Feedback from the Partnership Plus Conference, March 2017


“Most inspiring person I have heard in 21 years of teaching!  Simple, yet so effective.”


“Fantastic explanation of how the attributes could be embedded in my teaching.”


Feedback from the JCG Learning Conference, November 2015


What gives Jane’s lectures and workshops such enormous impact is their combination of a clear sense of vision and moral purpose for education alongside an unflinching focus on the practicalities of schools and classrooms. 


No insight about educating for intellectual character is allowed to become vague or merely abstract: instead, one leaves Jane’s sessions having benefited from a wealth of hard-won, research-informed experience that is immediately relatable to one’s own practice.”


Simon Milner, Co-ordinator of Learning Development, Jersey College for Girls


Feedback from ‘Effective Learning in Practice’, Cambridge International Examinations Schools Conference, Colombo, December 2014


“Absolutely brilliant and so appropriate for a wide range of disciplines.  So often these things are theoretical, but this presentation was so practical!  Lots of possibilities for a wide range of subjects: fantastic.”


“She spoke very passionately, positively and made theoretical areas very practical.  This made a very diverse audience very fond of her and we all felt truly inspired by her.”


“The speaker was extremely interesting as well as animated and enthusiastic.  Her talk included many relevant ideas and usable examples which were inspired and inspiring.  Look forward to using the activities in our school, Bay View High.”


Feedback from ‘The Future-Smart School’, City of York Headteachers’ Conference, March 2015


“Thank you for your excellent presentation at our headteacher conference. Colleagues felt that you gave them a wealth of practical ideas to take back to their schools and your presentation worked perfectly with Barry Hymer’s presentation.


Maxine Squire, Assistant Director (Education and Skills)


Feedback from ‘Teaching Girls to be Future-Smart’, GSA Schools, Feb 2013


“Jane’s course was superb!  I can thoroughly recommend spending the day in one of her courses.  They are very informative and provide a wealth of activities that can instantly be used in classrooms with children of any age.  You come away feeling energised and wanting to find out more.”


Mrs V Hall, Head of Co-ed Infant School & the Girls’ Junior School, Bury Grammar


“Thank you for an excellent day.  The delegates certainly recorded a positive and inspirational experience and appreciated the many useful and inspiring practical strategies to improve and strengthen current practice.  There was obviously lots of fun and laughter too which is brilliant!  Delegates wished me to pass on their thanks for a super day.  Thank you for making it such a fantastic experience.”


Jane Carroll, Membership Services Director, Girls’ School Association


Feedback from the Able, Gifted and Talented in Independent Prep Schools Conference, January 2012


Stunning presentation, delivered in entirety while smiling.  Masses of excellent, practical activities to use at school.  The highlight of the day.”


“Most inspiring and charismatic speaker with thought provoking and vitally important considerations pertinent to the all round personal development and well being of young children.” 


Feedback from the ISA Autumn Study Conference, November 2012


“Thank you for your enormous contribution to the success of our conference.  So many delegates mentioned to me how valuable they found your session and we were delighted that 76.5% rated the overall conference ‘excellent’ and 23.5% ‘very good’.  A fantastic response by anyone’s standards.” 


Maggie Turner, Professional Development Officer, ISA


Feedback from the IAPS Deputies Conference, June 2012


“I found your talk incredibly stimulating and have been referring to it ever since when speaking with colleagues, family and friends!  Empowering our pupils as independent learners surely has to be our key role as educators in the 21st century.  Thank you for delivering such an interesting talk and for willingly sharing practical ideas.”


Ann Cordrey, Exeter Cathedral School


Feedback from the International Conference of Thinking, Kuala Lumpur, June 2009


“C. J. Simister has personally tried and tested her programs with students, so she has first hand experience of moving a school from talking about being a ‘thinking school’ to the genuine embedding of thinking skills into teaching and learning programs. I would thoroughly recommend her to any teachers or schools who are sincerely intending to integrate authentic thinking skills to develop the thinking minds of their students.”


Janelle Ford, Deputy Principal, Claremont, NSW


Read the full feedback here

Events have included:


Partnership Plus Residential Conference

Keynote speaker

University of Warwick, March 2017


Active thinkers - Active Learners: The Future-Smart® Approach

Internationella Engelska Skola (IES) Annual Conference

Keynote speaker

Stockholm, Sweden, October 2016


The Future-Smart® School

Keynote speaker, Association of Independent Schools (AISNSW) Annual Conference

Sydney, Australia, August 2016


Creating a Culture of Intellectual Character - with a Growth Mindset Perspective

Mindfest: The Growing Mindsets Convention 2016 - with Professor Carol Dweck, Professor Guy Claxton and Professor Barry Hymer

London, 4th July 2016.  For details, click Growing-Mindsets-Convention-2.pdf.


Challenging the ‘More Able’: The Future-Smart® Approach

Full day speaker, Lancashire AGT Conference, June 2016


Independent Minds: From Rhetoric to Reality

Keynote speaker and Course Director

London, May 2016.  Click here for more information


Leading Learning from the Inside Out: A Character-Based Approach

Keynote speaker, Cambridge International Examinations Schools Conference

Johannesburg, South Africa, April 2016. Click here for information.


Educating Girls to be Future-Smart®: The importance of Character and Mindset

Keynote speaker, The JCG Learning Conference: How Girls Learn

Jersey, November 2015.  Click here for more information. 


The Future-Smart® Student - How today’s schools can prepare young people for tomorrow’s world.

Keynote speaker, TED Ankara College Conference, Turkey, June 2015

Click here for more information


Growing Intellectual Character - The Future-Smart® Approach

How to Build Character, Grit and Resilience - with Dr Angela Duckworth

London, June 2015


Mindsets - Revolutionise your School and Teach Resilience and Intellectual Character

Osiris Educational Outstanding Learning and Teaching Conference, London, March 2015


The Future-Smart® School: A whole-school model for fostering the dispositions and skills that underpin success

City of York Headteachers’ Conference, Harrogate, March 2015


The Future-Smart® School

Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) Directors of Studies Conference, Edinburgh, Scotland, February 2015


Effective Learning in Practice: Creating strategies to target essential skills

Keynote presentation, Cambridge International Examinations Schools Conference, Colombo, Sri Lanka, December 2014.

Click here for more information.


5 First Steps: Develop a Growth Mindset in your School

Growth Mindsets and Girls

Growing Mindsets Convention - with Prof Carol Dweck, London, July 2014


The Future-Smart® School and Teaching for Intellectual Character

The Sunday Times Festival of Education, Wellington College, June 2014


Active Thinkers, Active Learners - Preparing children to be Future-Smart

Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) Junior Heads’ Conference, November 2013


Active Thinkers, Active Learners - an introduction

IAPS Heads Training Days

St Swithun’s School, Winchester and Harrow School, March 2013


Teaching Girls to be Future-Smart

A one-day course provided for GSA Schools, Bury, February 2013


Engaging SEN pupils in constructive collaborative learning

Independent Schools Council (ISC) SEN Conference, London,

November 2012


Effective education for independent minds

Independent Schools Association (ISA) Autumn Study Conference, November 2012


Nurturing independent minds - a practical approach to embedding active thinking and learning

Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS) Annual Conference, September 2012


Developing an engaged approach to thinking

IAPS Annual Deputy Heads Conference, June 2012


Keynote presentation: Intellectual Character

Able, Gifted and Talented in Independent Prep Schools, January 2012


Active thinkers, active learners - practical steps for whole school transformation

Developing thinking children: Is parental engagement the missing link?

15th International Conference on Thinking, Belfast, June 2011


Thinking skills for the more able and talented student

14th Annual Residential SEN and LDD Conference, May 2011


Is your child future-smart?

Dubai Festival of Literature, March 2011


Active thinkers, Active learners

Girls School Association (GSA) Annual Conference, November 2010


Practical thinking and learning skills approaches that engage all students

13th Annual Residential SEN Conference, May 2010


Raising future-smart children

Wellington International School, Dubai, February 2010


The Bright Stuff

NAGC Big Family Weekend, October 2009


Teach your school to think: Insights, tips and techniques for launching a school-wide initiative

14th International Conference on Thinking, Malaysia, June 2009


Raising challenge and engagement

Heads, Teachers, Industry (HTI): Presentation to Go4It Schools, March 2009


Engaging students, teachers & parents in a whole school thinking skills initiative

4th Global Conference - Creative Engagements: Thinking with Children, Oxford, July 2008


Spiral Thinking: Twelve Practical Tools for a Thinking Classroom

13th International Conference on Thinking, Sweden, June 2007


The Northwood College Thinking Skills Programme

Presentation to the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools, May 2007


Spiral Thinking: Gaining Momentum as a Thinking School

Teach Less Learn More Conference, Singapore, March 2006.  Chair & speaker


Spiral Thinking: How one school changed the way it thinks 

12th International Conference of Thinking, Australia, July 2005



Speaking at the TED Ankara Conference

C. J. Simister is available to speak at UK and international conferences. 


Her presentations and workshops are lively, practical and very popular, translating a wealth of research and experience into innovative but realistic ideas and advice for school leaders and teachers. 


“The teaching and learning in many schools should be much improved as a result of the inspiration she gave.” (see below for full review)

Paul Ellis, Cambridge International Examinations

“Jane was an absolute delight to work with.  It was very easy to discuss our requirements with her when we engaged her as a conference speaker.  She then went above and beyond this and was continually adapting what she had prepared for her presentation in the light of what had been said previously by other speakers and conference participants.  Her approach and attitude were exemplary and we only wish more of our conference speakers were as good! 


The practical ideas, grounded in theory, that she gave to the audience were eagerly captured by all present and the teaching and learning in many schools should be much improved as a result of the inspiration she gave.”


Paul Ellis, Head of Teaching and Learning Strategy, Cambridge International Examinations