Wednesday, November 29th, 2017.

Excelsior's Saarah Nijaila and Tracey Kelly headlining #SSATNC17

Assistant Principals Saarah Nijaila and Tracey Kelly headlining #SSATNC17

The success of Excelsior Academy in making a difference to students’ learning through new projects will be in the spotlight at a top national education conference tomorrow.

Excelsior will lead a workshop for teachers from across the UK at the SSAT National Conference 2017 in Manchester, focusing on evidence-based research projects which impact children’s learning.

Assistant Principals Tracey Kelly and Saarah Nijaila will tell delegates of the success of projects in Excelsior, specifically forest school, a staff fitness and well-being programme and mathematical memory enquiry.

SSAT organisers have again recognised Excelsior’s expertise allowing them to present at this year’s event entitled ‘Illuminating Learning’ following the success of last year’s Excelsior workshop.

Many of the leading names from education are keynote speakers at the conference running for two days from November 30, which brings together teachers from across the UK to learn about and share best practice, as well as build networks.

The SSAT National Conference will explore how school leaders can be truly evidence-informed in making strategic decisions, how a culture of evidence and research can be embedded across a school and the implications of some of the latest research on what staff do in schools.

Saarah, Assistant Principal for Teaching and Learning, said: “We are privileged to be asked to go back again – organisers have seen the quality of our work and it’s a great accolade to be able to go back and present on our staff’s behalf.

“Our workshop will build on the success of other people’s work at Excelsior, so what we will showcase and present will be the work of our colleagues and what they have achieved through action research and project development.

“We will showcase three projects in particular and mention the others our colleagues have led.

“While we are looking back at what has been achieved this year, we will also be launching our 2017-18 model which is looking at how we make our project work more strategic, to use the evidence we have gathered this year to have even more impact on our pupils’ education and development.”

Excelsior’s workshop will have a strong focus on audience participation and interaction.

Tracey said: “The difference the forest schools project made in secondary school and primary school, for example, was huge – going out with staff, building dens, making fires and learning to cook.

“The children were either displaying quite challenging behaviours or with incredibly low self esteem and confidence and the difference it made was quite astounding.

“One girl in particular shone, came out of herself and loved working with younger children and one of the boys displaying challenging behavior was able to have an instant positive reaction with staff when they talked about the forest school.”