Literacy Conference

Today the world waits for the birth of a baby that will be in the spotlight from the moment that it is born but here in Warwick we were thinking about the children who aren’t. Today the 1260 participants came together with a wide range of literacy practitioners to get thinking about how childhood literacy can transform lives.

The conference kicked off with a thought-provoking speech from Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, who highlighted some of the key themes of the day and spoke about the profound impact illiteracy can have on a person’s life outcomes.

Here is a brief account of the sessions which I attended:

Can Read, Do Read

Ruth Broadhead from Ruth Miskin Training led this fantastic session on how to narrow the gap in childhood literacy through effective phonics teaching. Ruth highlighted how phonics could be used to target pupils with different strengths and weaknesses and also did some fantastic modelling. Phonics is often seen as a prescriptive teaching strategy, however, Ruth demonstrated how to inject life into phonics teaching and strategies to make sure every child gets what they need from their phonics programme.

Talk for Writing

Pie Corbett created quite a buzz around campus this morning and this session certainly didn’t disappoint. In just over an hour Pie whizzed us through some fantastic teaching strategies and highlighted the amazing results that talk focused learning can have. It was also a chance to get up on our feet and do some storytelling! If you’re feeling inspired, have a go yourself:

Dyslexia Friendly (Primary)

This session delivered by Dr. Kate Saunders of the British Dyslexia Association helped participants to address some common misconceptions about dyslexia. A range of strategies to support the teaching of dyslexia were shared.

The conference closed with some more fascinating reflections on literacy teaching from Pi Corbett, Greg Wallace (Best Start Federation) and children’s author Lou Kuenzler. I’m really excited to put some of the learning strategies I’ve learned about today into practice.

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