It’s official, kids are heading back to school. Join our primary conference, Everyone back to school: literacy by stealth to explore ways to reengage them in the classroom

23 Feb 2021
Girl reading football magazine.jpg

Following the Government’s announcement yesterday that pupils will be returning to school from 8 March, we’re here to support teachers in this transition and offer insight, advice and resources through our primary conference Everyone back to school: literacy by stealth (9-13 March).

As we prepare for children to get back to their usual school routine once again, how do we harness their interests and popular culture to engage them with literacy and overcome barriers between school and home to raise attainment in primary schools?

Our inaugural primary conference, Everyone back to school: literacy by stealth, will showcase some of the innovative approaches we have used to find new ways of engaging children in reading, writing and spoken language, as well as exploring the importance of popular culture in young people’s literacy development.

We will be exploring important questions such as: what are the best ways to engage pupils with reading and writing? How do we help them learn at the same time as reconnecting with their peers, friends and teachers? How do we make literacy learning appealing, fun and relevant to children who have had such a difficult year? And how do we make the most of the different ways children themselves have found to develop their literacy skills while they’ve been at home?

Experts from education, sport, media, and video games are coming together to discuss the best ways to support primary pupils’ literacy development at this time, provide innovative and classroom-ready activities for you to use and ways to support both home learning and in-school learning.

Speaker Clare D’Netto, Head Teacher at Manor Junior School in Barking, who has successfully utilized graphic novels to engage readers, says:

More than ever before teachers see the need to be creative in engaging children in literacy at home and at school. Ignore popular culture at your peril… It has a place in the hearts and minds of young people and therefore makes a powerful stealth-teaching tool in the classroom! The Literacy Trust 2021 conference is the perfect opportunity to open our eyes to teaching “Literacy by Stealth.””

Speaker Constance Stienkuehler Squire professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine comments:

“I plan to dive into how games reorganize literacy activities (including traditional print reading and writing) rather than replace them. I also plan to detail a series of studies show how interest impacts reading, leading to game-related text as a savvy strategy to increase reading and academic vocabulary, especially among teen boys.”

The stellar line-up also includes, bestselling author Tom Palmer, UK comics laureate Hannah Berry and Dr Sally Bushell, who led on the creation of Litcraft. The winner of the Ruth Rendell Award, Hip hop artist, poet and author Karl Nova will round off our conference with a celebration primary literacy.

Here's Tom Palmer explaining what he's got in store for his talk at the conference:

The conference takes place from 9-13 March. Tickets are £65 for those with full membership of the National Literacy Trust and £75 for non-members.

More information, the full schedule and list of speakers and tickets for Everyone back to school: literacy by stealth are available on our website.