‘There is nowhere else in the independent sector offering training of this sincerity and depth.’
Independent Schools Association Review
The education that we support needs special teachers. So a high priority for the trustees is the training and development of teachers. Paul Moss, Director of Development for the St James Schools in London, and former headmaster of the Junior School, runs all the Trust’s teacher-training and development activities.
We have two chief approaches to training and development of teachers. One is the ERT-sponsored International Teachers Conference. This takes place every other year in the Villa Boccella near Lucca in Italy. 2015 saw the fifth of these conferences, attended by 60+ teachers from eight countries. The theme of this conference was ‘Study to be Quiet’. A short film of the event beautifully conveys the essence of it. For a full account, see Carey Dickinson’s article in the ISA Review.
To read about the seventh International Teachers Conference, held in July 2017, see the September 2017 ERT newsletter here. To see the Youtube film from this year’s conference, of Tom Bree’s engaging demonstration of the Pentagram Dance of Earth and Venus – click here.
The second approach to teacher training and development is to bring teachers to London for a six-week immersion in the St James Junior School. The trainees are mentored by Paul Moss. They also work alongside the regular St James teachers in the classroom. These programmes run in the summer term every other year if there is demand for them.
Sometimes Paul Moss visits our family of schools abroad, to run courses, mentor teachers, offer advice to governors and meet parents.
Also, from the beginning of the ERT, we have been sponsoring teacher exchanges between the family of schools that we support. And we’ve sponsored well over 50 gap-year students to volunteer at these schools around the world. Some of these gap-year students have gone on to become career teachers.