Upper School Choice - chess

KASS Annual Conference Inspires Progressive Thought in Education

19th October 16

group of smartly dressed adults

The King Alfred School Society Annual Conference took place on Saturday 15 October 2016. The theme for this year’s conference was “Breaking the Mould: Progressive ideas in practice.”

A keen crowd of educationalists, staff, parents, council members, and guests from visiting schools packed the Phoenix Theatre for an excellent line up of talks exploring progressive ideas and innovation in education. Speakers included Mark Moorhouse, Carl Jarvis, David Price, Ian Morris, Michael McIntyre and Sanum Khan. Our speakers are shown above with Robert Lobatto, Head of KAS.

Robert welcomed everyone to KAS and chaired the talks. Sixth Form representatives from the School Six student council introduced each speaker. During the break between talks, a film of last summer’s trip to The King Alfred Kinniya Pre-School in Sri Lanka was shown, featuring footage of KAS students helping out on site and stunning images of their close up encounter with local elephants.

Following a delicious lunch, conference attendees split into small groups for afternoon workshops led by conference speakers. Our very own Kim and Tony, DT presented a session entitled “No More Sausage Factory” looking at innovation in teaching and learning in the KAS Design and Technology department.

The conference was an exciting and enlightening day of presentations and discussions on forward thinking educational theory and practice. All who attended will be inspired to “Break the Mould” in their own approaches to teaching, learning and student wellbeing.

Special thanks to Kara Conti and her team for organising the conference and for securing an outstanding panel of speakers. Thanks also to the members of the School Six who helped out out on the day and introduced the speakers so eloquently.

Our greatest thanks goes to our guest speakers, Mark, Carl, David, Ian, Michael and Sanum for demonstrating how we can “Break the Mould” in education.

Feedback on the KASS Conference 2016

Comments about the conference from guest speakers, parents, council members, and staff were overwhelmingly positive. You can read some of them here.

Guest Speakers:

Thank you for inviting me to work with your great staff and parents today. I hope you felt my recommendations for Mark and Carl were appropriate. I know all three of us had little idea what KAS stood for prior to today – but it was obvious, just walking around the place what a great centre for learning has been established. If I can help in any way, as you go forward, I’d be delighted to.  Fantastic job organising the event. – David Price

Many thanks for the opportunity to speak and for these kind words.  Marvellous event at a marvellous school!  With regard to the honorarium, could I ask that it be used to help resource Johnny’s initiative of reintroducing the Sixth Form teaching day, which he is presenting to the school for approval on Monday?  He is a great lad, pushing for something which is at least a relative of D6, and I am very keen to support him with a political act straight out of my Positive Adaptive Child. – Mark Moorhouse

It was an absolute pleasure! I really enjoyed the day and huge thank you for a wonderful welcome! Please do keep in touch, I would be happy to help in the future. – Carl Jarvis

Thank you for inviting us to such an outstanding conference. I was incredibly inspired by the speakers who all showed such positive and creative ways to engage students and break the mould of traditional approaches to education. Thank you again. – Michael McIntyre

It was a really excellent event and lovely to come back to King Alfred’s. – Ian Morris

Parents and Council Members:

Thank you for a wonderfully thought provoking day at KAS….Mind boggling….

I thought the speakers were fascinating and food for thought. I really got a lot out of the day. Well done for putting on such an amazing professional presentation. KAS at its best! 

Congratulations and thank you for a wonderful conference! What great speakers you got! I was very inspired by their all getting right into the fundamental purpose of education (rather than fiddly add-on programmes). Also I was very interested how they all came up with the same themes – freedom, trust (of pupils and teachers), curiosity, intrinsic motivation, ownership of education etc. – all themes key to the KAS ethos (weren’t those founders a clever bunch!) 

What great speakers and such a fantastic atmosphere. 

Thank you for an amazingly smoothly run day and for choosing such great speakers.

It was a pleasure to be part of such a special day, possibly the best conference yet.

In my opinion, yesterday was the best conference yet.  Wonderful atmosphere, which was made even better by the Phoenix theatre! I spoke to quite a few of the visiting schools and heard rave reviews about the day and the speakers.


I thought last year’s Conference was a hard act to follow – and you surpassed it this year. I particularly enjoyed the workshop format. It gave me an opportunity to discuss how Carl Jarvis’s ideas are/might be applied here at King Alfred, and to hear how Mark Moorhouse uses the language of Transactional Analysis in his school, which I intend to learn more about. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Conference.

Thank you for a WONDERFUL conference. We enjoyed it very, very much. Inspiring – and very well organised throughout the day.

The conference was a triumph! Everything worked so smoothly and looked amazing.

Great feedback from teachers. Well worth all your hard work, inspirational thinking and commitment.

Thank you for organising such a wonderfully insightful and inspiring day. Your attention to detail was second to none and I’m already looking forward to next year. The speakers were truly engaging and the content gives plenty food for thought. Hopefully future links can be made and I would love to go and see some of their schools to see their methods.


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