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Paul was one of the UK's oldest-established independent trainers, having started down that path in 1992. He worked in over 4500 primary, secondary and special schools in the UK and in 70 or so international schools in the Middle East, Far East, North and South America, The Caribbean and Europe. He also supported the introduction of a new Junior Cycle curriculum in Ireland. All his ideas were forged at the chalkface but they were inspired by some of the world's leading educational thinkers. First and foremost, Paul was a practitioner (having started his teaching career in 1979), not a researcher or academic. He sought to model the way in which current teaching imperatives and modern learning insights could be translated into workable classroom strategies, and to achieve that with a bit of fun along the way. Even in an aggressive educational world driven by political, inspection and PISA priorities, he believed that it was possible to proceed with integrity, courage and wisdom. To do so, teachers needed a few truths about the learning process to guide their creative planning and a good number of proven strategies to set them on their way. From his books and workshops Paul wanted people to take away teaching ideas that would turn passive pupils into active students and consequently result in deep learning, modern skills, essential dispositions, good progress and great results. Of his many publications, The Teacher's Toolkit is the most well-known, having been reprinted 15 times and translated into Arabic, Indonesian, Hungarian, Slovenian and Spanish. It is one of the UK's bestselling books for teachers and is required reading on most teacher training courses. Paul died suddenly on 30th January 2015. He had three grown-up children and was a Stoke City FC season ticket holder and a self-confessed vinyl junkie. He was also a driver and roadie for The Zombies on their 2009 Odessey and Oracle' national tour - making his adolescent rock n' roll dream come true! He lived near Stoke-on Trent with his wife Sharon, two cats, one dog and a jukebox.
Sharon has been teaching and training for 30 years. She provides workshops, courses, demonstrations and presentations to primary schools around the world, encouraging them to adopt creative approaches to the curriculum. In particular, she promotes stories as contexts for deep, cross-curricular learning. By using dramatic scenarios, with teachers and students working together in role, levels of engagement, enquiry and independence increase. Children become driven to research, think, collaborate, read and write as they excitedly seek to resolve dilemmas. Her work is rich in literacy and is regarded as providing a lively and essential complement to the more technical approaches that abound. Currently keeping her feet on the ground by working as Subject Leader for the Arts within Stoke-on-Trent's Adult and Community Education Service, and by teaching in local primary schools, Sharon has in the past been an Advisory Teacher for Drama in Birmingham, a Senior Further Education Staff Development Co-ordinator, a national Inclusion Adviser and an Associate Tutor of the University of Cumbria. In all her roles, across all phases of education, Sharon seeks to demonstrate the power of the creative process in raising achievement for all. Her freelance work has taken her to China, Peru, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand and Austria. She emphasises pedagogy that transcends cultures and ethnicities because it is rooted in universal aspects of human nature: curiosity; creativity; the love of fiction; the desire to play; along with the instinct to solve problems and rise to challenges.
Two cats, a dog, a grandchild, a love of films, a passion for sci-fi and sneaking off to make her own art whenever she can, keep Sharon busy.
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