St. Paul’s 4th Education Conference, Healthy Hearts Healthy Minds

The fourth edition of the St. Paul’s School Education Conference, held in São Paulo on 24th and 25th March (with pre-conference workshops on Friday 23rd March), was a resounding success. The approximately 400 delegates who attended from schools in Brazil and other countries in Latin America through our connection with the LAHC (Latin American Heads Conference) spoke very highly of the event, the calibre of the speakers, and the networking opportunities afforded. The positive learning atmosphere and engagement of all those who attended were tangible throughout the weekend. These delegates came together with world-renowned speakers to discuss the importance of placing pupil wellbeing at the heart of classroom practice, and came away inspired with practical strategies for implementing in their own schools.

The theme “Healthy Hearts, Healthy Minds” was approached by each of our speakers from a different angle, thus providing a wide and varied panorama of the meaning of the word “wellbeing”, and the essential role it plays in nurturing pupils who reach their full potential in every possible aspect. Professor Guy Claxton opened the conference by sharing his “Learning Power Approach”, sharing useful strategies for nurturing confident, independent learners. Coaching and positive psychologist Professor Christian van Nieuwerburgh meanwhile reflected on the important role that teachers play as coaches, inspiring pupils to be the best they can be. Cambridge lecturer Dr Nick Baylis reflected on the “science of wellbeing”, and how teachers can help pupils to leverage emotions, both positive and negative, to achieve extraordinary things.  Paralympian and diversity champion Claire Harvey MBE rounded off the conference to a standing ovation in an emotional and inspirational keynote on the importance of inclusion in schools. Delegates had the opportunity to work with each of these speakers in smaller practical workshops, as well as with bilingualism professor from the Open University, Dr Rose Drury, and an influential headteacher from inner city London, Joan Deslandes OBE.

Our charming team of pupil helpers were an asset to the school, and all those who attended were delighted with the support and guidance they provided. Special thanks must also go to all our donors, exhibitors and sponsors, without whom the success of the conference would certainly not have been possible. We are particularly grateful to our platinum sponsors Care Plus, Cultura Inglesa, LATAM, Sodexo, and WZ Hotel Jardins, to our silver sponsors Atelier Gourmand, and to our bronze sponsors Heleno Torres Advogados, Intuitivo, and to our own parent and teacher association.

Many positive and transformative ideas arose from the discussions that took place across the weekend, and we are already looking forward to the fifth edition of our conference in 2020. We are delighted that our education conferences gave us the opportunity to welcome and learn together with educators from all over the continent. If you weren’t able to make it this year, make sure you come along in 2020!