Guest host Liam Anderson talks with award winning teacher, Trudi Barrow, about her leadership of a D&T network and career in D&T.
Mentioned in this episode
Link to Google Folder with the files Trudi talks about: Google Folder
If you like the podcast, you can always buy me a coffee to say 'thanks!'
Please offer your feedback about the show or ideas for future episodes and topics by connecting with me on Twitter @hardy_alison or by emailing me.
If you listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, please take a moment to rate and/or review the show.
This podcast is funded by consultancy work I do outside my full time job at Nottingham Trent University and my beloved Patrons. Patrons receive exclusive content and various rewards, depending on their level of support, such as access to my special private Patreon-only posts and signed copies of my books. Patrons can also suggest topics for my podcast. If you want to support me by becoming a Patron click here. Whilst ongoing support would be fantastic you can make a one-time donation instead, through PayPal (contact me to for details), if that works better for you. If you are not able to support me financially, please consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or sharing a link to my work on social media. Thank you!
Hello, and welcome to this week's episode of the talking DNC podcast. With me, Liam Anderson guest host for Alison Hardy. I'm really excited this week to be speaking to Trudi Barrow, who is a design and technology teacher at Sandringham school. And we're going to be talking about some really exciting work that's Trudy has been doing around DNC network hub within her trust. So I'm really, really excited to speak to you about that, and hopefully share some ideas of some of the fantastic things that she's doing more widely with the DNC community that hopefully others can learn from and be able to use. So hi, toothing. Thank you for joining, and podcast. Um, do you want to introduce yourself a bit about who you are, what you do, where you are, and what you're doing at the moment?Trudi Barrow:
Yeah, okay, absolutely. I'm Trudy, I'm Aditi teacher from Sandringham School in St. Albans, and I'm an AE for Alban teaching school hub, which stands for urban education expert with which is essentially a rebrand of the SLE accreditation, which is being phased out nationally and handed to the Teaching School Hubs. Before I trained to be a teacher, I worked in theatre design, I was a freelance this designer alongside working at the National Theatre in their digital drawing and design office. Teaching caught up with me though, as I started to lead training and teaching events at Theatre, and I fell in love with it. So I left to do my PGCE at Goldsmiths. I currently run the design and technology teacher network for Urban Teaching School hub, which has been running this academic year.Liam Anderson:
Fantastic. Sounds like some some great experience there. That's kind of enrich your, your teaching as well, if you've moved into that. So do you want to then kind of go into some of the stuff that you've seen around the DNC network? So I remember, a few months ago, now, I'd seen a tweet that you'd put out on social media about this, this work that you were doing within your trust, this part of this DNC network hub, I remember seeing at the time, some of the stuff that you shared about some of your discussion, some of the focuses within that network, and some really exciting stuff going on there encouraging, creating that conversation around d and t. So do you want says a little bit about that, and how that kind of came about?Trudi Barrow:
Yeah, absolutely. So the network is a collection of teachers at all stages of their career in the local area of West Hartfordshire. Although we do have some teachers come from further afield. So far, the network has consisted of three termly, meetups or network events of staff that have included some training content and discussion topics. I was really keen to create a space where staff could discuss big picture topics in our subject. It's also there to make connections across schools, disciplines and key stages, and to give teachers time to step back from the details of everyday teaching, such as exam specs and data and and think about our main diente values. It's also an opportunity to have ideas and thoughts to take away with us as teachers and apply into our everyday practice.Liam Anderson:
Brilliant. And I think there's a couple of really, I think key things you said there that that's really important, I think, Yeah, about that. That time, like I said, to kind of step back in that day to day work, we sometimes forget at least about those bigger things and being able to discuss that and share that I think it's really, really important. And I particularly like as well, the fact that you said there's there's kind of a whole spectrum of DNC teachers that are there from Yeah, hods to eects, more experienced teacher. So it's great to have that kind of diversity of experience, I suppose, as well. Have you found that kind of enriched those discussions and sessions kind of having those that that diverse? Group?Trudi Barrow:
Yes, definitely. Because DT teachers sometimes can feel quite isolated and alone, especially in some law schools where they may only be the only DT teacher. And sometimes they may only be the only CT. So having a wealth of different experiences is really important, I think. And yes, the sharing has been really, really full.Liam Anderson:
Definitely. Definitely. And I think yeah, like you said, it's really important to be able to have yes somebody to and people to discuss and bounce off of to develop our practice over time. I think like I said, in schools, where actually is the sole DNCC he also has his apartment having that, that group of people to share and bounce off of really important to develop in our practice and what he said those discussions around DNS The so do you want to tell us a little bit about then kind of some of the things you've done so far? So I think if I remember correctly, have you done three sessions in our 3d?Trudi Barrow:
Yes. So we've done three sessions. In the first session, we break down our discussions into big picture topics. And I posed questions to the group of teachers to discuss. In a second session, we were then able to share some of our thoughts and experiments around these themes that we've been considering over that space of time over that term. Some of the big questions were, what did we learn from remote online learning? How do we talk about climate change Indian tea? How do we talk about gender Indian tea? How can we stay up to date with our ever changing subject? How do we talk about race Indian tea? How can we teach empathy, Indian tea? And how do we ensure wellbeing in our students and in ourselves, within the world of dainty so quite a lot of questions that we posed as discussion topics. Alongside these enormous topics for discussion, which were each broken down into several sub questions. We had visitors to session two and three. So David Houston from the v&a talked to us about the Innovate competition, and what the v&a had to offer to schools in regards to trips and webinars and support. Dave Perry came along to share with us all what clubs are currently doing their future minds magazine and how they can support us in their schools. And Phil Holton came to discuss the research he's doing around the future of the subject, and all of the work that he's doing with Pearson. We also had presentations from Andy Thompson, head of department at Highgate School, which is such an innovative and inspiring department. And Scott Tweedale, who's head of department at St. George's in Harpenden, on his research that he's conducting as part of his MP Q Ltd. What a mouthful and PQ Ltd. On what D and T teachers need from CPD provision. I found that quite interesting because I'm six months behind him on that and PQ Ltd, is really fascinating,Liam Anderson:
really interesting to hear. Yeah, I'm currently doing my n PQ, LT as well. And I'm kind of looking at some aspects of pedagogy in deity. So that sounds like we're on similar paths there. So yeah, I think like you said, there's some really interesting, quite big topics there. And I think like you were saying, particularly we think about at the moment, there's that big focus in schools on curriculum. And I think some of these big topics that you've talked about and have been the focus of those networks are also really useful, aren't they for that curriculum development, and like you say, thinking about aspects of whether it's subject knowledge, or practice around sustainability to those bigger things about how we might do gender. So I think they're really timely and important conversations that you're clearly having in within those networks. And going back to what you were saying earlier, I think it's therefore really good. Like you were saying that there's that range of voices of experiences of these different topics. And also, like you say, in those schools, where staff might be working alone, and to be able to bring in those different perspectives. And also just building on what you were saying about those external speakers or outside speakers. I think sometimes having that external input, whether that's from, like you, say, the VNA to just really develop our practice, and not kind of be stuck within the design world of just school d and t, but bringing in that real world design practice. I remember you were talking as well, Trudy about some work that you did with the design museum, do you want to maybe share a little bit about that, that you did some of the freelance work?Trudi Barrow:
Oh, so I suppose I should have mentioned that at the beginning that in between. My career is in theatre and teaching, I did a little bit of work with the National Theatre, doing curriculum links. And then I when I was on maternity leave with my first child, I started to work for the National Theatre again, and also the design museum creating resources for teachers. And it was it was really interesting to actually see the other side of it and to see what went into the creation of resources from these big organisations, but also to be able to impart a little bit of experience of being at the front line as the teacher. And I did explain to both bodies that the more freebies they were to give out, the more attention they would get. So we did create quite a few free resources for teachers, which was which was really interesting.Liam Anderson:
Brilliant. Yeah, we all we all love freebies, free resources. Yeah, I think I think that's what you're saying. I think like you were saying that fantastic kind of experience you've got within in the sector of design and kind of Bringing in that practice really enriches some of those big topic conversations that you were talking about earlier on within those networks. I think that really enriches it as well, doesn't it? So do you want to maybe say a little bit more about a few of those kind of big picture topics then and kind of the thinking behind? Those are some of the key things that have come out of those discussions?Trudi Barrow:
Yes. Yes, so the big picture topics I mentioned, were great for really me making us all think about how we're teaching our subject to today's current student body. We acknowledged that maybe we're not possibly doing enough to address some of these areas, for example, making sure that our schemes of work and displays were not whitewashed, but being more proactive about sharing the work of designers from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We asked ourselves how we can make sure we're not just being tokenistic, and integrating diversity and design seamlessly within to our schemes, and into our lessons. These discussions really led to the group of teachers sharing a lot of ideas and resources, and we set up a Google Drive so that we could share some of these resources with each other. We did also discuss how best to teach the subject in regard to gender. As we acknowledged that many of our user centred design briefs may be gender specific. And many of us were uncomfortable navigating these themes and lessons when teaching non binary students, we tried to think about looking at our lessons and schemes through the eyes of some of these student groups. For example, what does this lesson or scheme or indeed, subject, look or feel like to a student from an ethnic minority or to a non binary student? We also discuss the ever pressing huge topic of climate change, and how best to deliver some of these themes. And whether or not we thought sustainability was being talked about enough in our schemes of learning. And how can we stress the importance of dealing with climate change whilst not adding to climate anxiety? We did a little bit of research and looked at the stats that came from the 2020 Newsround research into climate anxiety in children and young people. According to the research, nearly three out four young people are worried about the state of the planet right now. And nearly one in five children have heard about dream, a dream about climate change. Four and five young people say the problem of climate change is important to them. So it's an incredibly important topic to deliver well, and sensitively and something that we thought in our network, we should really be discussing as much as we possibly can, and sharing ideas on how to deliver it well as much as we possibly can. Other than these three huge topics, we also shared ideas about ed tech that were specific to our subjects. We discussed what we've learned through the periods of school closure, I shared my love affair with the online programme Padlet, which anybody that knows me will know that I use Padlet, a lot, and the hints and trick and some hints and tricks for speeding up marking using ed tech. So for example, using Google Classroom and rubrics, we shared a lot of our our ed tech ideas. We also discussed some of our favourite online cad tools, especially tools that could be used at home remotely. For example, we share Tinkercad stories with those teachers who maybe hadn't used in KiCad before. One of the other really big topics we discussed in the hub was our own wellbeing alongside the well being of our students we teach and how we could reinvigorate our passion for our subject when faced with the pressures of you know, the every day and exams and deadlines and data. We talked about. Tristram Hunt, who runs v&a saying students should have access to creative subjects to give them a sense of fulfilment, joy and a sense of purpose. So we unpicked this and discussed whether we were delivering on this statement in some of our lessons and schemes and, and standing back and thinking back about the overview of our departments and subject. And then finally, in the last session, we spent time discussing empathy, and how best to teach it centre learning around it. This topic was inspired actually by one of Allison's podcasts a few months ago with with Dave Bowser and James bleach where they were discussing teaching empathy explicitly in our subject. And so I used some of the things I'd learned off that podcast to really structure some of those conversations and discussions and again, like the wealth of resources and sharing that came from just bringing up these topics in in a group of people was was fantastic. ItLiam Anderson:
sounds like some fantastic stuff going on there. Yeah. And I think it was really interesting. We were talking about the sustainability stuff. And some of those statistics, they're quite quite shocking about the saying about that, but anxiety and that worry around sustainability, climate change. Yeah, particularly think about the new GCSE specifications, curriculum, there's that that kind of real big focus on sustainability in how we teach that. So this definitely, like I say, a really important topic to think about what we're doing with that in the classroom, and how we can continue to develop our practice around that. I think also that that topic, you mentioned that empathy, I think that's a really big one. That's kind of central to our curriculum and what we do in the classroom, isn't it? I wonder whether we're on empathy? Was there anything kind of key that came out from that from discussions that that you might be able to share that might be useful for for other DNC teachers to think about kind of how they might bring empathy into the curriculum and kind of how they might think about teaching that.Trudi Barrow:
So we were talking about empathy in the broadest sense, as well as in the how to teach the skills of being an empathetic designer. So in the broadest sense, we were thinking about how, as designers of our lessons, were we being empathetic to our user, who was the student in the classroom, and were we really thinking about their experiences, and whether and that links back to some of these big pitch topics from the first section about making sure that they were accessible to all different types of students. But then also the explicit empathy of delivering user centred design lessons to our students, and how best to do that. So there were lots of ideas shared. Obviously, there are things that have been going on for a while where you can give the students opportunities to try things on their hands that prevent them from using their hands properly, or try certain pair of glasses, which will prevent them from seeing clearly to gain empathy for certain groups of people. We talked about setting briefs that enabled students to really think empathetically with different groups of people trying to even at Key Stage Three, trying to avoid just letting the students design for themselves or for their brother, or, but actually trying to get them to really, really really unpick who their user was, and, and really investigate what their user needs were. So there were lots of ideas, lots of different projects that were being shared lots of images of different students using different tools, physical tools, as well to gain this. So for example, you can get these things that you put on the back of your hands. I can't remember who exactly did that. But it was a big organisation would send out packs to schools where you could get these things to put in the back of your hand so that you could experience what it was like to have lack of mobility and live with arthritis. So we were talking about different things we'd experienced in our lessons and what kind of tools and kit we could use to help teach empathy, but also just, but also just to make sure that we were explicitly using the word empathy so that the students actually understood where we were going with it, and why it was so important to their design journey.Liam Anderson:
Fantastic. Yeah, it was it was it fixperts I know fixperts Do a lot of rounds, kind of empathy and user centred designTrudi Barrow:
might have been I could just, yeah, I just couldn't remember the organisation that that sent out these boxes, but maybe we could find that out and put it in for the podcast after the fact. Because there were quite a few different ones out there that that really do help teach to help the teacher teach empathy through hands on experiences for the student. Yeah,Liam Anderson:
I think I think that's key, isn't it? It's one of those Yeah, more difficult topics to teach. And I think they say having that experience that firsthand experience of what it's like in that user shoes is really important. So yeah, we'll see if we can find the link to that and be able to share that in the show notes for others to have a look at those. I think that's great. So um, the other thing I was gonna ask you about, you mentioned about Ed Tech. I'm, and obviously we yeah, we know that that's been a big thing in recent years. We've We've COVID and lock downs and change to online learning you mentioned about earlier. I wonder whether specifically for D and T was there anything that in the network you kind of discussed or shared specifically for DNC the found to be really useful or really beneficial for us?Trudi Barrow:
Yeah, so we did talk about the different of the various different things programmes that we've been using. We talked about Tinkercad, tutorials and onshape. But we did also talk about different ways that we've used visualising techniques without without a visualizer. We talked about how some of our lessons post lockdown have used some of the tools that were used within lockdown. So for example, I use Padlet, in my lessons to enable students to share their finished work, whether that be a design sketch, or whether it be model or something on to the Padlet page, and then everyone can see everybody's and everybody can comment on everybody's. I've also used it for peer assessment. So I've put a assessment criteria onto the Padlet. And then partners will assess each other's visual piece of work, as per the assessment criteria, but then everybody in the class can see everybody's peer assessment, and we can have it on the ball behind us. And we can break it down, we can discuss it. So we were talking about how certain things have been made easier. So sort of in old money, I would have ran that lesson by getting all my students to stand around a table and discuss and maybe put post it notes on work. But now using edtech, I can do exactly the same thing. But I also have a record of it because that that Padlet page is now there to maybe use as a starter activity in the next lesson or in a rotation may be introducing the topic through showing a new class, the last group's efforts, etc. So we were talking about how some edtech facilities have really blended into our practice, and how blended learning has really sort of taken off, and how we've, how a lot of us are now teaching in sort of a hybrid way. And about how yes, some of these, some of these edtech tools are very good for design technology, because they do have that visual element. And they do have a design element in themselves. So they're constantly getting the students to think about how they're presenting how they're delivering, how they're presenting their visual ideas. So I'm a fan of Ed Tech. And I think a lot of the people in the network were too. Obviously different schools have different facilities available to them. I'm very lucky, because the school that I'm based in, actually has a bring your own device policy. So every student in the school has an iPad or a device. And obviously, some schools have not adopted that system. They may do but they haven't at this point. So though there was a big discrepancy in our facilities available to us, but some of these programmes we could really see the benefits, even if the Ed Tech was only available through homework, for example. So there was a lot of sharing a lot of trying out various different quiz programmes and, and trying to find the DT specific quizzes, and Cahoots and various different tools and also discussing the benefits of them making sure that if we were using some of these tools for formative assessment, we weren't just using them for fun. So it was a really, it was a really healthy discussion. And we learned a lot from each other through discussing that. I think a lot of teachers have become experts in this area because of the pandemic.Liam Anderson:
So definitely. And yeah, I think just going back to what you were saying about for us within our discipline within our subjects, some of those tools already good, like you're saying for those aspects of being able to test ideas and get feedback for development, whether that's for collaborative working. So some of these, I think do yeah lends really well, like you say to our practice, and what we want to be encouraging those ways of working, we want to be encouraging with students within design and technology. I was I was part of the session a couple of weeks ago now with with Loughborough and they were talking about the transition from a level to higher education design. And one of the key things that they were talking about was trying to encourage more a level that more collaborative teamwork in getting more feedback and using that for development of ideas showing that process and that thinking. So I think like you say those, those those technologies like Padlet are really useful in being able to share ideas, get feedback, and also say be able to do that with a number of people at a time. And that collaborative work. And so I think yeah, there's definitely some really useful things there that you've talked about that that hopefully other teams and teachers can think about. are using and and bringing into their, their classrooms. So I suppose then the big thing, then what what kind of impact have you seen that this has had so far? So sounds like you've had three great sessions and some really nice discussions that have come out from that that you were talking about. So suppose what kind of impact have you seen, this has then had within your school within your trust all the other people that have attended, what kind of impact it had for them in in their classrooms, in their schools.Trudi Barrow:
So I've been just really impressed with, with how much there is to discuss around dn T and how much future planning, there can be if we give ourselves time to think about it. And that's really the key is to have these opportunities to step back. The sessions have been full of inspiring passionate teachers sharing ideas that could potentially drive the subject forward, the opportunity to share with each other is so valuable, I'd really encourage others to set up TeachMeet salon networks in their area, if there aren't any. And I'm more than happy to share the resources that we've used. And advice or support in any way I can. For those keen to start something from scratch. I know there are some that are going on. But there are some areas where there aren't any of these sort of organised teach meats. And as I said, in many schools, there may only be one design technology teacher, who may be feeling really quite isolated, and would really value the opportunity to share ideas with other passionate teachers, and also may value the opportunity to share some of their own ideas. It could be really useful and really empowering. So So yeah,Liam Anderson:
great. Um, and I think like you were saying that that positivity of teachers and wanting to be part of the network wants to be part of these discussions, I say, is really, really important for, like, say, developing and driving the subject forward. So I think this, this is a great idea that hopefully other teachers, like you say, might think about being able to do within their trust or within their their local area. And I think that's great that you've said that you're happy to support and give advice on that. And we kind of do this replicate this across the country. I think that would be hugely beneficial to diente as a subject, wouldn't it? Definitely,Trudi Barrow:
I recommend speaking to your local teaching school hub about it as these teaching school hubs are relatively new, which is why our why our DT sub hub, if you like, is so new. But the teaching school hub would be able to support the organisation and marketing to local schools. I also know that PSN have offered to support teach meats, so you could also reach out to fill Halton toLiam Anderson:
brilliant, I'm so just lastly then I'm if people want to kind of find out more than about you and some more of the work that you are doing around the hub, where can they kind of find you follow what you're doing?Trudi Barrow:
Yeah, so hopefully there'll be quite a bit to to follow. We're considering organising conference have a full day of the network. My only concern about it is that staff may not be able to get released for a day. So we're currently investigating this possibility and the logistics around it. We're also continuing with our Twilight networking events. Each event is about an hour and a half long. We're discussing implementing short, sharp webinars on subject knowledge because there's always, always a real thirst for subject knowledge within our subject because it's it's so ever changing. So we're thinking about who we can get to run these short sessions. We're planning to run networking and training events for diente primary teachers also through the hub through the area. And then there's the possibility of sharing ideas and collaborating crossfades as well. We're also going to centralise we hope, health and safety training to help schools collaborate on the organisation of accreditation and re accreditation. And this should help local DLT departments share a bit of money, save a bit of money, sorry, and help with AECT health and safety training. But yes, I will be tweeting about it on at Trudy Barrow and Instagramming at Mrs. B underscore D and T and I'm also blogging on Barrow t.blogspot.com.Liam Anderson:
Fantastic. And it'll be really interesting to kind of follow the progress of the network in the future as well. And I'm sure there'll be some some really exciting stuff going on. So I think it'd be a really good thing for Dean T teachers to to follow. So definitely have a look at the work that Trudy is doing on those social media sites. So hopefully today, you might be able to join us again in future and maybe talk about give us an update on some of the other things you've been doing. And but thank you so much for your time today doing this podcast. And there's some really, really valuable stuff thank you to about. And I'm sure there's there's lots there to really benefit teachers and certainly thinking about how they might go about setting up some really exciting networks, as you've done within your trust. So thank you for joining GD, thanks for your time today.Trudi Barrow:
Thank you, I will, I will put in well, I will pass on to you. So you can put in the show notes, all the resources and links. There are quite a few. So hopefully there'll be useful to somebody who's listening.Liam Anderson:
Yeah, we'll make sure those go in. There's lots of really, really good stuff. Thanks, Trudy. Thanks, guys.Trudi Barrow: