The annual Opening Minds Conference was held at the RSA yesterday. Yet again the event was a sell out, and most of the team spent a lot of time standing or sitting on the floor to listen to the presentations.
Despite the warm day in the packed Great Room, delegates listened and responded to a range of speakers including Michael Gernon, principal of the RSA Academy, Mick Waters, Director of Curriculum at QCA and Paul Hammond, Deputy Head at Oasis Academy.
The conference was themed around assessment and brought together some different perspectives on what is always described as a ‘thorny issue’. How do you assess the Opening Minds competencies and demonstrate progression? How do you measure progress in creativity or relationship skills? What are the links with the QCA’s Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills?
True to the nature of Opening Minds itself, the conference did not try and dictate the answers to these questions to delegates, but provided a starting point by sharing what some schools were trying out for themselves.
This sort of issue is where the new RSA online platform for schools using Opening Minds (due to launch this year) will be useful. It will provide a space into which schools can upload their ideas and their practice around assessment or any other issues and share them with other schools.
We think that it is unlikely that any one person or organisation will come up with the answers to some of the really difficult questions in education and what is right for one school or one community is rarely right for them all. We think Opening Minds represents the RSA at its best, helping inspiring practitioners to share ideas and collaborate with one another to find their own answers.