The ambition

‘To transform leadership at all levels through the development of a leadership culture that unreservedly sets high expectations, is impactful and challenges the status quo, and is relentless in striving for excellence’. Universally strong and effective leadership at all levels within the school workforce is essential to better deliver the Mission.

The objectives

The seminars and workshops endeavour to:

  • Help headteachers address current and emerging key issues relating to learning, progress and outcomes
  • Provide real, relevant and challenging leadership development opportunities that help headteachers better deliver the Mission in their own and other settings
  • Ensure leadership skills and insights are strengthened with links to the new headteacher standards
  • Provide access to colleagues who have led outstanding practice and signpost to other best and emerging practice in the relevant field
  • Ensure leaders share practice and plan for improvement as a result of the workshop
  • Support leaders to share new knowledge and improvement strategies with their peers
  • Create opportunities for school to school support within and beyond the local area.

Leadership opportunities

The Learners First Leadership Curriculum is now well established with over 1,200 teachers and leaders accessing programmes and leadership development opportunities since 2014 from ITT to Executive Headship. There is increasing evidence that suggests this school-led approach to leadership development is beginning to have a positive impact on school improvement and pupil outcomes.

explaining_2-tallThe Level 4 Leadership offer and the approach to its delivery has been refined for 2016-17 but will continue to focus on national and local themes affecting school leaders. It will need to be flexible to respond to national and local changes, but additional half termly breakfast network meetings where heads can engage in high quality dialogue and share practice and concerns in small discussion groups before the start of the school day and evening leadership events that will explore wider aspects of leadership and provide professional development opportunities for heads have been organised to complement and extend the current leadership seminar offer.

In response to headteacher feedback, Learners First will continue to work with leading national and regional figures to ensure the Level 4 suite of provision is high quality, current, brings additional expertise to the local area and acts as a champion of best practice.

Events for the Summer Term 2017

Creative English through Novel Study

18th May 2017, 1.00pm – 3.30pm
(Arrival and Registration from 12.30pm)

Venue: The Source, Meadowhall, Sheffield, S9 1EA


Leadership Seminar with Annmarie Williams, CEO of Odyssey MAT

Creative novel study is firmly embedded within the curriculum at Humberstone and provides children with a wide range of rich and challenging texts. Creativity, innovation and excellence are at the heart of their approach to learning and a sense of awe, wonder and curiosity about the world are central to the school’s curriculum and vision.

Annmarie Williams is the CEO of Odyssey MAT and is the Executive Headteacher of Humberstone Infant Academy and Humberstone Junior academy. Annemarie and the schools she leads have particular expertise in the areas of the English Curriculum and Creativity and Novel Study. As a Local Leader of Education (LLE) and along with her team of Specialist Leaders of Education (SLEs), Annemarie has provided a wide range of innovative support to a variety of schools and leaders based on their success and research within these core curriculum areas. Locally, this included a significant and successful school-to-school deployment to Rawmarsh Rosehill Junior School during 2013-14 to provide leadership support and teaching and learning expertise to help the school develop its own whole-school Novel Study approach. Currently, Annemarie and her team are working with a number of primary school leaders in South Yorkshire who are at an earlier stage of exploring this approach as a vehicle for improving literacy and English.


During the seminar, Annemarie will share her passion for creative learning and will help delegates build an understanding of how standards in literacy and English can be raised through high quality novels and picture books, and how those high standards have been sustained over time at Humberstone. The session will consider the strategic approach to leading novel study as a whole school initiative and the rigorous planning, review and evaluation processes which underpin the success of this approach. Complemented by a case study from a headteacher at an earlier juncture of implementing novel study, and using her experience of supporting other schools, Annemarie will explore the different stages to developing, embedding and leading novel study as an approach to securing sustainable improvements in pupil outcomes and curriculum development.


Cost: Fully funded for delegates from schools and academies subscribing to Learners First or £80 per person for delegates from non-subscribing schools and academies.

To Book: To reserve a place please email your name, school and contact details to


Download seminar flyer