My first take away, however, isn't from any of the sessions or keynotes that I attended at the conference, but simply just the venue. The conference was held at the International School of Toulouse (IST). Toulouse is about 680km from Paris and is the home to 'Air Bus', the company that makes the A380 that I'm about to board!
The IST is an international school that caters for students from kindergarten all the way through to senior secondary. They offer the (I)GSCE as well as IB to their high school students and there is also a German school on site.
My #1 take-away from the school was the vast amount of student work on display. Every corridor and wall was adorned with amazing examples of what goes on in the classrooms at IST. There were displays of posters, artwork, books, models - you name it, it was there. It really made me realise how ineffective our corridors are being used at my current school. We have walls and walls of space that could be being used to showcase students achievements in the classroom, but they have nothing - just blank!
The second part of my first take away is that each teacher had their own room. This is something that I dream of in Australia. Each classroom had it's own style, with amazing displays that were created for each particular subject area that was being taught in there. Some of the displays looked like they belonged in museums they were so engaging and detailed.
When teachers have ownership of their rooms they are able to make them an extension of the lessons that they are teaching. Students are able to look around and be inspired by what they see and use these extra pieces of information to help them to delve deeper into what they are learning. Word walls, shelves with copious amounts of books for extra research and posters are just a few of the things I saw while visiting IST.