NATE’s annual conference is going to be a stoatir this year as the Association hosts the International Federation for the Teaching of English. Teachers of English from all across the world will gather in Birmingham to share research, ideas and practice (including Leanne Welsh and Raymond Soltysek from SATE on responding to literature).
The conference is always inspirational: you can read some reactions to it in earlier posts to this blog, and on SATE’s previous blogsite here. It never fails to enthuse, and the opportunities to meet with and chat with (and drink with) other teachers are not to be missed.
Sign up for conference here. Bear in mind that because of the benefits of the conference, it is always possible that your school or authority will cover at least part of the cost of attending and cover for your classes; if you don’t ask, you won’t get!
And to help with travel costs, you can join the SATE bus! We’ll be taking a people carrier all the way to Birmingham and back, leaving on the afternoon of Thursday 21st and returning on the 24th of June. The cost of sharing the transport hire and petrol is significantly less than a return train journey, taxis, etc., and the company isn’t bad either!
Email us at email@example.com if you’d like to join us!
SATE are currently rearranging Kenny Pieper’s SATE seminar “There’s more to life than books…but not much more” at Larbert High School, which was one of the casualties of the Beast from the East! Those who booked the previous event on the 28th of February will be contacted as soon as possible and offered a refund or a ticket at for the new date at the end of May. Thwack out for SATE on Twitter for details if you’d like to come along.
We are also delighted to announce that Simon Wrigley will be doing a seminar for us on Teacher Writing: Research and Practice. Simon is the director of the National Writing Project, will talk about what his research into the importance of teachers who write has shown and doing some practical exercises which can inform classroom practice. The date for this is the 19th of June, and the venue will be a Glasgow school. Pencil in the date!
Finally, Lisa Hamilton has announced a programme of dates for the Glasgow branch of the National Writing Project. Feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and come along to a (free) meeting soon!
April 25th – Drygate Brewing Co. 86 Drygate, Glasgow G40UT
May 30th – Thornwood Primary School, 11 Thornwood Avenue, Glasgow, G117TW
June 18th – Thornwood Primary (with Simon Wrigley)…
Meetings will start at 5pm.
Hope to see you all soon.
Sate are delighted to announce a SAE seminar with Kenny Pieper on the 28th of September at Larbert High School.
All teachers of Literacy and English, whether working in the primary or secondary sectors, are welcome to this – the latest – of the popular series of SATE Seminars. In this session – “Books – A Passport to Everywhere” – author Kenny Pieper will discuss the importance of books in our lives, how they lift and transform us, and how they may provide the key to improved life chances for all our children. He will also discuss the strategies he has used successfully in his own classroom. There might be speed-dating!
Tickets are free to students, £10 for members of SATE/NATE and £15 for non-SATE/NATE members.
Buy Kenny’s book here:
See you there!
Hyndland Secondary hosted a SATE seminar on Text Worlds in the Classroom, with Dr Marcello Giovanelli and Dr Jess Mason. You can read a report on it at the blog site of Falkirk SATE rep Leanne Welsh, here: https://nqtreflections.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/text-worlds-in-the-classroom-seminar
Other reactions soon: in the meantime, SATE will be hosting a seminar on Reading with Kenny Pieper at Larbert High School on the 28th of February: follow us on Twitter for more details soon!
Hyndland Secondary will be hosting a SATE seminar with Marcello Giovanelli and Jess Mason on Thursday 18th January from 5.45 to 7.30pm. This is a major event by two academics at the top of their game in Text World theory, stylistics, cognitive poetics and language and literature in education, and their session will be guaranteed to challenge some norms, change some perceptions and inspire some new ideas. They say:
‘In this workshop we will introduce teachers to some of the principles of Text World Theory, an innovative and accessible grammatical framework that can be used to help structure classroom activities.
We’ll particularly look at how a text-worlds approach can be used to facilitate literature teaching and how teachers can be mindful of how different types of knowledge support classroom learning.’
Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite here:
Early booking is advised. Please note that there is a limited number of free tickets available to students for this seminar.
Laura Jamison is an NQT based at Lochend Community High School in Glasgow. She recently attended the SATE seminar on literacy and well-being presented by Professor Sue Ellis.
As a NQT at the beginning of my school career, the idea of closing the attainment gap in schools is a daunting task which, at times, seems impossible. Professor Sue Ellis highlighted the fact that social class and poverty have the biggest impact on literacy development in Scotland. She commented that every child comes to school with a virtual backpack filled with experience but only a handful of students get to unpack the bag. This comment really challenged me as I reflected on the content of my classes and realised the importance of trying to make every lesson relevant to every child. This idea seems impossible but Ellis offered some really simple, practical ways to do this and by the end of the seminar I felt more confident in addressing the issue in school.
Professor Ellis emphasised the importance of encouraging students to read, not just for the purpose of closing the gap, but for enjoyment as well. As English teachers it is all too easy to constantly analyse everything we read and ask questions that we already know the answer to. In reality, this takes much of the enjoyment out of the process of reading for many students. Ellis reminded us that reading is an enjoyable task and we should offer students the chance to read texts that they enjoy, whether that’s a guide to fishing or a Steinbeck novel. If students bring prior knowledge to a text they become an ‘insider’ and their motivation to read and learn more is higher. It gives them ownership of their learning and boosts their confidence as they can bring something to the table before even opening the book.
I think that many English teachers would agree that one of the best parts of our job is being able to share literature that we love with students. The seminar reminded me that some students might not appreciate, or be able to relate to, the same texts as I do and it is our job to make sure that every student feels like an ‘insider’ within their own learning.
Elaine Cox, Principal Teacher of Support for Learning at Lourdes Secondary School, gives a reaction to the recent Autism Friendly English classroom seminar from Charlene Tait.
As an English teacher and Principal Teacher of Support for Learning, adverts for courses pop into your inbox or newsfeed on a daily basis, but attendance is often prohibited because of cost or availability of tickets or ability to attend due to the timing of the event. You often have to look at the content of the course/seminar and justify why it would be appropriate for you to attend said event.
So, when a seminar entitled, ‘The Autism Friendly English Classroom’ popped up on my Facebook feed, a seminar costing less than £20.00 which would need no lengthy conversation about class cover, I couldn’t say no. And to top it off, the speaker was Charlene Tait from Scottish Autism – enough said.
The event itself was really well organised and practical. Opening with an outline of different complexities associated with autism and narrowing the focus into the classroom and practical approaches, resources and strategies, the seminar provided the right balance of discussion, pedagogy and exemplification to get me thinking about my own practice and the practice of others.
Following Charlene’s advice, I’ve already ordered one of the books she discussed and am in the process of trying to get my hands on the other one.
I’m already looking forward to the next seminar, one focusing on influence of literacy and language acquisition on wellbeing.