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Literacy Conference 2017


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One Education Literacy Conference


Preparations for the 2017 Literacy Conference are well underway, with keynote speakers already confirmed and an engaging set of workshops planned! Register your interest for updates.

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£249 (Early Bird Price - £209 available until 12 September)

Oct 12 2017


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The Studio
51 Lever Street
M1 1FN

Phone: 08449671111



12 October 2017

The One Education Literacy Conference 2017 will be a day not to be missed!

#Litconf17 is being held in The Studio; an exciting, modern event venue in the heart of Manchester City Centre. This venue was chosen following the excellent feedback we received after #Litconf16.

Keynote speakers

Matt Tobin will be opening the conference with an inspirational talk about the use of picture books across the school and James Clements will close the day with a presentation on why we must encourage children to read.


There will be a multitude of workshops to choose from, including workshops from Liz Chamberlain, author of ‘Inspiring Writing in Primary Schools’ and Simon Smith, Principal and self-proclaimed addict of childrens' books.

We will also see a return visit from the hilarious and extremely intelligent John Murray (Reading Explorers).

Workshops will include: Reading for Enjoyment, Spelling and Vocabulary, Dyslexia in the classroom, Inference training, Guided Reading, Setting up a Library, Whole school Literacy development, Phonics through music and more.

Further information on the keynotes, workshops and more will be made available throughout the upcoming months.

All of this, plus bespoke exhibitors, an ultra-modern, city central location, great food, & opportunities to network with literacy specialists from across the North West.

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Feedback from #Litconf16

What was the best part of the day?

"Such an inspirational day. I am going back to school full of exciting ideas to share with my team. Thank you." Michelle Harvey, English Lead, Cross Lee Primary School, Manchester

"Being inspired again when I feel demotivated." Narelle Black, KS1 Lead, Westdale Lane Infants

"Everything was useful. Every speaker gave me something to go back to school with." Ella Tarrant, English Leader, Stanville Primary School, Birmingham

"Keynote speakers were great and I feel inspired." Gina Linney, Deputy Head Teacher, St Phillip's CofE Primary

"Excellent sessions - so many strategies to take back to school." S Halliwell, Head Teacher, Chorlton CofE Primary School

Read a review of #LitConf16 from Education Director Jane Sowerby

Keynote Speakers

Mat Tobin

Mat teaches English and Children's Literature in Primary ITE and both the Primary PGCE and the 3-7 Early Years PGCE. Since joining Brookes in 2014 after 16 years of Primary teaching in Oxfordshire, Mat has been asked to deliver several keynotes across the UK on reading for pleasure, picture books and engaging pupils in the reading and writing process. He has research interests in children's literature and exploring how we can support all parents with regards to reading for pleasure in the home.

Find Mat on Twitter @Mat_at_Brookes

Keynote: Making a case for books - Why picture books are essential for all

Reading picture books is easy isn't it? Why bother with them at all when children come to school and what do they offer which other texts do not? Why should they be central to teaching throughout the primary curriculum and how do they relate to the reading for pleasure agenda? This keynote will explore the powerful relationship between words and pictures and how picture books are, essentially, for all.

Workshop: Using picture books to develop comprehension and book talk (KS1/KS2)

As teachers of reading, it is our constant aim to create independent readers who have a range of strategies and tools to make meaning in all manner of texts. Yet in a busy curriculum, how we do plan for book-talk in which all children are motivated and excited to join in yet challenged and why might picture books offer greater possibilities for rich discussion? How do we know, as teachers, what to look for in a text and how do we plan effectively so that the quality of talk supports children in becoming more proficient as independent readers? This workshop will explore the use of picture books to extend children's comprehension and offer guidance on how and where to find those texts which could turn children on to reading.

James Clements

James Clements is the founder of education website 'Shakespeare and More'. For ten years, James was a teacher and senior leader at a wonderful primary school in West London. He also worked as a local authority lead teacher, leading training and supporting teaching and learning across a network of schools. James is now a researcher and education writer, working with schools and local authorities across the UK and further afield to develop the teaching of English.

Find James on twitter @James_ShMore

Keynote: Making a case for books - raising standards through reading for pleasure

In this session, James will look at the impact building a strong reading culture can have on a school, sharing practical ideas for teaching every child to read well and choose to read.

Workshop: A whole-school approach to developing vocabulary and spelling

Drawing on findings from a recent nationwide research project, this workshop will explore some practical ways that teachers can help children meet the challenges of the National Curriculum and the KS2 national assessments, helping every child to increase their word power.


The Mantle of the Expert

The Mantle of the Expert approach is about making learning exciting and meaningful to children. The idea is to create an imaginary context where the students are cast as an expert team with a job to do – rescue an injured climber, excavate an Egyptian tomb, restore a ruined castle – which the teacher uses to create purposeful activities for curriculum study – writing reports, researching the past, drawing plans to scale. In this workshop Tim will introduce the approach and take participants into an imaginary context just the way it would be done in the classroom.

Tim Taylor

Tim is a freelance teacher with over twenty years teaching experience. He is an associate lecturer for the Qattan teaching programme in Palestine and a visiting lecturer at Newcastle University. He runs training courses in Mantle of the Expert, both nationally and internationally and his first book ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Mantle of the Expert’ was published in July 2016. Tim is the web manager and blogger for and He writes for several education magazines and is a contributor to the Guardian Teacher Network.

Reading Fluency - Beyond the Mechanics to Improve Reading Comprehension

John will consider the importance of reading fluency, an integral aspect of reading comprehension that goes far beyond the mechanics of being able to read ninety words a minute. He will demonstrate a variety of ways in which we can support children as they engage with text and improve their understanding of it.

Ideal for those who work with learners who have mastered the mechanics of reading but who still struggle to access and interpret the written word at a deeper level, this workshop will give you helpful tips and guidance on how to enable your students to engage with text more fully and take ownership of their own reading development.

Practical, informative and fun, this reading comprehension workshop will give teachers an insight into the power of bringing the text to life and enthuse even the most reluctant of readers. You will gain an understanding of the need to consider reading fluency as a means of supporting and enhancing reading comprehension; one that actively involves each and every learner so that they are not a bystander to their own reading assessment and development.

John Murray

John MurrayJohn Murray has been a primary teacher for many years before becoming an educational author and consultant specialising in developing children's reading comprehension and spelling, punctuation and grammar skills.

He is the creator of Reading Explorers, which is widely recognised as one of the most successful guided reading series in the UK. His new series Top Class offers an insight into how best to approach this important aspect of Literacy, using a 'text-centric' approach to the teaching, learning and application of Grammar.

John is now a Literacy Consultant, CPD trainer and guest speaker at key educational events. His seminars and training focus specifically on reading and spelling, punctuation and grammar development. 

Find John on Twitter @ReadingExplorer

Behind the page and screen: unpacking children's writing lives (KS1/KS2)

This workshop will explore shared definitions of writing and what this means for 21st Century writing classrooms. The focus will be on KS1 or KS2 children’s writing artefacts (there will be a separate workshop for KS1/KS2) and what their writing choices tells us about their relationship with the writing process. Practical strategies will be shared; including how writing conversations with children can be embedded into everyday classroom practice. 

Liz Chamberlain

Liz is a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at the Open University and is a former primary teacher, leading literacy teacher and Assistant Headteacher. Her main area of expertise is linked to the field of English and, her research and writing interests focus on the ways in which children are positioned, and position themselves, as writers both at home and in school. She continues to work with children as co-researchers through the capture of on-going writing practices using video and photographs. For four years she was the Strategic Consultant for the 'Everybody Writes' national writing project and continues to share the outcomes of this work with teachers and student teachers to reflect on effective literacy practices. She is author of a number of books on writing including 'Inspiring writing in primary schools' (2016) and 'Teaching writing effectively: Reviewing practice' (2017).

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