SATE returns – with a new name!

SATE has been very quiet over the last year as the volunteers who organise it have had to concentrate on their own professional targets. However, we’re looking at reviving in some form the seminars and workshops we ran successfully for over three years, and at creating some impetus in bringing English teachers in Scotland together to discuss issues which affect them.

First, we’re rebranding. We are continuing our association with The National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) which supports us logistically in our work, and we will therefore become NATE (Scotland). However, we also want to develop a unique voice for Scottish teachers, and so while we still feel membership of NATE is desirable and would recommend it highly, we will concentrate less on recruitment and more on professional dialogue. Therefore, anyone, NATE member or not, will be very welcome at any of our events.

Secondly, in the past, SATE offered workshops which entailed a fee, to cover speaker’s expenses and catering. We would like to move towards a largely free seminar programme, hosted by interested departments around the country and delivered by enthusiastic English teachers who have a story to tell. This has been a format which has been hugely successful for Teach Meets and Pedagoo events, and we’d like to try the same approach.

To do that, we need presenters willing to donate an hour or so of their time after the school day to talk to colleagues about their interests. This might be a teacher or, indeed, a whole department who would like to share and discuss their experiences of, for example, teaching texts or the delivery of aspects of the BGE curriculum; it may be individuals engaged in Masters research who would like to test their ideas in a supportive forum; or it may be organisations such as the SQA interested in disseminating information about best practice.

We already have a number of possibilities. Raymond Soltysek, former lecturer in English ITE at the University of Strathclyde and NATE (Scotland) coordinator, would like to talk to teachers about Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation, sharing some of his thoughts and strategies. He is willing to offer this in three venues, anywhere in the country. Alan Gillespie, Principal Teacher of English at Fernhill School and renowned author (you can support his novel The Mash House here) has offered a workshop on stimulating creative writing. Lastly, Raymond Soltysek and Leanne Welsh can offer a repeat performance of their NATE 2019 conference workshop on Reader Response and dialogic strategies in the classroom.

If you have any ideas for something you would like to offer in a NATE (Scotland) seminar or have suggestions of what you would like us to offer, please get in touch using the email link on this website.

Of course, we also need English departments willing to host a NATE (Scotland) seminar. What we would require is a room with IT or audio visual equipment between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on a weekday. It would be great if host departments could offer tea and coffee – and even some biscuits! – but attendees would be encouraged to bring their own refreshments with them. And, obviously, some publicity around local schools to encourage colleagues to come along would be fantastic.

If you would like to offer to host a NATE (Scotland) seminar, again please contact us using the email link on this website. We’d love to hear from you.

We are open to any and all ideas that will help build a strong community of English practitioners. One member has suggested a NATE (Scotland) You Tube channel, showing webinars from practising teachers on aspects of policy and practice that can be easily accessed for CPD or Departmental Meetings. If you think this is a good ideas and would like to offer a You Tube seminar or if you know of someone you think could offer some advice that you would like to hear, let us know and we’ll try to arrange it.

Best wishes

All at NATE (Scotland).

NATE conference – join the bus!

nate conf

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 connectsate@gmail.com if you’d like to join us!

 

 

Upcoming SATE events

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 lisananettehamilton@gmail.com 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.

 

New SATE seminar with Kenny Pieper

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.

Book here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sate-seminar-theres-more-to-life-than-booksbut-not-much-more-tickets-42742931258

Buy Kenny’s book here:

https://www.crownhouse.co.uk/publications/reading-for-pleasure

See you there!

 

Text Worlds in the Classroom

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!

 

 

New Sate Seminar; Text-worlds in the classroom

 

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:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sate-seminar-text-worlds-in-the-classroom-tickets-41368002810

Early booking is advised. Please note that there is a limited number of free tickets available to students for this seminar.

 

Literacy and Well-being: some reactions (1)

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.