Monthly Archives: January 2010

Sharing a platform with big names

I am very pleased to say that I will be presenting at the Literacy Forum at the Education Show in March. This features many well known names from the world of reading and children’s literature, including former children’s laureate Michael Rosen, Dr Rona Tutt OBE, chair of the board of trustees at the National Literacy Association, novelist Aidan Chambers and Wendy Cooling, who set up the Bookstart Project.

I am running a workshop in the afternoon, showing some of the materials and discussing findings from my book Screens and Pages published by NIACE.

I am particularly pleased that I will get a chance to meet Verna Wilkins, author and founder of Tamarind Books It is really hard to find books which reflect a West Indian heritage and I usually buy some titles at the special needs show in Islington each October for Christmas presents. One of my favourites is Princess Katrina and the Hair Charmer, a great celebration of the beauty of unruly curly hair.

Come and join us on Friday 5th March, at the NEC and help to shape a ‘manifesto’ publication. This will be co-ordinated by the National Literacy Association, supported by Pearson and will reflect the views of delegates and presenters on the day. The aim of the manifesto will be to change attitudes towards reading in the UK, in order to improve literacy rates and encourage more children to read for pleasure.
If you want to make a difference to literacy and have your views included in the manifesto, visit and book your tickets. Attendance to the ‘Future of Reading’ Literacy Forum is £150 plus VAT for the full day programme.

After the Forum, delegates can come to the drinks reception sponsored by Scholastic. See you there!

Bett Round-up 2010

Did you make it to Bett earlier this month? It was as busy as ever with over 30,000 visitors. There was lots to see and here is a round up of some of the key products. First there were my top ten products, ranging from Skin Deep by Northumbrian company Shoofly to My Zone, the nearest thing to a VLE for people with learning disabilities.

Then there was I Progress from Rising Stars. This was launched on stand at BETT and showed some really good resources for maths for gifted and talented pupils

Have a look at my review in the Guardian which is a round up of suppliers showing the latest products for pupil assessment and for literacy:

Those of you who are working with pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties and communication difficulties, might like to read about Laura Cryer’s class at Norfolk Park in Sheffield. They have built really good modules of work round a new piece of software called Pretty Things.

Don’t forget – next stop is the Education Show 4-6 March at the NEC in Birmingham.

Bett – The seminar …

Last week I did a seminar at BETT. Because of the heavy snow I was quite confident I would have an audience of about 6 people, duly bedraggled and damp, and would struggle to keep going in an atmosphere of gloom and despondency. well I was wrong. There were about a hundred people in total, including those sitting on the floor and standing at the back and they were an interested, interesting and knowledgeable crew so I learnt some new stuff as well.
The seminar was called Technology and the Future of Literacy
It was based on the findings of the Niace book Screens and Pages -Technology and Reading for Pleasure •

It looked at iPods, e-readers, the internet and digital literacy and you can read a review here.

I will be doing it all again at the Education Show at the National Literacy Association Campaign for Reading Conference: The Future of Reading? on Friday 5th March at 3pm