Supporting educators

Supporting educators

Michael O'Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cambridge International at a Cambridge International conference in Pakistan

Michael O'Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cambridge International at a Cambridge International conference in Pakistan.

Cambridge Assessment International Education is providing Cambridge schools with ever-increasing support, not just in the form of widely recognised, quality examinations, but in a host of other areas around the curriculum and the teaching of it. A new range of School Improvement services has been launched to help Cambridge schools worldwide review their performance and identify ways they can become more effective. And a set of Cambridge School Leader and Teacher Standards has been launched which defines what Cambridge International believes to be the key characteristics and practices of effective teachers and school leaders.

Cambridge schools conference

The flagship Cambridge Schools Conferences are an important forum for Cambridge teacher Continuing Professional Development. In June 2018, for the first time ever a Cambridge Schools Conference was held in the United States, reflecting the rising demand for Cambridge programmes among US schools. Over 400 teachers and school leaders from 35 countries took part in an exciting and inspirational two days in Miami, exploring the theme ‘Learning and achievement for all’. Similar conferences were also held in Dubai and Cambridge (pictured right) – the latter attracting delegates from over 44 countries.

Education conferences were also held in Pakistan and China, attracting teachers and school leaders from more than 240 Cambridge schools. The Pakistan conference, held in Lahore, explored the theme of ‘Measuring what matters: understanding and improving educational impact’ while the China conference, in Qingdao, saw delegates joined by representatives from higher education institutions in China, Japan and the USA.

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Dr Jing Zhao, Regional Director, East Asia, Cambridge International at Cambridge International's China conference.

Cambridge International also refreshed its Cambridge Professional Development Qualifications (Cambridge PDQs), revising all four syllabuses and developing a new entry-level qualification for teachers. It has sharpened the focus on teaching strategies, and has highlighted research into metacognition, which supports teachers’ understanding of how students learn.

Meanwhile Cambridge Assessment English took part in a major conference for leaders in international education. Dr Daniel Brooker from Cambridge English told Going Global 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that the three key trends in the higher education sector were internationalisation of universities, globalisation of the workplace and the importance of English language skills.

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Delegates on the Cambridge International Study Programme, run by the Cambridge Assessment Network.

This year a record number of delegates took part in the Cambridge International Study Programme, a course built to provide a complete guide to the processes involved in the design and delivery of valid and robust examinations. Delegates from 16 different countries and four continents took part in the course which is run by the Cambridge Assessment Network and specifically designed for individuals who work for an educational body or an exams provider outside the UK.

The Network also staged its unique Leadership in National Assessment course, attracting delegates from a variety of backgrounds including The Aga Khan University in Pakistan, the Ministry of Education in Malaysia and Arizona State University Preparatory Academy in the USA. Topics on the course this year included system disruption, the place for national policy, innovation, and opportunities and risks in education.

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Delegates and staff on the Cambridge Assessment Network's annual Leadership in National Assessment course.

More than 400 delegates from across the UK attended conferences held by our UK exam board OCR to explore the latest developments in vocational qualifications. The format of the events allowed delegates to explore their individual subject areas in detail, with OCR’s subject, development, resources and support teams on hand to provide all the information needed to plan and teach OCR’s vocational qualifications with confidence. Delegates were full of praise for the events, with one saying it was “a great opportunity to meet other teachers who deliver the subject and share ideas and good practice”.

OCR is making significant changes to the way it supports teachers delivering its qualifications, and a key part of this is improving examiners’ reports. Teachers and students value these reports by senior examiners which provide an overview of how students performed in exams, followed by a question-by-question analysis of responses. They help identify the strengths and weaknesses in students’ answers and provide guidance for future teaching and learning practices. The new examiners’ reports are produced in a clearer style, with constructive feedback and a framework using questions from the exam paper. OCR published new-style reports for a raft of AS, A Level, GCSE and Cambridge Nationals subjects in summer 2018, and remaining subjects will follow over the next couple of years.

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