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As we have all begun to adapt to new ways of working and communicating, online teacher network meetings have become an established feature in the East of England. Some of these meetings have been more general, giving teachers in a particular area the chance to discuss the issues they are currently facing and to share a range of experiences, while others have been focused on a more narrowly defined topic of interest and have been extended to teachers from across the East of England region.

The first type of meeting has effectively replaced the local face-to-face networks which had been running in a variety of schools in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk and Essex. Although we have missed some of the informal conversation that arises naturally in a face-to-face meeting (and we have all had to provide our own coffee and biscuits), many teachers have found it helpful to avoid travelling and still have the chance to check in with how others are facing similar challenges. Teachers who live too far away to attend face-to-face teacher networks have been able to attend our online meetings thanks to lack of travel commitments.

The topic-based regional meetings have covered subjects such as resources for Year 12 Further Mathematics, comparing ideas for Year 13, live online teaching for Year 12, and comparing ideas for Year 11. It has been lovely to see teachers from all over the East of England region sharing ideas for how best to support students in these unusual times.

We received lots of positive feedback on these sessions…

  • “Very much appreciated the suggestions for KS4 and KS5.”
  • “Really helpful to hear how different schools are approaching setting and marking of work, online lessons and work for Y11/Y13. Heard some different rationales behind different approaches and had some specific resources/platforms to look up and check out.”
  • “I thought the convenience of logging on would be something to consider for future events. Post Covid. The chat was really useful too.”
  • “Lots of good suggestions and very heartwarming to see people thinking hard even in this challenging situation.”
  • “Well done to the AMSP for taking a proactive and collaborative approach. I would appreciate the opportunity to revisit the areas discussed in a few weeks to see if anyone has identified novel and successful approaches as the enforced school closure continues.”
  • “I took loads of useful ideas away to explore over the next week.”
  • “Very useful hearing people’s thoughts of how to support our current Year 13s before they go off to university. Good to hear about resources that I can send their way.”
  • “Hearing what other people are doing and their approaches, sharing resources, it can definitely be reassuring when you hear people are doing generally the same as you!”
  • “It’s great to know you are not alone!”
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