With 2 months to go until Teaching School South West’s (TSSW) Literacy Conference SW 2019, delegates now have the chance to choose from a number of inspiring workshops to take part in on the day!
In addition to 3 keynote speeches from Ruth Miskin CBE, Daisy Christodoulou and Lindsay Skinner – 16 workshops have been arranged from regional and national literacy experts. More details below:
Ruth Miskin CBE | Ruth Miskin Training
‘Every child can read’
Daisy Christodoulou | No More Marking
‘Seven Myths About Education: Why Knowledge Matters’
Lindsay Skinner | Author / PiXL Associate / Headteacher
‘Crafting Brilliant Sentences’
Lindsay Skinner | Author/PiXL Associate/Head Teacher
‘Knowledge & Vocabulary’
Daisy Christodoulou | Director of Education No More Marking/Author
‘No More Marking – A Comparative Judgement Approach’
Dr Annabel Watson |Senior Lecturer at University of Exeter
‘Beyond Acronyms: Arguing Outside A Forest And Forgetting To PEE’
Donna Briggs | Deputy Director of Plymouth Teaching School Alliance
‘The Plymouth Oracy Project: Oracy At The Heart’
David Baker | Curriculum Manager for AQA
‘Writing For GCSE English Language Paper 1 & 2’
Julie Fossey & Claire Palmer | Deputy Head and Key Stage Leader at West Exe School, part of the Ted Wragg Multi Academy Trust
‘Improving Literacy Across The Curriculum’
Stress can impact our mental health and can mean we struggle at work and don't feel able to cope with everyday life. There are things we can do to improve our mental wellbeing, and Able Futures can help mental health at work by providing advice, information and support.
If you live with mental health difficulties, you know there are good days and bad days. You also know the bad days can affect you at work. You probably find it hard to focus or perform at your best. The aim of Able Futures is to help you enjoy more good days.
With support, signposting and information from a qualified mental health professional, you could learn more about your mental health, understand how you can access treatment for any mental health problems and connect with other people and support organisations who know what it's like to live with a mental health problem. The service is fast, flexible and, best of all, there is no charge to use this service.
Enjoy more good days
Able Futures can help you manage your mental health at work so you can enjoy more good days. Call Able Futures free on 0800 321 3137 from 8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or apply online.
Able Futures delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. It could be available to you if you are you aged 16 or over, are in work or about to start work, live in Great Britain and have mental health difficulties that impact upon your work.
Click on the Able Futures logo below for more information.
Improving Teachers'/Teaching Assistants' knowledge and understanding of Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) within education to improve outcomes for children
Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) are the biggest area of special educational need for children in primary schools. Long term, persistent SLCN, including Developmental Language Disorder, affect around 10% of children in the UK (talkingpoint.org.uk). In areas of social disadvantage, this number can rise to 50% of children starting school without the communication skills they need to fulfil their potential (Talking about a Generation, The Communication Trust 2017).
Nationally, Headteachers are citing SLCN and children starting school with poor language skills as one of their biggest area of concerns. In response to this the government has begun to fund projects to close the word gap and has just launched ‘Hungry Little Minds’ a project to develop communication skills in the under 5s.
To add a local context, our school data (October 2018) showed that 85% of the children assessed in the ‘Talk More’ screening for 2 year olds failed to meet the expected standard and 39% of pupils failed the Speech and Language Link screening of understanding on school entry.
On further data analysis, school leaders found that children with SLCN struggle to close the attainment gap and continue to achieve significantly below the expected standards throughout their primary education.
In light of research findings that “vocabulary by the age 4 is the best predictor of achievement at age 16 out of all measures yet studied.” (Roulstone et al 2011), three Exeter primary schools undertook this action research project with Talk Matters South West. The aim was to train staff in effective talk strategies and embed a systematic approach to developing language skills to improve the outcomes of children who start school with SLCN.
To begin to meet these significant needs, our action research project has focused on:
School leaders in each school setting tracked the impact of these strategies, on children’s communication skills in each of the early year’s settings.
This project intended to raise awareness and improve professional skills amongst school staff in order that they can better support children with SLCN in their schools.
We are excited to see what this academic year (our 4th year of operation) has in store. 18/19 was busy with new schools joining us and we covered our highest number of supply bookings to date, 4,854 (an additional 2,204 bookings since our first year!).
It has been a great summer recruiting more teachers and teaching assistants to join our existing fantastic team. We had a very successful recruitment day and in total have welcomed 38 new team members. This takes our total number of supply teachers and teaching assistants to 125.
We are working on some exciting new plans, including:
We already have some key events in this year’s diary including the DAPH Conference, University of Exeter Recruitment Fair and Marjon University Teacher Employability Fair. We are looking forward to attending them all.
Our key targets for this year are:
It’s shaping up to be another busy year!
Building on the success of a smaller, pilot project that involved 4 schools in the previous academic year Exeter Consortium offered a course to develop early years professionals’ understanding of the importance of working memory. The course ran over two terms and was led by Jon Maxwell-Batten, retired Educational Psychologist, Tania Beard, Headteacher of St Martin’s Primary and Nursery School and Mel Turl, Assistant Head and Early Years Lead at St Martin’s Primary and Nursery School.
The aims of the project were to:
The course participants were made up of a majority of early years practitioners but included professionals from other settings and age ranges. Everyone who attended the course was given a copy of 2 books with games that can be played in the setting/school or at home. The books were written by Mark Hill and Katy Hill and are currently in print.
The books give many ideas for games to improve children’s working memory and these can be adapted and changed to meet the needs of the child/ren, school or setting.
Each school/setting that took part in the project has given an overview of how they implemented what they had learnt and shared a story about an individual child. Not all settings/schools have supplied quantitative data but the stories they have shared give an indication of outcomes for the children. The stories have been anonymised but if there is a particular approach you are interested in you can contact Tania Beard at St Martin’s C of E Primary and Nursery School - firstname.lastname@example.org - she will liaise with the school, and, if they are willing, will arrange an email introduction.
Please find a copy of the report here: Working Memory Report. The report also includes information about additional resources to support schools in strengthening working memory with children.