Dr Sue Brindley is a founding Director of Cambridge Learning and Teaching Limited, the founder of CamSTAR, and a Senior Lecturer at Cambridge University. She is Director of Studies and Teaching Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge.
Her focus on teacher knowledge, professionalism and identity is the foundation of her work with CamSTAR: Cambridge, School Teachers and Research), which has developed links with schools and Colleges internationally.
She has a BA (Hons) in English (London University), an MA in English Literature (Open University), an MA in Curriculum Studies (London:Distinction) and an MA from Cambridge University (Cantab), as well as PhD on Teacher Research, Knowledge, Professionalism and Identity (London University). She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Educators.
Sue taught in secondary schools in East London for sixteen years, where she was a Head of Department, Head of Faculty, Deputy Head and Head. She moved into Higher Education as a lecturer at the Open University where she wrote the online Secondary English and generic assessment modules of the innovative distance learning PGCE course. Sue was then appointed to work at policy and government level as professional Officer for English at QCA, the government body responsible for the national curriculum and associated assessment arrangements. She was appointed to the University of Cambridge Faculty of Education in 1999 to co-ordinate the English PGCE and then the Secondary PGCE courses.
From there, she developed the innovative blended learning MEd Researching Practice and is general editor of a subject series on researching at Masters level - MasterClass (Bloomsbury). She continues to have an ongoing interest in teaching English, not least through the MSt in English that she co-ordinates at the Institute of Continuing Education (ICE) Cambridge University.
Sue works with a number of Faculties at Cambridge University, including the Judge Business School where she is Academic Programme Manager for an international programme in school leadership. She also gives keynotes around the world for Cambridge Assessment International Education.
She is also widely involved in researching digital technologies, teaching and learning with a particular interest on the extension, enhancement and transformation potentials of digital technologies for classroom practitioners. Sue is general editor of two series on teaching with Digital Technologies (Open University Press and Continuum).
DR MIKE WALKER, CamSTAR DIRECTOR, M.A., PhD (Cantab), Cert. Ed. (Distinction, Cantab), FRSA,
Mike Walker is CEO of Cambridge Learning and Teaching Limited, an international education consultancy, and a lead Consultant with CamSTAR. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge University, where he won a Scholarship, was awarded a Distinction on the Certificate in Education (PGCE) course, and took an MA and PhD in social history. He has held a Visiting Fellowship at Fitzwilliam College Cambridge, and has led seminars at the Judge Business School, Cambridge University.
From 1999 to 2008 he led King Edward VI Grammar School, a state school, which in 2001 topped the A Level league tables and was named ‘Sunday Times School of the Year’, was not out of the top ten nationally at GCSE and A Level while he was Head, and was one of the first Leading Edge and Specialist Schools, where he developed the unique concept at that time of the ‘Research Engaged Learning Community’. Mike led the UK National Heads’ Group of Outstanding Heads advising the Innovation Unit at the DfE; personally led the 2005-2006 DfES Innovation Unit ‘Next Practice’ Project on ‘Higher Order Teaching Skills’ and created a framework for developing the highest quality in teaching and learning; was a member of the Leading Edge National Steering Group; of the Assessment Reform Group working on UK-wide projects; delivered keynotes at the National College for School Leadership; sat on an all-Party Parliamentary Committee on Neuroscience in the Classroom; and held a Visiting Fellowship at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University. From 2008-2015 he was Headmaster of Felsted School, an independent, co-educational boarding school, where he transformed provision, grew the school during recession, and established a new girls’ boarding house, hosting Her Majesty the Queen at the formal opening. He has led two schools through five Inspections by OFSTED and ISI (full and boarding Inspections), in all of which the School was judged outstanding in every respect and his leadership exceptional.
He has worked extensively internationally, including lecturing in the United States and leading on school start-ups in China and Saudi Arabia; and as Director of the European Region and a member of the World Board for the international organisation the Round Square. Mike is expert in school level and system-wide transformation of schools – of learning, teaching, and school leadership. He is interested in global educational values and how futures thinking in education, enhancing creativity, and exceptional teacher development work in practice; in educating for the sustainability agenda; with the underlying premise that every school can aspire to be a truly outstanding school.
NATASHA KREMER, CamSTAR ASSOCIATE
Head of Secondary at the British School of Malaga, Spain
Natasha Kremer is Head of Secondary at British School of Málaga, where she has been for four years. Before this, she was an Assistant Head at Dr Challoners Grammar School in Buckinghamshire, which is where she first, and very successfully, set up CamSTAR as the research aspect of CPD. After promotion to Head at Malaga, Natasha developed CamSTAR within her new school, and is currently working towards making that a hub school for research. A modern language specialist, Natasha took a BA from Nottingham University in Spanish and French and an MEd from Cambridge University in Leading Teaching and Learning, specialising in digital technology.
A tour of Natasha’s school can be found at The British School of Málaga: Video Tour - YouTube
Assistant Principal at Goffs Academy
Sophie Enstone is currently an Assistant Principal at Goffs Academy, where she runs Learning and Teaching. Sophie has been a CamSTAR Associate since undertaking her PGCE in English and MEd in Education, at Homerton. She is extremely passionate about education and committed to pedagogical research. She has also hosted the summer CamSTAR conference in 2016 which was an opportunity to share some excellent classroom-based research among colleagues.
Originally from Luxembourg, I have been teaching MFL and English in London comprehensive schools for the past 10 years. In that time, I have held a variety of roles including classroom teacher, Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Head of Department and now Assistant Principal in charge of Teaching & Learning. Having completed a PhD in 2010 before joining the teaching profession, I am passionate about research and its benefits for staff job satisfaction, teacher autonomy and - crucially - student outcomes. I am excited to see where our staff will take their research
Deputy Headteacher for T&L
Doha British School, in Qatar
Director of Learning at Felsted
As the Director of Learning at Felsted, I have the privilege of working with an exceptionally professional, dedicated and committed teaching team. From Year 5, pupils are taught by subject specialists who bring a wealth of expertise and great depth of subject knowledge to the classroom. The CamSTAR programme has provided the ideal means by which to engage teachers, both recently qualified and more experienced, to lead their own research to support effective teaching and learning. Teachers are able to design their own classroom research projects around ideas that interest them and use the research findings to inform their practice.
Teachers have assessed the impact of different pedagogies and they have found out which strategies work. Project titles have ranged in terms of personal interests in specific subjects to assessment of whole school strategies. Findings have led to changes in approach on a subject level, whole school level and have even led to changes on a regional level.
Change in the classroom
In KS2 teachers were keen to look to develop spelling skills of pupils and they asked the question 'Do mnemonics help motivate pupils in learning irregular spellings?' The teachers were able to measure the personal attitude, perseverance and progress of children who used mnemonics to support their spelling of irregular words. This research led to a change in teaching strategy with this technique now widely used to support pupils.
Building a whole school language of learning
Another teacher recognised that some pupils in her Latin lessons had developed a negative mindset. Her project focused on developing progress through positivity and she produced a checklist to rephrase negative statements and questions to more positive ones. 'I don't understand' was replaced with 'Can you explain that another way?', 'I'm terrible at this' - to 'I'm working hard to improve on...'. Her research findings led to the whole school embracing a Growth Mindset philosophy with the pupils helping to lead this change.
Sharing findings to support other schools
We introduced Mindfulness to school 7 years ago and measuring the effectiveness of this project formed part of a CamSTAR project. It allowed staff to introduce this new teaching approach, assess if we had a need for this type of lesson at Felsted and to provide evidence to show the impact these lessons had on pupils. Findings from this led to Mindfulness lessons being fully incorporated into the curriculum and Felsted running regional training sessions to explain the value of the approach.
Sue Brindley has been invaluable in guiding both myself and our staff to engage in CamSTAR projects. Sue has visited our school to work alongside the staff and her wealth of academic knowledge as well as her positivity and enthusiasm has helped to encourage staff to focus on how they could apply an idea to their own context and interests. She helped to equip our teachers with the essential knowledge to design their own classroom research projects and she has helped to take teachers through the process of designing, implementing and writing up their project. The reports are of a manageable length and can be put together in collaborative and creative ways.
We have been delighted to be part of the CamSTAR programme which has led to enhanced learning and attainment for pupils as well helping to drive whole-school improvement. New and innovative approaches have been developed both within individual classrooms and in collaboration with others at Felsted as well as working across different schools.
A graduate of Birmingham University I taught in the midlands before teaching in inner city London in Hackney for 10 years. I completed the Future Leaders programme from 2013-15 and am committed to improving the life chances and academic progress of all young people.
Recently I moved to teach and lead at Wren Academy Finchley in North London. At my school, we believe that engagement with educational research provides the opportunity for our teachers to engage with, generate, and disseminate teacher knowledge.
This provides an important strand of our teachers' continuing professional development. We are keen share this knowledge within our trust, and beyond. The CamSTAR network with its supportive framework, outward focus, and connection to higher education provide the structure required to do this successfully.
Matthew Fox is a Geography teacher and Head of Research at The Perse School. He oversees all student research (from 3 to 18) at the school, with research opportunities in nearly every year group from Y7 onwards, including the Y9 Aristotelian Research Essay Competition.
He also oversees all staff research across the three school sites, supporting staff doing action research projects and educational research. He is passionate about supporting students pursue their intellectual curiosity and staff use their research to improve best-practice.