‘Closing the Literacy Gap’ was a big success | 263 Reading Leaders gain accreditation | Provident fund

06 Jul ‘Closing the Literacy Gap’ was a big success | 263 Reading Leaders gain accreditation | Provident fund

Our conference brings together those passionate about ‘Closing the Literacy Gap’


Tom Palmer, Andy Seed, Rachel Kelly, Amy Mortimer and Matt Bromley at ‘Closing the Literacy Gap’
Over 150 people attended our annual literacy conference on the 29th of June which addressed the issue of ‘Closing the Literacy Gap’ and strategies that can help children from disadvantaged backgrounds achieve the same as their peers.

The inspiring event was held at Bradford City Football Stadium and brought literacy experts and academics together with teachers and other education professionals to share key ideas on how to help children achieve their potential.

We were joined by popular children’s authors, Tom Palmer and Andy Seed who both shared ideas on how to make reading more accessible for children and the role that authors play in igniting a love of reading and a desire to write.

The keynote speech was delivered by Bradford-born Matt Bromley, a leading education writer and consultant who spoke about the importance of reading on social mobility and how the “word rich” will inevitably become more affluent and the “word poor” more impoverished. He implored teachers and parents, who have the “superpower” of being literate, to pass it on and stressed how fundamental it is for parents to read to children at home.

The highlight of the day was when children from two of our partner schools in Bradford, Dixon’s Kings Academy and Bowling Park Primary School, spoke to the enthralled delegates about the positive impact our Reading Leaders training has had on their confidence and reading skills.

The other expert speakers were Dr Paula Clarke of The University of Leeds who shared strategies for teaching language comprehension to support children that struggle, Deborah Bullivant of the Grimm and Co social enterprise in Rotherham that uses a magical apothecary shop as the inspiration for creative writing and Rachel Van Riel who shared tips on how to make library spaces for children as attractive and accessible as possible.

Workshops covered topics relevant to ‘Closing the Literacy Gap’ including removing barriers to reading, the best ways to support those with English as an additional language, sensory processing, speech rhythm, laying phonics foundations and using comics in the classroom. Please note that all powerpoint presentations have now been loaded onto our website and can be found here.

Delegate feedback has been overwhelmingly positive with comments including, “A fantastic event – the speakers were interesting and the networking and exhibitors very informative” and “A really useful and enjoyable event – thank you!”.

There were lots of key organisations exhibiting at the event including Oxford University Press, Jolly Learning and First News and an expansive and fabulously colourful bookshop was provided by the school book specialists Madeleine Lindley.

We would like to sincerely thank all our delegates, speakers, workshop leaders and exhibitors for making the conference such a success. Keep reading your eBulletins for information about future events.

263 Reading Leaders gain accreditation

We are delighted to announce that an amazing 263 Reading Leaders from secondary schools gained their Level 2 accreditation in Supporting Reading Skills this Summer term. Reading Leaders are older pupils who act as positive role models and support younger pupils one to one with reading in school. In order to achieve the accreditation, Reading Leaders complete evaluation tasks during their training day with Reading Matters and are subsequently required to fill in log sheets to record the details of their reading partnerships. The accreditation is a brilliant way of demonstrating to higher education establishments and employers important qualities such as working on your own initiative, organisation skills and, of course, volunteering and compassion for others. Certa UK, who externally verify the Reading Matters’ accreditation awarded us their highest possible rating for quality of service and commented “It is clear that this programme is of incredible benefit to both the learner (Reading Leader) and their reading partner(s)”.

Help us to benefit from the Provident Good Neighbour fund

We are thrilled to have been shortlisted to receive funding from the Provident Good Neighbour programme and now have the opportunity to gain up to £2000 to support our life changing, vital work. However, we need your help; Provident would like you to choose which project or charity you would most like them to support. It’s simple! All you have to do is follow this link and vote for Reading Matters. We would also be really grateful if you could share our Twitter posts about the voting opportunity and encourage friends and family to support us as well. Fingers crossed that we will be successful and be able to help many more children to read well and reach their potential.

We’re searching for Bradford’s Young War Poet…

We are planning a creative writing competition in partnership with Bradford’s Kirkgate Shopping for Remembrance Day 2017. We’ll be asking local schools, theatres, creative writing groups and individuals (under 16) to write a poem on the topic of war to help us remember our war heroes this November.  It’s a great opportunity for children to practice their writing and reading skills – with the chance to win a brilliant prize and perform their poem live at the centre with the Royal British Legion too. Watch this space! Full details will be revealed when the competition launches this September.

Happy reading!

From the team at Reading Matters


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