ELA Seminar - The Thinking School and the Thinking Teacher

Online - hosted via Zoom
Tuesday 28 March 2023 (16:30-18:00)

Nikita Ford


We are delighted to welcome Dr Kulvarn Atwal to lead on our next ELA seminar.

In this seminar, Dr Atwal will discuss the importance and need for us to develop thinking schools where staff professional learning is just as important as students' learning. Through the introduction and promotion of specific professional learning activities, we can create a dynamic learning environment in our schools that empowers teachers to drive their own learning and development. He will draw from his own doctoral research to demonstrate that the greatest single factor that impacts upon students' learning is the quality of teaching, and that the greatest factor to impact upon the quality of teaching is the quality of staff learning. As leaders, the leadership of staff learning is the most powerful way that we can support our students.

Ava SturridgeThe seminar will be chaired by Ava Sturridge-Packer CBE, former primary head in Birmingham and currently DfE and Birmingham Education Partnership adviser.

Participants will be able to contribute and ask questions of the speakers and the chair.



Kulvern AtwalDr Kulvarn Atwal has spent his entire career teaching and leading in East London schools and is currently Head Learning Leader at Highlands Primary School and Uphall Primary School in East London. Highlands was recently awarded the Mayor of London's Schools for Success award for the fifth year in a row; one of only a handful of primary or secondary schools in London to achieve this award.

Kulvarn specialises in teacher professional learning. His doctoral thesis highlighted the factors that impact upon teacher engagement in professional learning activities, with a particular focus on workplace learning theories and action research.

Kulvarn attended the University of Birmingham in the 1990s, completing a B.Soc.Sc. in History and Social Science. He has published two books; 'The Thinking School. Developing a Dynamic Learning Community' and 'The Thinking Teacher. How to transform your mindset and your teaching'. He occasionally tweets at @thinkingschool2.