What is GESS Dubai?
This February I had the pleasure of attending the GESS Dubai Exhibition for the second time, but my first as an exhibitor. I was accompanied by Jessica Easton, Head of CPD for White Rose Maths.
GESS Dubai (Global Education Supplies and Solutions) is an educational exhibition held at the World Trade Centre in Dubai. The exhibition saw 550 educational companies from 31 countries exhibit their educational resource or service to thousands of visitors. We were warmly welcomed by BESA (The British Educational Suppliers Association), who supported UK companies at the event. We exhibited alongside some of our partners TTS and Pearson, as well as many other companies who are providing educational services from textbooks and assessments to virtual reality robots to support work in the classroom!
Why did we make our debut at GESS Dubai?
Across the 3 day event, we shared the White Rose Maths vision to representatives from the Ministry of Education, directors, head teachers, and math subject leaders. There are many British International and local schools who are already using or beginning to implement White Rose Schemes of Learning and resources, to contribute to the improvement of their mathematics teaching and learning. However, it wasn’t just representatives from schools in Dubai who attended the event.
We provided information and guidance for schools from Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, India and Europe. Some of these schools had never heard of White Rose Maths and were eager to gather information from myself and Jess about our JIGSAW training and how we can support their schools – not forgetting those who were excited by the free pen giveaway!
Having led maths in a British International school myself, I have first-hand experience of the barriers maths leaders and teachers face when trying to access quality professional development for their staff. Since the introduction of the new UK national curriculum in 2014, and the shift towards a mastery approach to teaching this, it has become increasingly difficult for staff in large British International Schools to keep their subject knowledge up to date. This is fundamental to implementing and embedding a new scheme of learning and teaching approach. GESS Dubai was a fantastic opportunity to provide some guidance to schools who had come to the exhibition particularly to see us with key questions they wanted answering as they begin their mastery journey.
An exciting development for White Rose Maths CPD
Attending GESS Dubai was also an ideal opportunity to exhibit a sample of our Schemes of Learning, assessments and interactive whiteboard resources. We were also able to preview the forward-thinking online CPD we are developing, to support schools who are seeking easily accessible and cost-effective training.
Our CPD team have been working on developing a series of online tutorial videos, which will allow schools around the world to access and engage in our professional development. Our training has been broken down into small steps to create a series of consecutive online sessions, which are ideal to use in staff meetings or staff PPA time. They develop subject knowledge and contribute to the continuous professional development of individual staff and across the whole school. We showed a taster video of the online bar modelling session throughout the exhibition. Some of our visitors were starstruck when they realised the presenter in the video they were watching was Jess, and even asked for a photograph with her! This is an exciting development for White Rose Maths, and we can’t wait to release this online tool to schools in the future. Look out for further announcements on our web site and also by following us on twitter @WhiteRoseMaths.
How has GESS Dubai impacted White Rose Maths and our International links?
As a result of exhibiting at this event, we are receiving an increasing number of enquiries from International schools, including from Dubai and Nepal. We are thrilled to be visiting these schools to deliver training, and to see how they are using our free schemes and resources, in the near future.
We are looking forward to exhibiting at GESS Dubai again in 2020 to demonstrate the many more exciting resources we are developing. We aspire to return to GESS Dubai next year as a finalist for one of the GESS Awards, for our contribution to primary education online resources and as a CPD provider.
Watch this space!
Primary Maths Specialist for White Rose Maths