Revisiting Teacher Training by @TeacherToolkit

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Have you ever returned to the university where you first trained as a teacher?


I had the pleasure of returning to Goldsmiths College, University of London on 10th July 2015 to speak at the Teachers and Advisers Conference. The last time I had visited the place where I first learned the science of teaching, was at least 7 or 8 years ago when I attended Goldsmiths Symposium to speak with 100 newly qualified teachers. The programme for this event, focused on how teachers and advisers can provide support for young people in the midst of curriculum reforms and changes in the higher education landscape. Teachers, support staff and careers advisers who attended, received a post-election sector update as well updates about exciting course developments at Goldsmiths. You can download the programme for the event here.

The first time I walked through this grand building, was in August 1993.

Goldsmiths COllege

Outside Goldsmiths College, New Cross, London. (July 2015)


Universities are magical environments. They are centres of excellence, full of thoughtful minds; a generation of individuals who will become the next Vivienne Westoood, Michael Caine and Blake Morrisons; or great bands such as Blur, The Prodigy and Direstraits. A university rich in academic heritage, a creative powerhouse, a thought-provoking place that offers a wide range of study options within the arts and humanities, social sciences, cultural studies, computing, and entrepreneurial business and management. Goldsmiths was recognised as one of the UK’s top creative and political universities (2014).

It is important as a teacher, that I do all I can to raise the profile of the arts in education. Hopefully, many other individuals will also pass through these grand doors; to become the next batch of teachers who will stay stuck in the classroom for over 5 years. Attrition was the focus of my presentation. Resilience: staying stuck in the classroom.

Goldsmiths College University of London Ross McGill @TeacherToolkit July 2015 Conference Initial Teacher Training CPD

On the college green (Goldsmiths College) where I used captained the university football 1st team XI. (July 2015)

Memory Lane:

Before I attended the conference, I arrived in plenty of time to be able to have another look around the campus. You can imagine that after 20 years, much has changed, yet most of the infrastructure remains the same. Corridors and buildings have the same layout and are full of memories.  History dating back to 1891, with the likes of:

  • filmmaker Steve McQueen
  • author Malorie Blackman
  • artist Damian Hirst
  • composer Errolyn Wallen MBE
  • journalist Kier Simmons
  • designer Mary Quant and artist Julian Opie and Lucian Freud to name a few; and thousands more having walked through these corridors of academia. I also discovered that I – yes me! – features on Gold Stories; for over a century, Goldsmiths has nurtured minds that not only challenge the world, but change it. Stellar students, alumni and staff who are making a difference and supporting others to succeed.

It is an honour to feature on this list of 110 years of Goldsmiths education. Click the image to open the document.

110 years of education at Goldsmiths College - Nov 2014
110 years of education at Goldsmiths College – Nov 2014

I managed to visit the Lockwood Building which is the ‘Design’ centre for undergraduates and postgraduates in all fields of design. This is also the building that hosts the various routes into teaching; for example, the BAEd Design Technology with Secondary Education – which now no longer exists due to Gove and the DfE’s Initial Teacher Training cutbacks – that I studied from 1993-97 which placed me in 4 schools across the South East to learn my craft.

These images are the very classrooms!


For the first time, I asked my audience in advanced what they would like to hear me present. The results are shown below.

Goldsmiths College University of London Ross McGill @TeacherToolkit July 2015 Conference Initial Teacher Training CPD Live Poll

Revisiting Teacher Training:

My talk is divided into two parts; there are NO silver bullets in this presentation!

Silver Bullet

One: social media for teachers and how it can enhance professional development. Two: practical ideas for the classroom. You can download my resource by clicking on the image below.

Goldsmiths College University of London Ross McGill @TeacherToolkit July 2015 Conference Initial Teacher Training CPD


Here are some photos taken by those sitting in the audience.

It was a beautiful summers day and the view was incredible. It was wonderful to be back at Goldsmiths, revisiting teacher training.

Goldsmiths College University of London Ross McGill @TeacherToolkit July 2015 Conference Initial Teacher Training CPD

Standing on the roof of Professor Stuart Hall building, facing Goldsmiths College main building / facing East London (July 2015)

I can’t wait to go back and help encourage new teachers into the profession …


@TeacherToolkit logo new book Vitruvian man

“Go on, click me …”


Click here to view the article about this event.

Ross McGill @TeacherToolkit Goldsmiths COllege


In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account in which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated for '500 Most Influential People in Britain' in The Sunday Times as one of the most influential in the field of education - he remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing online as @TeacherToolkit, he rebuilt this website (c2008) into what you are now reading, as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the number one spot at the UK Blog Awards (2018). Today, he is currently a PGCE tutor and is researching 'social media and its influence on education policy' for his EdD at Cambridge University. In 1993, he started teaching and is an experienced school leader working in some of the toughest schools in London. He is also a former Teaching Awards winner for 'Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School, London' (2004) and has written several books on teaching (2013-2018). Read more...

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