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Cardiff 2016

Reading Outside the Box

Reading Outside the Box

On Monday 14th November we held a one day conference, Reading Outside the Box,  at the inspiring and creative venue of the Dr Who Experience in Cardiff.

 

Packed with fantastic speakers and session, the conference focussed on strategies and ideas around reading for pleasure and it's proven wide-ranging effect on children and young people. 

"Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers", according to research from the Institute of Education and of the many benefits we gain from reading it is also a proven stress reliever and a contributing factor in promoting well being and good mental health. For these reasons our conference foci was very relevant and topical and stimulated much discussion on the day. 

 

The Dr Who Experience is a custom - built exhibition and corporate function space located a stone's throw from the BBC studios in Cardiff Bay where Dr Who is filmed. We occupied the private function room in the first floor as well as the exhibition space itself, where delegates were able to immerse themselves in the keynotes and workshops amid the collection of extraordinary props and artefacts from over 50 years of this amazingly creative programme. 

Session Details

10:00-11:00
Reading for Pleasure: Creating Lifelong Learners

Jo Bowers

Reading for pleasure is identified as a key factor in raising reading achievement. Sitting down with a good book is a pleasure, with gains to be made in all aspects of literacy, as well as adults and young people's wellbeing. This talk shares some insights into how to develop children's enjoyment of reading to create lifelong readers.

This talk is aimed at everyone interested in supporting children's reading.

11:15-12:15
Masters of Invention Poetry Workshop: Roald Dahl 100

Sophie McKeand

‘You mean whales’, Sophie said. ‘Wales is something quite different.’

‘Wales is whales’, the Giant said. ‘Don’t gobblefunk around with words. I will now give you another example. Human beans from Jersey has a most disgustable woolly tickle on the tongue… human beans from Jersey is tasting of cardigans.’ – Roald Dahl, The BFG.

Creating nonsense words and language was something Roald Dahl delighted in with his phlantasmagozgical use of language and ribble ticklistic plays-on-words. Working together our group will be Masters of Invention. You’ll climb inside words, chew and garble and tear them up in order to create a new poem together with Sophie.

This workshop is an adapted version of a Roald Dahl 100 workshop aimed at children and young people aged 8-13, providing us with tips and ideas we can take back and use with young people in our own contexts.

12:15-12:45
Author Fest

Ruth Morgan and Eloise Williams

(Supported by Firefly Press)

Ruth Morgan's lifelong love of ghost stories, strange tales and sci-fi was born in the school library of Ysgol Pantycelyn in Llandovery, her home town. After studying English at Cardiff University, she was inspired to start writing stories for her own pupils as a young teacher.

Now settled in Penarth, Ruth's life is an enjoyable balancing act between caring for family and her two long and varied careers as a children's author and primary teacher.

Eloise Williams grew up in Llantrisant. She now lives in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, very close to the beach where she walks her dog Watson Jones and collects sea glass. She worked in the theatre in wardrobe, then studied Drama. After working for over ten years as an actress, she studied for a Masters in Creative Writing at Swansea University. Elen's Island is her first book and was published by Firefly in March 2015. Her next book, Gaslight, is due out in 2017.

14:10-14:55
Making it Happen: R4P in the school library

Joy Court will share the research that will convince your line manager that R4P is vital to your school’s success and provide lots of ideas to help you build a reading culture and get kids reading.

14:10-14:55
Bringing Everyone On Board: Ways to highlight that reading is a whole school responsibility

Lin Smith

Schools are increasingly expected to show evidence of both wider, curricular-related reading and to demonstrate that they are operating strategies which actively engage students in developing their personal reading journeys. Busy teachers may be unaware of their own role in helping to promote reading throughout the school.

This workshop is intended to illustrate how all colleagues might focus on this aspect of being an educator. In addition, time will be allocated to consider ways in which librarians and teachers might use the whole school development plans to promote reading for enjoyment across all key stages.

14:10-14:55
Smaller on the Outside: Sneaky Reading and the many benefits of Popular Interest Clubs in school libraries

Liz Smith

School libraries have a fundamental role to play in opening up and developing learning and reading opportunities for all, breaking down barriers. The session is aimed at colleagues interested in using the power of popular interest clubs to promote reading, diversity, well-being and inclusion. Using as its focus the particular example of the Doctor Who club set up at Pembroke School, the workshop will explore the wide-ranging impact such a popular interest club can have. Delegates will be given an insight into the inception of the club, its rationale and its activities, together with its ongoing challenges and successes, and have the opportunity to discuss possibilities in their own context for establishing similar clubs and activities.

15:20-16:00
Holly Smale in conversation with Joy Court

(Supported by HarperCollins)

Holly Smale is the author of Geek Girl, Model Misfit, Picture Perfect and All That Glitters. She was unexpectedly spotted by a top London modelling agency at the age of fifteen and spent the following two years falling over on catwalks, going bright red and breaking things she couldn't afford to replace. By the time Holly had graduated from Bristol University with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Shakespeare she had given up modelling and set herself on the path to becoming a writer.

Geek Girl was the number 1 bestselling young adult fiction title in the UK in 2013. It was shortlisted for several major awards including the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Branford Boase Award, nominated for the Queen of Teen Award and won the Teen and Young Adult category of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the 11-14 category of the Leeds Book Award.

Holly has kindly stepped in as Jenny Valentine is unable to attend.

Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Jo Bowers

Principal Lecturer, Primary Education (Literacy), Cardiff Metropolitan School of Education

Jo Bowers is the Associate Dean for Enterprise and a Principal Lecturer in Primary Education (Literacy) in the School of Education at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Prior to this appointment, she was a primary school teacher for 20 years and a literacy coordinator for 15 of those years. One of Jo's passions and research interests is children's literature and children reading for pleasure and becoming lifelong readers.

She is the editor of the primary teachers' literacy journal, English 4-11, the Wales representative for the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) and organises literary events for students and teachers at the university.

SOPHIE MCKEAND

Writer, poet, performer and Young People's Laureate Wales 2016-2018

Writing on the Young People's Laureate website, Sophie says:

"I am proud to work and live in Wales - a country with a world-renown literary tradition in two languages: Cymraeg and English. It was an honour to be asked to be the next Young People's Laureate for Wales, especially through such an impressive time of innovation and transformation in our schools, when creativity is being actively stitched into the heart of our children's education (through the implementation of the Successful Futures report), and I hope the YPL role will play some small part in encouraging our next generations to engage with our literary culture.

I've come to realise our future creatives may be the young people who don't fit the mould: the kid staring out the window scribbling notes in the margins; the dreamer, the round peg forced into a square hole, and I feel confident that Cymru's new creative approach to schooling will support our young people to evolve and grow into confident members of society."

Sophie's writing is an exploration of the fluid nature of time, language and memory within the geographical context of Y Gogledd Cymru (the place of her birth). A love of performing poetry has taken Sophie to forests, cafes, Welsh government environmental conferences and festivals across the UK. As an experienced poetry workshop facilitator Sophie runs poetry workshops for various Literature Wales projects, such as the Hay Festival Scribblers Tour outreach scheme, the 100 Years of Dylan Thomas project, and the Cardiff Millennium Centre's Under the Spelling Wall programme. She also works freelance for the Arts Council Wales Young Promoter Night Out scheme.

HOLLY SMALE

Holly Smale is the author of Geek Girl, Model Misfit, Picture Perfect and All That Glitters. She was unexpectedly spotted by a top London modelling agency at the age of fifteen and spent the following two years falling over on catwalks, going bright red and breaking things she couldn't afford to replace. By the time Holly had graduated from Bristol University with a BA in English Literature and an MA in Shakespeare she had given up modelling and set herself on the path to becoming a writer.

Geek Girl was the number 1 bestselling young adult fiction title in the UK in 2013. It was shortlisted for several major awards including the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Branford Boase Award, nominated for the Queen of Teen Award and won the Teen and Young Adult category of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the 11-14 category of the Leeds Book Award.

AUTHORS FROM FIREFLY PRESS

Firefly Press is an independent children’s and YA publisher based in Cardiff and Aberystwyth. Set up in 2013, Firefly is the only dedicated children’s publisher in Wales and publishes quality fiction for 5-19 year olds. Their stated aim is to publish books by great authors and illustrators wherever they are from.

RUTH MORGAN

Ruth Morgan's lifelong love of ghost stories, strange tales and sci-fi was born in the school library of Ysgol Pantycelyn in Llandovery, her home town. After studying English at Cardiff University, she was inspired to start writing stories for her own pupils as a young teacher.

Now settled in Penarth, Ruth's life is an enjoyable balancing act between caring for family and her two long and varied careers as a children's author and primary teacher.

ELOISE WILLIAMS

Eloise Williams grew up in Llantrisant. She now lives in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, very close to the beach where she walks her dog Watson Jones and collects sea glass. She worked in the theatre in wardrobe, then studied Drama. After working for over ten years as an actress, she studied for a Masters in Creative Writing at Swansea University. Elen's Island is her first book and was published by Firefly in March 2015. Her next book, Gaslight, is due out in 2017.

Workshop Leaders

JOY COURT

SLA Reviews Editor, Chair of CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Awards Working Party

Joy is Reviews Editor for the School Librarian and Chair of the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals Working Party. She used to run the Schools Library Service in Coventry, but now just concentrates on books as a freelance consultant! She is also a member of the National Council of the United Kingdom Literacy Association where she sits on the selection panel for the UKLA Book Awards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of The English Association.

LIN SMITH

Independent Trainer and Libraries in Schools Consultant

Since retiring from work in schools, which spanned more than two decades, Lin has been delivering training to librarians and teachers. Although Lin has a keen interest in Information Literacy, she is also passionate about the need for children to enjoy reading in all forms and for them to develop reading stamina. This should be supported with an improved whole school focus on reading more widely.

Lin's term of office with the SLA Board ended in June this year. However, she remains the organiser for the Kids' Lit Quiz East Midlands heat, currently hosted in Derbyshire. She was also Chair of the judging panel for the 2015/2016 Pupil Library Assistant Award and is a CILIP mentor.

LIZ SMITH

Librarian at Pembroke School, West Wales

Liz Smith is the Librarian at Pembroke School, a large 11-18 comprehensive school in West Wales, where she has worked for over 19 years, enjoying the demands, challenges and unique rewards involved in developing a vibrant and inclusive school library.

Convinced that pupil-centred activities are vital, and inspired by pupils' diverse interests, she has set up and run a number of different clubs as part of a varied reading programme in school, including a manga club, two reading groups, and a Doctor Who club.

It was the latter which led her in her current role as Training Coordinator and elected member of the SLA Board, to consider the creative and stimulating venue of the Doctor Who Experience for a course on reading for pleasure.

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