Inclusion Matters 2016: Speakers

Keynote address and Seminar 1:  Nicola Whitton, Professor of Professional Learning, Manchester Metropolitan University

Nicola Whitton is Professor of Professional Learning at the Education and Social Research Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her research focuses on digital innovation in learning and teaching and, in particular games, play and learning in the context of Higher Education. She has led research projects in gaming for older adults, collaborative game building as a learning approach, alternate reality games for student induction, and investigations into student enjoyment and reasons for disengagement.

The importance of failure: playful learning for all ages

While play-based learning is common in early years settings, it is gradually replaced by a regime of testing throughout school and, by university, many students are focused primarily on assessments. In this talk, Nicola Whitton will discuss the value of playful learning for all stages of education, drawing on the role of play in relation to failure. In particular, play supports learners to manage risk, build resilience, and develop intrinsically motivated learning communities.

Seminar 2: Mylene McGuire, Headteacher, St Mary's RC Primary School, Levenshulme 

with Kelly Wilson and Tracey Collins, Assistant Heads

“Learning to learn“: Growth Mindset in practice at St Mary’s RC Primary School Levenshulme

Two years ago as a Senior Leadership Team we read “ Growth Mindset” by American professor Dr Carol Dweck. This promoted discussion around the barriers to learning that some of our children experienced – often around developing resilience. We set up a small cross phase working party led by two Assistant Head Teachers, to trial approaches that would work for our pupils. The working party was intended to run for a year, but the impact on attitudes to learning in the classes where the approaches were tried was so evident that we moved quickly to whole school implementation. This is now embedded into all of our work including our behaviour system. In our Inclusion Quality Mark assessment visit in July 2016 the assessor commented that;

“During the visit I was able to see the school at work and was able to experience the unique culture and ethos that is ingrained in everything that happens here. A Growth Mind-set approach to learning is embedded across the school from Nursery to year 6 to foster the growth of a 'can do' attitude for all learners.

In our workshop we will share with you the journey that we have taken to ensure this approach is embedded in to the daily life of our school.

Seminar 3: Thaley Clough, Assistant Headteacher/Inclusion, Broad Oak Primary School

with Clare McCrory and Ben Rowe

Building Resilience through Forest School provision: 'Our Saplings bend but don't Break'

The seminar is about how we are using Forest Crew sessions as part of our universal offer for character education at Broad Oak Primary School. We will answer these questions:

What is Broad Oak’s Forest Crew? What do the sessions include? What has been the impact of this work on our community? What are the next steps for us?

Thaley Clough – has been a Primary teacher in all Key Stages in different areas of Manchester for 26 years. She has been a senior leader in three schools and a SENCO for 7 years. She has been in her current post as Assistant Head Teacher for Inclusion for three years at Broad Oak Primary School. Currently she is working with the Local Authority to develop a Resourced Provision for Social Emotional and Mental Health needs on site which will be first of its kind in South Manchester.

Clare McCrory- has worked as an Early Years Practitioner for thirty years in various settings and at present is employed as a HLTA at Broad Oak Primary School in Didsbury splitting her role as key worker in the foundation stage for two days a week and delivering Forest Crew sessions for two days a week. She spent time whilst living in Sweden with her young son volunteering at the pre-school provision he attended and was fascinated with the way the staff encouraged independence and risk taking developing children’s resilience particularly through outdoor learning.

Ben Rowe- is a specialist children’s coach who works at Broad Oak through One Goal to deliver their character education programme 6 habits. He comes from a footballing background, which gave him his route into coaching, and eventually delivering PE in schools across Manchester. This is his second year delivering the Forest Crew programme.

Seminar 4: Dr Catherine Kelly, Academic & Professional Tutor, Doc.Ed.Ch.Psy., University of Manchester;  Senior Educational Psychologist, Bury

The Value of Play in Promoting Resilience

"Ungar (2012) argues that children and young people’s efforts to adjust well need to be actively supported by their social ecologies.  Article 31 of the United Nations convention on the Rights of the child (UNHCRC) recognises the right of every child to rest, leisure, play and recreational activities. Theron (2015) asserts that where schooling experiences are supportive of child rights, resilience processes are promoted." 

This presentation examines how supporting child initiated and child directed play can build resilience.

Dr Kelly is a Chartered Educational Psychologist and Registered Practitioner Educational Psychologist. She is a Senior Educational Psychologist in Bury Educational Psychology Service, Greater Manchester.  She has worked as an Academic and Professional Tutor on professional training in educational psychology since 2006; initially at UCL and on the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology at the University of Manchester since 2009.  

Seminar 5: Linda Goodacre, Partner Educational Psychologist, Catalyst Psychology with Catriona Martin and Laura O’Grady, Sensory Support Specialists from the Lancasterian Sensory Support Service

Building Resilience and Supporting Independence Using Social Stories and Talking Mats to Facilitate Inclusion for Children with Sensory Impairments

This presentation arises from work undertaken by Laura and Catriona as part of the accredited course “Applied Psychology in Education”. Laura and Catriona will describe how they have used Social Stories and Talking Mats in their practice as communication tools to help build resilience with children who have significant sensory impairments. Participants will have an opportunity to consider, through discussion with experienced practitioners, how these tools and strategies can be used flexibly with children who experience a range of barriers to learning and participation.


Linda Goodacre has a background of teaching in further education and currently works as an educational psychologist and CBT practitioner in primary and secondary schools with Catalyst and independently with a Post-16 college in Manchester.


Catriona Martin and Laura O’Grady are both highly experienced sensory support specialists. Catriona has worked with oral and signing hearing impaired children, who range from moderately to profoundly deaf, in primary and secondary settings. Laura has worked with deaf blind/multi-sensory impaired children of all ages and in a variety of settings: nursery, special school and in the family home, using objects of reference and on body signs for communication.

Seminar 6: Zoe Woodworth, Mental Health Awareness Trainer, Charlie Waller Memorial Trust

Developing a Mental Health Policy for your school

In this seminar we will look at an example policy and guidance and resources to help write an effective  positive Mental Health Policy for your school or college. Including discussions around how to implement the policy as well as preparing to teach about mental health and emotional well being within your setting using the PSHE Association Guidance.

Zoe Woodworth is a health and well being specialist working across the North West of England. She works on the “frontline” removing barriers and promoting health and well-being for teachers, parents, young people and individuals in hard to reach communities. Previous roles include Healthy Lifestyle Manager for the Ribble Valley. Zoe’s current work encompasses Operations Manager for Access Ability CIC, delivering workplace, Adult and Youth Mental Health First Aid for MHFA England, and working as a trainer for the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.

Seminar 7: Adrienne Green, Director of Nice Work Consulting Ltd.

Building Resilience to Maintain Mental Well-Being

In this short session we will explore the nature of resilience, and present the 2 key psychological drivers that undermine resilience. Once people understand why they sometimes lack resilience then they can work out how to interrupt those undermining psychological processes, and allow their resilience to grow.

We are invited into schools to help leaders and staff to cope with a range of different challenges, from increasing workloads and pressure on time to handling difficult encounters with colleagues or parents. Occasionally we are called upon to enable people to deal with difficulties that arise outside of the workplace so that they can continue to contribute to their working environment as effectively as possible. In all of these cases, we have found that a useful starting point is to work towards enhancing people’s natural resilience using principles and practices that can support them in any situation. 

Adrienne practised for many years as a psychotherapist and psychotherapy supervisor within both private and National Health mental health care services. In particular she worked with people suffering with severe stress, anxiety and depression. In 2006 she established her company, Nice Work Consulting Ltd., and since then has worked as a specialist coach, consultant and trainer within both private and public sector organisations. In particular she has provided workshops, group training and individual coaching at schools in Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea, as well as for the School Standards team within the Tri-borough Education Service. Adrienne is author of Coaching For Resilience. A Practical Guide to Using Positive Psychology (Kogan Page, 2012) and is currently studying for her PhD.

 Seminar 8: Yvonne Monaghan, Head of Consultancy for the Nurture Group Network

Nurture and Resilience: How an understanding of the Nurture Principles can improve your own resilience along with your pupils

We will look at the Six Nurture Principles and how they can improve Resilience along with your teaching and learning skills, offering practical strategies that you can take away with you which can only enhance your practice

Yvonne is Head of Consultancy for the Nurture Group Network and has been working with children who exhibit social, emotional and behavioural needs for nearly 30 years, within both primary and secondary special school settings. She was previously the co-ordinator for social emotional, mental health and wellbeing (SEMH) for the targeted Education Support services working with and supporting mainstream and special schools in Wigan Local Authority.  Yvonne has been involved with developing and supporting nurture groups for many years, a passion that was inspired by Marion Bennathan’s keynote at a conference held over 16 years ago. A few years ago Yvonne completed her MA focusing on the use of the six principles of nurture.

Seminar 9: Dr Paula Muir, Senior Practitioner Educational Psychologist, Catalyst Psychology

How2Relate – understanding the psychology behind perpetrator prevention work for primary and secondary aged children aimed at reducing reduce relationship violence and abusive behaviour

How2Relate is an intervention under development that will target five core areas associated with reducing relationship violence perpetration. This seminar introduces the psychology and research behind why some children use violence and control within their early friendships and then teen relationships.  We will discuss some of the thoughts and beliefs that contribute towards later teen and adult domestic violence perpetration and introduce a rationale to help us understand the importance of starting to address healthy relationships early and continually throughout the key stages.  This exciting and innovative universal resource for schools will be piloted in Manchester schools within the next academic year.

After qualifying as an educational psychologist in 2004, Paula worked as an educational psychologist with Rochdale Local Authority for 9 years. In Rochdale, Paula was commissioned to develop a perpetrator prevention programme and to contribute to a relationship violence strategy to reduce peer on peer assault and sexual violence.  Having completed doctoral research exploring the experiences of young people excluded from school and experiencing managed transfers, she has become increasingly interested in ways that educational psychologists can work with children and young people as “co-authors” in intervention work. Since joining Catalyst Psychology, Paula has been looking at mechanisms to combine the research evidence and psychology relating to domestic violence perpetration with thoughts and ideas from young people in order to develop resources for work with children in school.