The Association for the Teaching of English is organising three conferences about teaching English in the primary school this autumn. They will focus on the curriculum at key stage 2, although they will also be relevant to key stages 1 and 3.
There are two main aims. The first is to discuss the English subject knowledge now expected of primary teachers, what this means in terms of classroom management, resources and teacher training and how it relates to notions of good educational practice. The second is to provide - through workshops - a variety of practical ideas and strategies that teachers can take up and adapt to their own needs. It is hoped that they will leave the conferences on Saturday with ideas that they can put into immediate use on Monday.
All three conferences will be on Saturdays from 9.30am to 4pm. At the first, in Manchester on November 16, Angel Scott, a lecturer at the Durham University School of Education, and Richard Bain, deputy headteacher and author of the very successful Grammar Book will be the keynote speakers. The workshops will be led by Bob Bibby, Chris Warren, Jeff Wilkinson and Jackie Marsh and will cover different aspects of the English curriculum, including oracy, writing, IT and response to literature. Participants will have a chance to attend two workshops.
At the second conference, on November 23 in Norwich, Sue Hackman, the English adviser in Surrey, and Graham Frater, formerly the Staff Inspector for English, will be the keynote speakers, leading discussion on the ways in which progressive teaching methods can be used to reclaim basic skills and specific ways of developing literacy. Two of the workshops will be led by Terry Furlong and Helen Bromley, who are well known experts on a range of primary issues.
At Bristol, on November 30, Martin Tibbetts, headteacher of a dynamic primary school in Staffordshire, will open the conference and Margaret Meek Spencer, well known throughout the English-speaking world for her work on literacy and children's reading, will speak in the afternoon.
Further details of these conferences can be obtained from the NATE office at 50 Broadfield Road, Sheffield S8 0XJ. Tel: 0114 255 5419, Fax: 0114 255 5296.