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12 September 2020

Every year we run a residential summer school that allows teachers to get their CPD in an intensive period during the summer holidays before the start of the new academic year. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we ran our annual summer school online this year – for the first time ever. This made it more accessible than ever before.

Planning began around April with lots of discussions and input from a working group of our faculty representatives and heads of faculty development. We wanted to translate our standard courses into a format that would work online.

Summer school began with a welcome day on 3 August, with talks from our Chief Executive Ginny Brown, Chair Sue Passmore, a number of patrons, directors and faculty representatives.

CPD was offered by all faculties – as well as non-syllabus training courses (including Inclusive Practice) and DDE tutor training. 

In 'normal times' we can hold a maximum of 9 courses per day at residential summer school in Chichester due to studio space, compared to up to 17 courses a day online. As a result our online summer school was about three times bigger than usual.

Over 22 days (as compared to 9 days of residential summer school last year) our 2020 summer school held a whopping 177 courses, 546 hours of CPD, 74 lecturers and covered 28 countries.

"Thank you to all, admin and lecturers over this crazy period, you have done a great job and I am very proud to be a member of the ISTD."

"As a Canadian it was lovely to participate without the travel expenses, and this exposed me to the ISTD ballet (I am a member of the Cecchetti Faculty) and has piqued my interest. I will make an effort to attend in person sometime in the future."

"Living in Yorkshire it is better than ever to have these courses on Zoom, I know everyone is fed up of Zoom! But it means we don't have to drive half a day to Chichester or London for courses, and for those further afield and all over the world it has been utterly fantastic. So easy to access! Really brilliant and made me feel I belonged again instead of being out on a limb in the wilds of Yorkshire. Thank you, thank you, thank you."

"Really impressed with the ISTD online summer school delivery. Please consider doing it again next year."

"I should like to thank the lecturer for the obvious quantity of dedicated work that went into this presentation. I truly enjoyed the subject matter."

"Online courses have been amazing. Not only have they been affordable but also lots more options available for me, due to travel / hotels etc that I would usually have to get. Also, I would normally have to select courses back-to-back to save on hotel costs. This has given me more flexibility to learn all I wish to."

"I think this lecturer was an absolute gem – she really knew her subject and could deliver with confidence, making sure she tackled any queries with clarity and experience."

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