good practice is vital and as shown by the work of Professor John Hattie, the number one influence in improving pupil outcomes and performance is collective teacher efficacy. Through our open days and presenting at these conferences collective teacher efficacy is enhanced through a network of collaboration. We are also the founder members of the #VLNetworkUK which has been established on twitter, forging links with Ysgol Merllyn (North Wales), Bader Primary School (North England) and Midlothian Education Psychologist Service (Scotland).”

Stefan Jenkins, acting deputy headteacher said “The opportunity to share the impact that Visible Learning has had on Pembroke Dock Community School with so many leaders and world renowned experts, was an amazing experience. We are so proud that the effort of all the pupils and staff has been recognised in this way.The journey our pupils have been on since the introduction of Visible Learning has been significant and there has been a huge impact on how pupils see learning and are able to talk about what they are learning as opposed to what they are just doing".

Katie Morris, senior leader added “As well as presenting, we ourselves took so much from the conference, hearing speeches and presentations from many esteemed professionals who are at the forefront of action based research and impact on education. We have brought back so much that we now want to implement in order to further develop and improve.”