primary & secondary education

Raising Standards of Literacy Across Primary Education

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:00

Thursday 17 October 2019

Central London


This Forum will provide an opportunity to discuss best practice teaching and learning for English Literacy for Early Years, Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 (KS2). Key stakeholders, including the UK Literacy Association and the National Literacy Trust, will share successful methods for supporting primary schools to improve English Literacy attainment levels. In addition, a range of outstanding case studies will share proven ways of raising standards of English Literacy through robust curriculum design, adopting innovative teaching methods, and working in partnership with the voluntary sector.


This Forum is specifically designed for Primary Schools. Typical job titles will include:

  • Headteachers
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • Teachers of English Language and Literature
  • Heads of English
  • Directors of English
  • Key Stage 1 and 2 Leads and Classroom Teachers 
  • Faculty Leaders for English
  • Heads & Directors of Early Years
  • Early Years Leaders
  • Curriculum Leaders
  • Curriculum and Qualification Specialists
  • English Literacy Education Consultants

This Forum is also open to the wider Education Sector, Local Government and the Voluntary and Private Sectors to encourage networking and debate.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Cathy Burnett, President Elect, UK Literacy Association
  • Alex Charalambous, Head of Educational Development, The Children’s Literacy Charity
  • Fiona Evans, Head of School Programmes, National Literacy Trust
  • Anjali Patel, Lead Advisory Teacher, Centre for Literacy in Primary Education 
View the agenda and additional speakers

According to research conducted by the National Literacy Trust, children born into communities with the most serious literacy challenges have some of the lowest life expectancies in England. One in eight disadvantaged children in the UK reported that they don’t have a book of their own. Poor access to books and low literacy levels at a young age also has a knock-on effect later in life, reflected in the fact that 7.1 million adults in England (16.4%) have very poor literacy skills.

In September 2018, the Department for Education updated their Literacy and Numeracy Catch-Up Strategies Report. The review was centred on strategies for teachers, providing them with evidence-based interventions to better support low-attaining pupils in literacy at the end of key stage 2. The report offered several interventions on phonics literacy, summer schools, oral language interventions and blended literacy interventions. The review also offered guidance and advice for pupils to ensure a smooth transfer and transition from primary to secondary school for literacy teaching. Furthermore, in November 2018 the DfE released the Improving the Home Learning Environment report, which is designed to help promote early language and literacy development at home through a behaviour change approach.

In light of the high number of children with poor levels of literacy, especially among children in disadvantaged areas of the UK, it is imperative that KS1 and KS2 teachers and subject leads work together, alongside the voluntary sector, to ensure high-quality, evidence-based and engaging teaching to successfully improve literacy attainment levels.

James Jenden, Primary Schools Programme Officer, Palace For Life Foundation

My name is James Jenden and I am the Primary schools officer at the official charity of Crystal Palace FC- Palace for Life Foundation. I am a football coach at heart, progressing into primary school coaching early into my career with Palace for Life. My Role includes leading on our reading stars and moving maths programmes alongside heading up our primary school tournaments and festivals within the foundation also co-leading in PE and after school clubs. I love working with primary schools delivering different programmes helping young people learn, develop and smile.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Janet Douglas Gardner, Senior Lecturer Early Years and Primary Initial Teacher Education, London Metropolitan University (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Literacy Landscape Across the Primary Education Sector

  • Outlining the current landscape of literacy learning across primary schools across the UK
  • Highlighting the work of the UK Literacy Association in supporting primary schools to improve their literacy teaching and creating engaging learning methods
  • Understanding the importance of providing space for teachers, student teachers, librarians and others to enrich their pupils understanding of reading for pleasure and how this can be funded/embedded into the curriculum 
  • Examining the current challenges facing the education sector regarding literacy improvements and attainment, such as funding and resources

Cathy Burnett, President Elect, UK Literacy Association (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Supporting Schools to Increase Pupil’s Engagement with Reading to Improve Literacy

  • Outlining the key findings of CLPE’s Power of Pictures report 2019, such as how supporting children to learn through picture books has a direct positive impact on improving their literacy levels
  • Examining how CLPE support primary schools to raise awareness and encourage their pupils to read and provide best practice phonics and early language teaching guidance through the English School Hub
  • Sharing the free online resources CLPE offer to primary schools to ensure they embed reading skills throughout the curriculum, such as classroom activities and teaching sequences
  • Analysing the training CLPE offer to primary schools to encourage the power of reading and embed family learning into children’s lives to improve literacy development

Anjali Patel, Lead Advisory Teacher, Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Establishing an Award Winning English Curriculum to Develop Pupil's Literacy Skills

  • Outlining the process of creating an English teaching curriculum which promotes a love for reading, collaborative learning and supports pupils to retain literacy knowledge
  • Examining how reading was embedded into the new curriculum, which includes books with enriching vocabulary, as well as a weekly ‘drop everything and read’ time
  • Sharing guidance on how to implement Kagan Structures across a successful literacy curriculum, ensuring children communicate, debate and reason with each other as part collaborative learning
  • Highlighting the overall impact of the English and Literacy curriculum, including how it provided a stimulating learning experience and improve pupil’s literacy skills

Winner of the TES English Team of the Year 

Michelle Garton, Assistant Head and English Teacher, Wyndham Primary Academy (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Utilising Volunteers to Improve Literacy Teaching and Learning

Jared Baird, Headteacher, Sacred Heart & St. Mary’s RC Primary Schools (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Empowering Communities to Improve Literacy Development Through Local Solutions

  • Examining how the NLT works in partnerships with local authorities and community organisations to tackle literacy issues and deliver long-lasting change
  • Outlining the process of establishing the Read Manchester campaign alongside Manchester City Council, designed to promote reading and boost literacy throughout the city
  • Highlighting how the NLT Hubs help to raise literacy levels by providing a specific local approach, not a ‘one size fits all’ approach, including working collaboratively with local schools
  • Sharing how NLT deliver local media campaigns to increase awareness of the importance of literacy as part of each local hub

Fiona Evans, Head of School Programmes, National Literacy Trust (NLT) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Closing the Literacy Gap For Children in Disadvantaged Areas Across the UK

  • Outlining the specialist one-to-one literacy tutoring support offered by the Children’s Literacy Charity for disadvantaged children
  • Examining how the Children’s Literacy Charity works closely with schools and communities to identify the children who need the greatest support around reading, comprehension, writing, speaking and listening
  • Exploring the Community Literacy Labs, an out of school service where schools and local community organisations partner together to reach children struggling with literacy development to provide learning support
  • Highlighting the support offered to teachers and parents by the Children’s Literacy Charity, such as vocabulary and EAL workshops

Alex Charalambous, Head of Educational Development, The Children’s Literacy Charity (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Utilising Sports to Widen Learning Opportunities and Improve Literacy

  • Supporting schools to improve the quality of reading across South London through the Premier League Reading Starts programme, designed to stimulate engagement in KS2 pupils who are struggling to reach the expected levels of reading
  • Outlining how the programme links together classroom learning and football-related resources to expand the English curriculum and improve reading/literacy skills
  • Sharing guidance on how schools can work with the National Literacy Trust, Premier league and local organisations like Palace For Life Foundation to widen learning opportunities for their pupils and improve literacy levels
  • Highlighting the positive impact of the programme has had on pupil attainment and their attitude towards reading

James Jenden, Primary Schools Programme Officer, Palace For Life Foundation (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Developing Creative Writing Skills Through an Innovative Pilot Scheme

  • Outlining how Tadcaster Primary Academy partnered with York Dance Space to deliver the “Developing Choreographers of Learning: Improving Literacy Through Dance” programme
  • Highlighting how the programme utilised expression and experience of dance to help develop descriptive writing, bringing together art and education to improve literacy skills for pupils
  • Examining the key lessons of the pilot programme, such as how it improved writing skills by engaging pupil and teacher in a co-learning adventure
  • Sharing how Ebor Academy partnered with Paul Hamlyn Foundation to utilise the pilot as part of their teacher development programme

Tim Moat, Director of Communications and Development, Ebor Academies Trust (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair’s Summary and Close

*Programme subject to change

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