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Regional Course Details

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Raising Achievement: the school library's role in supporting SEN and EAL students in KS2 and 3

Course Details:

This course looks at two areas in KS2 and 3 that present barriers to reading and learning.  The barrier may be a mental or physical disability, or a lack of language skills, and although different challenges, they both prevent students achieving as much they could.  The course shows how each of these barriers can be overcome to produce children who enjoy reading and stories, and whose learning improves as a result.


The course will give both background and context.  The background of a range of special needs will be briefly explained, along with the variety of family situations that produce EAL demands; delegates will be updated on the scale of the issues, and current government and curriculum approaches.  The context of reading for pleasure, and some general principles, will also be outlined.  Most of the course will then examine the school’s response (especially via the school library), looking at appropriate resources, creating an attractive library environment, and promotional activities to consider.


Delegates will learn a range of strategies to encourage reading and library use in groups such as these, looking at how classroom teachers and the school library can work together on these.  There will be a range of handouts, including information on resources and reading activities, along with a display of books and other media.


The course will use a mix of small group discussion sessions and whole group learning, providing information and advice from local practice and from an experienced trainer (Alec has worked in several local authorities, and runs many courses both in this country and abroad).  Delegates will learn about resources to try, activities to run, and sources of outside help – as well as creating action plans for their own schools.


Trainer: Alec Williams

Alec Williams is a trainer, speaker, and international storyteller, whose work takes him around the UK and to over thirty countries across the world – from Argentina to Korea, from the USA to Burma.  He also has wide experience of children’s books through a career in libraries, so is the ideal person for a course which shows the best of stories from books, as well as traditional tales from memory.

Alec’s performance work is with all ages of children, from Early Years to mid-teens.  He uses high-energy folk stories and brilliant picture books, along with join-in poetry and drama-filled extracts from contemporary fiction. 

A former Chair of the School Library Association, an Honorary Member of CILIP’s Youth Libraries Group, and one of the National Literacy Trust’s ‘Reading Champions’ for his work with boys, Alec is a frequent visitor to schools, and full of down-to-earth practical advice that will help every librarian and teacher.  His training courses are rich in humour, anecdotes, extracts and examples.

Key Audience:

School Librarians and library staff; teachers with responsibility for EAL and Special Needs teaching; support staff in libraries and classrooms.

Venues and Dates:

No venues/dates are currently scheduled for this course. For more information about possible future dates, please contact the SLA Office.