It was exciting to hold our second SWIFT Literacy Conference in-person at the end of last term and to welcome a huge range of delegates at Exeter Racecourse with with as much buzz as in 2019.
David Didau, author and expert talked knowledgeably about the importance of reading and of building a reading culture within our schools.
“Reading: there are few things that are likely to make as much of a difference.”
“Reading aloud is gap narrowing.”
Other keynotes including John Tomsett, author and erstwhile Headteacher of Huntingdon School who explored the complexities of the 0 to 19 curriculum - explaining how curriculum development must rest on teacher development.
“A child's vocabulary at five predicts how well they'll learn to read, how well they'll do in the school system. We really have to get that right; that's our number one priority.”
Dr Julian Grenier, appointed by the Department for Education to lead on the revision of Development Matters (quoted by John Tomsett).
Helen Prince, author, developer and contributor to Oxford University Press’s Word-up Podcast Series, explored the power of Oracy through prosody and provided delegates with specific takeaways they could use within classrooms.
“There’s a causal relationship between oracy and improved behaviour.”
Our keynotes also delivered effective breakout sessions, and and other breakouts included the Director of Primary Literacy from OUP; AQA provided an expert on Language in the form of Lance Hanson; Anna Szpakowska from LYFTA contributed towards cultural capital and Bedrock’s Ellie Ashton explained the power of Disciplinary Literacy. WeST’s Executive Director of English, Scott Davies paired with Vicky Thornton to explore the implementation of Forensic Reading.
If you attended this year’s Literacy Conference and would like to feedback to inform future conferences, we would welcome your feedback by clicking on the link below:
A secondary focused English Professional Communities meeting is due to be scheduled and if you would like to contribute, please contact Jen Knowles | Jen.Knowles@sw-ift.org.uk
The power is in the network.
Report by Vicky Thornton, Assistant Principal: Teaching & Learning – Literacy at Ivybridge Community College and SWIFT English-Network Lead.