Trust in the Journey

Celebrating 10 years of Discovery Trust

Discovery Trust Conference 2022

Thursday 25th August 2022

9am – 4.30pm

King Power Stadium

We are delighted to announce the date of our annual conference for all teachers and support staff in our Primary Schools.

As we mark our 10 year anniversary, the theme for this year’s conference will be ‘Trust in the Journey’.

The day will be hosted by David Briggs, Director of Primary Education and promises to be an exciting and informative day, with keynote speakers and the opportunity to attend two workshops.

Please follow the link to book your place.  When booking, you will be asked to rank the workshops in order of preference.  We will endeavour to allocate you to two workshops within your top three.

Keynote Speakers

Paul Stone – Trust Leader

About Paul

Paul has a deep passion for narrowing the gap for the disadvantaged and providing the very best opportunities for learning for all children and staff. He first began his career as a year 5 teacher in Lincolnshire after training at Rolle College, Exmouth which was originally part of Plymouth University. Throughout his career, he has chosen to work with schools where he felt he could make a difference. ICT, Science and Maths have always been areas of particular interest.

The majority of Paul’s career has been spent in Leicestershire schools as a teacher, senior leader and Headteacher supporting Leicestershire LA with a number of projects such as curriculum and ICT developments and enrichment for higher achievement pupils through the E-Pal programme. His current role is as Trust Leader of Discovery Trust, having been previously Headteacher of Kibworth CE Primary School, one of the trust’s founding schools.

Paul is an enormous rugby fan and deeply committed to supporting environmental initiatives and conservation. He spends most of his spare time with his two sons at their rugby club or out with his wife and dog enjoying the local environment.

Keynote Speech

Developing a culture of creativity and happiness. “When the culture is strong, you can trust everyone to do the right thing”.  Brian Chesky, Co-founder and CEO of Airbnb

Chris Bruce – Deputy Trust Leader

About Chris

I am the Deputy Trust Leader of Discovery Trust with specific responsibility for leading the Trust’s specialist SEND provision. Ensuring  safeguarding is effective and our Trust has a consistent strategy for behaviour play a key part of my role.

The children in our special schools have a range of additional needs, but the primary need is SEMH (Social, Emotional Mental Health). I have led these schools, first as a Headteacher and then as an Executive Headteacher, before moving into my current role. As such, for the last 18 years, I have had the privilege of being in the position to forge innovative new practices that have transformed thinking around education approaches and the quality of education for pupils with additional needs, not only in the city I live and work in, but also nationally.

This national reach that has extended across all educational sectors, has been achieved through my work as a Government National Leader in Education; whereby I have supported Multi Academy Trusts, local authorities and schools’ to rapidly improve their approach to culture, behaviour, leadership, teaching and learning, being successful in moving them from being rated as inadequate to at least good.

I have led on the National Whole School SEND review program and continue to lead National Professional Qualifications for prospective new teachers ensuring there is a consistent message around high quality education being essential for all students including those with SEND.  I continue to have a passion for raising standards for all children and I have successfully nurtured a legacy of talent to ensure the future succession of not only my schools but also the approach to education for children with additional needs.

Outside of this, my other passions are my family and sports, both of which fill my life with joy.

Keynote Speech

I will consider cultures of collaboration along with the importance of building on our social and moral capital as a Trust.

We will explore how we achieve a healthy and creative culture which represents us, consider how brave we feel in sharing ideas and opinions and explore the importance we place on being empowered to step outside our comfort zone to do what is necessary for the pupils in our schools’.

Emma Turner – Research Lead

About Emma

Emma is currently research and CPD lead at Discovery. She has worked in primary education for 24 years as class teacher, assistant head, deputy head then as one of the UK’s first & youngest all-female co headships. Emma is a member of the DfE specialist advisory group on flexible working, the DfE flexible working ambassador school lead for the East Midlands & Humber, an experienced trainer & facilitator & author of 4 education books: Be More toddler, let’s talk about Flex,  The Extended Mind – In Action, and her latest – Simplicitus: the Interconnected Primary Curriculum and Effective Subject Leadership. She co hosts the Mind the Gap podcast for John Catt Educational with Tom Sherrington, is a fellow of the Chartered College of Teaching, & a regular speaker at national and international education events.

Keynote Speech 

The Extended Mind – In Action

Emma will will introduce the latest educational  research to upgrade what we know and understand about how humans think and learn. The Extended Mind by award-winning science writer, Annie Murphy Paul, is not an out-and-out education book. But it is entirely focused on how learning and thinking happen, illustrating how a multi-modal approach to cognition can widen points of access to intellectual activity. Using evidence from cognitive science, neuroscience, and psychology, The Extended Mind might broaden your understanding of human cognition. The findings of Annie Murphy Paul parallel those of cognitive load theorists: memory is at the core of cognition, and the body, the environment and other people enrich learning. In this session Emma will introduce how teachers can help their students augment their thinking with their bodies (embodied cognition), external tools (situated cognition) and the people around them (distributed cognition)


Workshop A – Developing confident writers for all (particularly disadvantaged learners). Delivered by Sarah Marsh and Vicky Edwards

About Sarah

My name’s Sara Marsh and I am the Head Teacher at Millgate School. Having started my career as a secondary English Teacher, I spent 8 years loving life at Crown Hills Community College, where I had the privilege of teaching hundreds of incredible young people and writers. Thereafter, I journeyed into special education as the head of English and Literacy at Millgate School. This school transforms lives and inspires futures and it certainly transformed mine. I had what seemed like the impossible task of creating confidence in children within the English classroom who had had the most fractured and turbulent experiences. Within two years, our GCSE outcomes rivalled local mainstream settings and we built a culture and love of learning based on unwavering expectations and skilled assessment and planning.

About Vicky

I am a Headteacher in an Secondary SEMH school in Leicester and I have been working within the educational sector for 20 years. Within this time I have undertaken the roles of residential social worker within a residential EBD school, education support within an education unit in a children’s home, a community keyworker for autistic adults and children, a behaviour lead in a residential EBD school, an English teacher, a Head of English, and I have been an Assistant Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher. During this time I have also undertaken numerous professional qualification such as becoming a qualified dyslexia assessor, NPQSL, NPQH, MBA and I am a national Behaviour Lead that delivers school improvement through the DfE’s Behaviour Hubs programme; I am an External Expert for the DfE and I have worked with inadequate and RI schools to deliver rapid improvement in teaching and learning, behaviour and leadership. I also deliver on the Mental Health Senior Leaders qualification, the NPQLBC and the SCITT programme.

Workshop Description:

In this workshop we will explore what works (and doesn’t) for children and how to nurture a culture of writing within your school.

Workshop B – Diversity – who we are. Delivered by Halil Tamgumus

About Halil

Halil Tamgumus is the proud headteacher of Braunstone Community Primary School. He is a Turkish Cypriot – a second generation immigrant – who grew up in Leicester (in the same area of the school he is now the headteacher of). His feelings of being ‘othered’ in the education system has fuelled his passion for ensuring that the education we provide as a trust and as an education system is equitable, diverse and is a true representation of the children we serve. He is part of the trust Equality Group which looks at ensuring the trusts curriculum, staff and children are represented.

Workshop Description:

In this workshop, Halil will share his journey growing up – highlighting key points in his education and linking them back to how and why our own practice in schools have to be as inclusive as possible. He will share how the Equality Group supports and drives the trust to continually improve and ultimately better the life chances of all of the children that it serves.

Workshop C – Tech – the change-maker! Delivered by Matt Peet

About Matt

I have been working within Discovery since 2013. I have been the Headteacher at 2 schools within the Trust and more recently have taken on a new role as Executive Headteacher.

I am passionate in working with children from a variety of different backgrounds. I truly believe authentic community relationships are the key to being a driver of change. I first applied this approach to a typically rural working-class community and more recently have been on a journey of discovery in how to apply similar principles to an urban school that is rated in the top 3% for deprivation nationally.

Workshop Description:

In this workshop, we will explore the common misconceptions of the fear relating to the multi-use of technology in the post covid classroom. Through exploration, educators will become empowered to be change makers through trusting their own judgements of where tech can enhance pedagogy and practice.

Workshop D – Looking after you. Delivered by Louise Barber

About Louise

Louise Barber has been with Discovery since the organisation’s inception in 2012. As Director of Operations, her role involves strategically developing many of the Central Service Team functions and supporting schools with anything that isn’t teaching and learning.

Louise is married with two daughters aged 27 and 25 and a stepson aged 18 and in her spare time loves spending time with family and friends. She is a firm believer that health and wellbeing can be improved by being outdoors and enjoys walking and being outside and is a keen gardener and wildlife enthusiast.

Workshop Description:

In this workshop, Louise will look at practical ways to improve personal wellbeing. She will explore why wellbeing, resilience and mental health are good for people and good for organisational success through discussion and interaction with the aim to provide colleagues with a range of simple actions that you can take to build better health and wellbeing.

Workshop E – Curriculum. Delivered by Sarah Sadler

About Sarah

I am the Executive Headteacher of Woolden Hill Primary and Captain’s Close Primary school in the Trust. Some of my time is spent working for the Education Team and, as part of this, I have the exciting opportunity to develop our aligned curriculum. This is something that really excites me as I love to magpie and share good ideas from educators to use to try to build a curriculum that will inspire and motivate pupils to develop a love of learning. I can’t wait to work with you more at the Trust conference to develop this idea further.

Workshop Description:

In this workshop, I will be exploring the Trust Intent statement to understand what it means to be a 21st Century learner. We will be looking at the Trust drivers for the curriculum and unpicking what that means for the 4500 pupils in our schools.

In addition, we will be exploring the use of Padlet to plan and share ideas so that as an organisation we can reduce workload for teachers.

Workshop F – Dealing with change. Delivered by Graeme Robins and Ben Jordon

About Graeme

Graeme Robins

As a former Headteacher, Executive Headteacher and System Leader, I have gathered experience of leadership, school-to-school support and challenge, together with coaching and mentoring to aid individuals to fulfil their potential.

Supporting individuals to succeed is at the heart of my current roles. As Director of Programmes for Inspiring Leaders and an accredited coach I work extensively within my own organisations and beyond to design and deliver leadership development and coaching at all levels. I am driven by the unshakeable belief that if we want our young people and those, we are responsible for to flourish then we must equip our leaders to genuinely thrive.

About Ben

Ben Jordon

Workshop Description:

A box of chocolates…

In this workshop, you’ll get a chance to think about how you react to the inevitable changes that we experience every day in our schools as we journey forward together. The session will give you the opportunity to explore a range of strategies and approaches to aid you in your understanding and therefore manage more effectively what lies ahead. As Forest Gump pondered…“My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Workshop G – Showbie Workshop.  Delivered by Abdul Chohan

About Abdul

Since 2012, Abdul has spoken to thousands of educators around the world, helping them successfully develop, implement, and support impactful digital learning strategies.

In 2018, Abdul authored “Digitising Effective Feedback” which was published in the Journal of the Chartered College of Teaching. His paper highlighted how effective digital feedback can help schools reduce teacher workload and deliver personalised feedback to students. In July 2020, Abdul joined Showbie as VP of Learning.

Workshop Description:

From assignments to collaboration, Showbie helps you bring your classroom together in one simple, easy to use app. This means less time spent struggling with your tech setup, and more time for teaching and learning. Come and find out more about Showbie and its features and benefits