Literacy Conference 2018

Literacy Conference 2018

The third One Education Literacy Conference is going to be something special. Opening #litconf18 will be Manchester’s own poet, Tony Walsh (aka Longfella). He will be sharing his inspirational poems and discussing the work he does in schools whilst introducing the theme of the day - Literacy beyond the classroom.

We know Literacy is not just about teaching children to get a good score on the test, it is about encouraging children to be passionate readers and writers. #Litconf18 will explore many ways children can make excellent progress in Literacy whist inspiring them to be lifelong learners.

The theme will continue with three keynote speakers throughout the day: Nikki Gamble, Simon Smith and Miranda McKearney. There will also be a multitude of workshops on offer. These will cover all aspects of literacy: from Speech and Language to Grammar; from Reading and Writing to Spelling and SEND support. The day will also include some fantastic exhibitors who will be offering a range of great prizes for you to win.

Like last year, #Litconf18 is a day not to be missed!

Event Details:

Date: 4th October 2018

Venue: Studio Venues, The Hive, Manchester

Conference Agenda:

  • 8.40 - 9.00: Arrival and registration for delegates
  • 9.00 - 9.10: Introduction
  • 9.10 - 9.45: Keynote 1: Tony Walsh
  • 9.45 - 10.45: Keynote 2: Nikki Gamble
  • 10.45 - 11.10: Tea/Coffee Break
  • 11.10 - 12.00: Workshop 1
  • 12.00 - 12.50: Lunch
  • 12.50 - 1.50: Keynote 3: Simon Smith
  • 1.50 - 2.10: Tea/Coffee Break
  • 2.10 - 3.00: Workshop 2
  • 3.05 - 3.45: Keynote 4: Miranda McKearney
  • 3.45: Close and Exhibitors prize draw

(Keynotes will take place in Room Rise and Shine).

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WorkShop Details

Keynote 1: Tony Walsh

Beyond the Classroom: Inspiration through poetry

Through a mixture of his acclaimed, soon-to-be-published poems for children and tales of his personal journey from childhood poverty, Tony’s keynote address will showcase why he’s in such high demand as an inspirational speaker and educator from Ancoats to Ankara, Birmingham to Berlin.


Manchester’s Tony Walsh, also known as Longfella, is one of Britain’s most renowned and widely in-demand professional poets.

A former Poet in Residence for Glastonbury Festival and a regular on television and radio, Tony performs and teaches nationally and internationally from Keswick to Kazakhstan.

His work has been published in the USA, translated into Russian, broadcast on French TV and performed everywhere from The RSC’s 50th anniversary celebrations and The British Library, to The Palace of Science and Culture in Warsaw, Poland.

Tony was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in 2016 and is also a member of The Poetry Society, The Society of Authors and the National Association of Writers in Education.

In May 2017 his powerful performance of his poem This Is The Place at the vigil for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing brought his work to the attention of a global audience, trending worldwide on social media.

Tony was subsequently invited to perform at both the One Love memorial concert at Old Trafford and at the re-opening of the Manchester Arena, appearing in line-ups with everyone from Noel Gallagher to Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.

A passionate educator, Tony has led acclaimed, inspirational workshops for organisations as diverse as The Prince’s Teaching Institute, The Prince’s Trust, BBC Blast, Youth Dance England, Manchester Business School, Ledbury Poetry Festival and The National Football Museum.

He works in a huge variety of schools, colleges and universities each year as well as at international festivals, in prisons, with charities and companies, and with socially excluded groups of all kinds.


 Keynote 2: Nikki Gamble

Beyond the Classroom: More than Information: revisiting the challenges of teaching nonfiction in the 21st Century

It has recently been suggested that there has been a renaissance in non-fiction publishing following the groundbreaking Aleksandra Mizielinska's Maps and the subsequent burgeoning of beautifully illustrated and design-led non-fiction books.

Non-fiction has definitely arrived on the Reading for Pleasure scene. But where are we now? What do we need to think about when selecting nonfiction books and what are the challenges for teaching reading and writing?


A former teacher, university lecturer and writer, Nikki Gamble works extensively with schools in the UK and internationally to develop outstanding reading and writing, where stories and literature are placed firmly at the heart of learning.

Her areas of focus are Training & Consultancy for Teachers and University students, School Library’ Development from a small refresh to a bespoke overhaul as well as the flagship reading programme Reading Gladiators.


Keynote 3: Simon Smith

Beyond the classroom – a purposeful Literacy curriculum

Simon will explore how literacy can be a core driver in all aspects of the work you do in school.

Not just teaching to pass a test but to inspire and create as well as to drive achievement. The session will explore how literacy can be threaded through all aspects of learning to drive purposeful learning.

It will explore how the broader curriculum feeds into an effective literacy curriculum and will argue that to develop true readers and writers in disadvantaged communities we need a wider curriculum not a narrower one.


With 24 years in Teaching - well apart from a couple of years as a consultant. Hoping at some point to experience leafy green schools. Took the scenic route to becoming a head after years of saying "I don't blummin' want that job!" and "Why on earth would anyone do that?'"Now a firm believer that it is the most amazing job in the world.

Proud father of two wonderfully funny boys. Husband to the most tolerant wife (she's quite low maintenance.) Book-addict, picture-book nerd, passionate advocate of the importance of reading in changing lives.

Five words to describe me: Driven, bald, sarcastic, beardy, kaffy-hearted - a Whitby term meaning soft.


Keynote 4: Miranda McKearney

Beyond the classroom: Understanding Emotional Literacy

Our understanding of the literacies children need is constantly evolving. The importance of speaking, listening and critical literacy is now widely recognised.

But what about emotional literacy? This keynote explores the importance of emotional literacy in laying the foundations for learning, and for children’s life chances.

It highlights new scientific research which opens up new possibilities for linking normal literacy work to the development of empathy – a crucial life skill for every child.


Miranda founded national charity, The Reading Agency in 2002, after 25 years of pioneering work on marketing literature and libraries. The charity’s Summer Reading Challenge is now the biggest UK children’s reading programme.

She received an OBE in 2005 for services to education and libraries. Miranda has now started a new organisation, EmpathyLab, which aims to build children’s empathy skills and social activism through stories. It runs an innovative primary schools programme, and has founded a new national Empathy Day.

In her spare time Miranda goes trekking and reads ferociously. She is a trustee of Jane Austen’s House Museum.



Morning Sessions:

This session will cover how teachers are using Pobble to save time in planning and raising standards in writing. Pobble makes life easier for teachers and makes writing even more special and exciting for children.

Hartford Manor will share how they have frown into a reading school ad will explore how 6 key strategies underpin reading at their school.

Explore the spelling strategies that can be used outside the classroom to support pupils. The workshop will also provide an introduction to the Whole Brain Spelling approach.

The workshop will explore current research and best practice for the teaching and learning of vocabulary across the curriculum. Delegates will leave with a multitude of practical strategies to use to support children’s vocabulary development.

Explore the power of The Reader Teacher and the Primary School Book Club, both created to provide teachers and schools with children's book reviews, recommendations and resources to encourage a love of children’s literature amongst children and staff!

Afternoon Sessions:

This workshop will explore practical ways to support learners who are struggling to acquire basic reading and spelling skills. The session will look at phonics and a combination of other approaches to support children in making progress. 

Explore how technology allow pupils to apply their literacy skills across the curriculum. Basic features of many apps will be demonstrated, including how to create 'book hooks' by 'App Smashing' to create CCTV in the classroom.

Hooking children into a book and how to get the most of out of their writing. The workshop will examine ways of developing hooks into a range of books and topics and how these can be used at key points throughout a unit of work.

This workshop will look at the links between reading, writing and spoken language. Packed full of practical ideas for the primary school classroom, the workshop will explore how Speech and Language skills can be used across the curriculum without the need for pen and paper!

During this workshop, you will learn how to use a blogging platform and be introduced to all the skills you need to implement a class blog the very next day. A blogging policy will also be included to take back into school. Please bring a device with you: a phone or iPad will be sufficient.


  • One Education
  • Peters Books
  • Pobble
  • Reading Gladiators
  • TTS
  • First News
  • Harper Collins

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