#RRGoesToUni Liverpool 2019 – The Workshops


There are two slots for workshops during the day. You will be able to sign up to your chosen workshops at registration.

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Workshop Slot 1 11:30am to 12:15pm:

Sinead Gaffney and Martin Galway:

@shinpad1 @GalwayMr

Sinead Gaffney

Sinéad is Deputy Headteacher at Lydgate Infant School in Sheffield. She has been a primary teacher for just under twenty years and believes teaching children to read is the most important part of the best job in the world. Sinead is an SLE with Learning Unlimited TSA and a moderator with Learn Sheffield. She has an MPhil from the University of Sheffield and her research focussed on teachers’ beliefs about literacy-teaching. She is a strong advocate for teaching becoming a more research-literate and research-involved profession. She can be contacted via her twitter handle, @shinpad1.

Martin Galway

Martin is an English Teaching and Learning Adviser at Herts for Learning. He chiefly works in Herts, delivering central training and in-school support across the primary (and KS3) curriculum. He is increasingly working further afield usually in relation to reading comprehension, oracy, and the teaching of writing. Martin has taught across the primary phase, led English in a very successful school, and in a much earlier guise lectured in film. He writes regularly, on literature on his own blog (www https://quietfireworks.blog/ ) and writes for, and manages, the highly acclaimed Herts Primary English blog and twiiter account. He can be contacted via his twitter handle @galwaymr.

This will be part one of Sinead and Martin’s talk. They have so much bookish wisdom to share, we’ve given them a double slot!

Reading on trial: three takes on developing reading in the classroom

Taking a critical look at reading instruction from differing viewpoints within the current educational landscape, Sinead and Martin will interrogate the research evidence, and how this translates into practice.
They will  explore three different approaches to developing reading in the classroom – whole class, small group, individual – and draw out the strengths and limitations of each method, identifying possible implications for the organisation of teaching and learning.Touching on the importance of modelling, scaffolding and independent activity and triangulated against the research into how children learn to read, Sinead and Martin will explore how the growing skills and knowledge of the children might be reflected in the pedagogy used. Models of reading and evidence will be explored and discussed, with particular reference to recent work by the likes of Cain and Oakhill, Nation, Castle and Rastle, Stuart and Stainthorp, alongside landmark studies, and the session will consider some of the secondary reporting of related research by the likes of Willingham and Lemov, and how well these might transfer to the primary classroom.

Laura Baxter:


laura bLaura is a Phase Leader, English Lead, and Curriculum Lead in a North West primary school.




Reluctant Readers:

In Laura’s workshop, she will share practical advice for supporting and encouraging reluctant readers.

Alex Harris from BBC Teach:

@BBC_Teach https://www.bbc.com/teach

Alex Harris is the commissioning producer at BBC Teach, the home of all the BBC’s teacher-facing content: Class Clips (short form films for the classroom); BBC Live Lessons, BBC School Radio and year-round classroom projects like Ten Pieces and Terrific Scientific. BBC Teach is the 2018 winner of Learning on Screen’s Online Educational Resource of the Year award. Between 2011 and 2017, Alex produced content for BBC Children’s and has been involved with popular CBeebies brands such as Swashbuckle, Justin’s House and Go Jetters.

Bring your lessons to life with BBC Teach

Join us to find out how to make the most of free educational learning resources from BBC Teach including Bringing Books to Life, Shakespeare in Shorts and Understanding Poetry. Bring your lessons to life with BBC Teach, home to all the BBC’s free curriculum-mapped short films & resources for teachers and schools.

Clair Freeman from Reading Solutions:

@ReadSolutionsUK https://readingsolutionsuk.co.uk/

Reading Plus logo

Reading Solutions UK Ltd was established in 2014 to provide technology-based solutions to schools and educational establishments that support reading development. Their aim is to foster a love for reading so that learners become lifelong readers.

Reading Solutions UK Ltd  is the sole re-seller of Reading Plus in the UK and Ireland, a web-based program that is evidence-proven to develop vocabulary and reading stamina. Evidences suggests that pupils who use Reading Plus® consistently with efficacy (both in school and at home) develop the crucial silent reading skills of silent reading fluency and stamina, which are the building blocks for reading with metacognition. The feedback from the 400+ schools that currently use Reading Plus® nationally is that impact from the program is closely linked to long-term attainment and success at KS2 SATs.

The Importance of Fluency: Success at Key Stage2 SATs

The impact of reading development and comprehension in KS2 SATs performance.

Ashley Booth:

@mrboothy6 https://theteachingbooth.wordpress.com/

ashleyAshley is a Year 6 Teacher, Teaching and Learning Leader at @stsilasschool . He is also an SLE for Maths and English and writes for The Literacy Shed.




Whole Class Reading

Ditching the carousel and moving towards engaging the whole class in reading instruction and ensuring good progress for all.

Bronnie Mayho from Bookwagon:

@bookwagonuk https://bookwagon.co.uk/


Happy years of educating with reading specialism evolved into Bookwagon,  as independent children’s booksellers that describe and recommend books that we have read and loved only. Our focus is upon supporting a reading for pleasure culture in families and schools.



Once upon a time there was a story

Story telling is the essence of humanity. Bookwagon shows how using storytelling across the curriculum inspires and extends learning possibility and pleasure.

Tricia Millar:

@TRT_Tricia   https://thatreadingthing.com/

pp78IYKd_400x400Tricia created That Reading Thing while volunteering at an EBD school and the local youth offending team. As an English teacher and youth worker, she saw a huge need for age-appropriate literacy materials that worked fast, led to measureable gains and preserved the dignity of young people embarrassed by their reading struggles. She’s currently one of the lead authors working on the new DfE phonics resources for the post-16 sector.

Beyond Cracking The Code

How do we help the young person who appears to read the text but doesn’t understand it? How do we help the young person who says, “This is stupid” and refuses to read anything? Beyond Cracking the Code looks at age-appropriate strategies from phonics and beyond that help all students experience reading success at secondary school. (Year 6 teachers concerned about transition are also welcome!)

Wayne Tennent:


A further opportunity to hear more form Wayne in this workshop.

Wayne Tennent is a Senior Lecturer in Education at Brunel University London. He teaches on the Primary PGCE and MA Education programmes.  He is interested in literacy generally, and the reading comprehension process specifically. He has worked for a number of years with schools – both primary and secondary – developing pedagogical practices to support the teaching of reading comprehension. Wayne has over 20 years’ experience as a teacher and still works with children on a regular basis. His book, Understanding Reading Comprehension, was published in 2015 and will be going into its second edition next year.  His co-authored book Guiding Readers – Layers of Meaning was published in 2016 and won the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) academic book of the year award.


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Workshop Slot 2 – 2:30pm to 3:15pm:

Sinead Gaffney and Martin Galway:

@shinpad1 @GalwayMr

This will be part TWO of Sinead and Martin’s talk.

Laura Losada and Meinir Blair:

Meinir Blair

Meinir works at Woolton Primary School, a large primary school in Liverpool.She is  assistant head for teaching and learning, English lead and a year 6 teacher, so is very busy! She first met Wayne Tennent three years ago on a reading comprehension course in Manchester and he has transformed the way they teach guided reading at her school. Laura and Meinir have worked together as part of the North West Reading champions and last year took part in a reading project across the north west the results of which they delivered at the UKLA conference in Cardiff last year. She is now working on using the three question approach introduced by Wayne across the curriculum which is proving to be very successful.

Laura Losada

Laura is currently the Assistant Headteacher for Reading across 2 large primary schools in central Manchester. She has worked closely with Wayne Tennent over the last 2 years to develop a North West reading group of teachers who work together to develop pedagogical practices to support children’s reading comprehension.  @laurs26

Using the same visual text across year groups

The North West Teachers of Reading Group (NWTORG) is drawn from a cluster of primary schools in Greater Manchester and Merseyside. One aim of the group is to develop pedagogical practices to support children’s reading comprehension. With this in mind, the group undertook a project to investigate how children across the primary age phase make sense of visual texts.  Using an illustration from a picture book as a uniform stimulus across year groups (Reception to Year 6), the group analysed dialogic interactions which took place in guided reading lessons, and the post-lesson response work which followed. In this workshop the group then present their findings to show firstly, how children of different ages make sense of the same text in different ways, and secondly, how this informed their next steps in different ways. 

Karl Duke:


ICj1EPwY_400x400Headteacher with a passion for the imaginative use of picture books to develop writing.





Detail Detectives: Strategies for developing writing

A range of strategies enabling children to look in more detail at picture book illustration as an inspiration for writing.

Sarah Mears MBE from EmpathyLab



I am one of the five founders of EmpathyLab. I am an experienced Manager of children’s library services both within a local authority and nationally. I have experience in children’s public and schools library services and in Study support. I am currently Programmes Manager for  Libraries Connected: a national  development charity for public libraries.


Empathy – what, why and how. An opportunity to investigate the theory and practice behind the links between children’s literature and this vital life skill.

This  practical workshop will explore  –

  •     What EmpathyLab is.
  •     Why empathy is important.
  •     What empathy is – theories.
  •     Empathy lab impact in schools.
  •     Theories  – why reading builds empathy.
  •     Activity – the character that changed my thinking.
  •     Building blocks of Empathy/reading.
  •     Activity -testing an immersive approach.
  •     Empathy Day and a chance to get involved.

Alison Leach:

@booksfortopics   https://www.booksfortopics.com/

4DWfNFso_400x400Alison is a trained primary teacher with experience of teaching across KS1 and KS2 and leading English. She is the founder of booksfortopics.com, a website designed to assist primary school staff to find books that are high quality and appropriate to use in a primary school setting.




Building Brilliant Book Collections

In this session you will explore how to build book collections for your primary classroom or library. We’ll start by looking at different means of finding funding for your books and then we will think about which factors are important to consider in creating book collections that are both well-balanced and inspiring.

Jenny Holder


jQFhMVuk_400x400Jenny has taught for 13 years in primary schools and is currently the Reading Coordinator for Liverpool Learning Partnership, an educational charity.  Her role sees her working with teachers and schools from EYFS to secondary to develop and support reading for pleasure.


Books to help children understand mental illness

10% of children aged 5-16 have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem.  Literature featuring characters experiencing mental illness allows pupils to develop empathy and also for those in a similar position to feel less alone.  In this session, we will look at the importance of children having access to books that depict and discuss mental illness and we’ll look at a range of titles suitable for pupils in KS2 and secondary schools.

Heidi Perry from Read For Good –


Read for Good is a national literacy charity with the central aim of motivating children to read for fun. Our sponsored read (Readathon) has been running in individual schools since 1984 and has become a foundation activity in the reading life of generations of children. Children choose anything they like to read – from comics to classics and audio books to blogs. Even reluctant readers are motivated because their sponsorship helps buy much-needed brand-new books and storytellers to children in hospital as well as books for their school library. Teachers tell us it really helps create a buzz about reading in school and recent research by the National Literacy Trust and the Education Company
highlights the positive impact Readathon has on reading behaviour and its close correlation with attainment in schools.

Make reading a ‘want’ not a ‘must’

Read for Good’s workshop is designed to explore what Reading for Pleasure means to teachers; it’s on the National Curriculum, and teachers are expected to somehow squeeze it in to a busy and pressured timetable, but can Reading for Pleasure even be taught? The UK ranks joint (with Australia) lowest in the world for reading enjoyment and engagement, so
what can we do about it?

Ashley Booth:

@mrboothy6 https://theteachingbooth.wordpress.com/

ashleyAshley is a Year 6 Teacher, Teaching and Learning Leader at @stsilasschool . He is also an SLE for Maths and English and writes for The Literacy Shed.




Creating a culture of reading for pleasure

How to get your whole school reading for pleasure with a few simple steps.


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