Showcases and Workshops

2020 - 2021

Firstly can we say an absolutely massive thank you from us and well done for keeping everything juggling this half term.  It has been a very tough half term for everyone and you have risen to the challenge and provided that much needed support for all the children and families.

In terms of further support into the next half term we have the following workshops over Google Meet and we also have a virtual showcase in March.  These workshops are suitable for any school staff and will run from 11.30-1pm and we are happy for this to be used as a working lunch.  All of these are free to access for schools within all areas of Devon, Plymouth, Somerset, Torbay and Taunton.


Thursday 4th March 9-12 Showcase:(This is run on Google Meet).  Some schools will be able to apply for funding of a maximum of £160 per school if they meet certain criteria which is accessed through the self referral data (this cannot be claimed if the school has previously claimed showcase money in previous years).

During the showcase we will look at all fundamentals of the hub, the links to the Ofsted Framework and the next steps to take.  This morning also covers a chance to have some CPD on all hub aims and chances to watch some best practice films.  It is recommended that this is accessed by the Headteacher, SLT and phonics leader.
This virtual event will provide all participants with the opportunity to share best practice in the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics and the core fundamentals of phonics will be explored.  We will also look at the love of reading, how to develop this and the importance of early language and how to address the vocabulary gap.  The showcase will give you some basic training on all the fundamentals of the hub and how these match to the new Ofsted Framework, there will be chances to watch some best practice films.  The showcase looks at research based evidence and gives practical ideas to take away as well as a chance to complete a short reflection form on your own next steps.  We will also consider COVID recovery.


These are free to access by Headteachers, senior leaders, trust leaders, teachers, teaching assistants and other support staff.

All the workshops are run on Google Meet and as they are 11.30am – 1.00pm you are welcome to have a working lunch whilst attending them. The workshops are led by Hub Lead Danni Cooke unless otherwise stated.

Workshop 1 – Friday 8th January – Phonics Leadership
This workshop is a repeat of the workshop in October and November. Within this workshop we will explore the roles and responsibilities of being a phonics leader and also look into different aspects to support you in your role and links to the Ofsted Framework. Suitable for new and experienced phonics leaders. Also suitable for English Leaders who work alongside Phonics Leaders.

Workshop 2 – Thursday 28th January – Run by Professor Teresa Cremin 4.00 – 5.30pm
Reading for Pleasure: Building readers for life

This event only has a few spaces left, we can also add people to our waiting list.

It is widely recognised that children who read for pleasure improve their life chances, not just academically, but also in relation to their wellbeing and relationships.

Research has shown however that children in England read less often and don’t enjoy reading as much as their counterparts in other countries. So, this evidence-informed webinar, drawing on the Open University’s research into reading for pleasure, will offer practical ways forward to support the development of readers who not only can, but do choose to read and find enjoyment in the process.

It will explore:

  • The benefits and challenges of reading for pleasure
  • Ways to develop richer repertoires of children’s literature and other texts
  • Strategies for getting to know your children as readers EYFS-Year 6
  • An effective RfP pedagogy

Such a pedagogy includes the creation of relaxed ‘social reading environments’ in schools, where children and their teachers read together, both aloud and independently, discuss what they are reading and share recommendations informally. Through sharing ‘books in common’ and something of their own journeys as readers, communities of engaged readers are built.

The session will link to the OU’s RfP website

Please bring a brilliant children’s book that you know and love.

Workshop 3 – Friday 29th January – Closing the Vocabulary Gap and Young Children’s Language Development – PART TWO
This workshop is a follow on to the first workshop (you are able to attend this one even if you didn’t attend the first). In this workshop we will look at speech, language and communication and strategies to support language development and close the vocabulary gap alongside developing the love of reading.  This workshop is suitable for all school staff.

Workshop 4 – Friday 5th February – Love of Reading, Storytelling and the Importance of Sharing Stories
In this workshop we will explore the importance of building a reading community. We will look at the journey of a reader and how we can ensure we guide children into wanting to be storytellers rather than robotic readers. We will share tips and strategies for you to take away.   This workshop is suitable for all school staff.

Workshop 5 – Thursday 11th February. Run by James Clements. 4.00 – 5.30pm
Reading in KS2: Pleasure, purpose and progress

In this webinar, education researcher and writer James Clements will explore some practical approaches to supporting children’s reading as they move through KS2, focusing on:

  • Building fluency
  • Supporting comprehension
  • Developing and maintaining a positive attitude to reading

Workshop 6 – Friday 26th February – Phonics Subject Knowledge
In this workshop we will look at the core fundamentals of phonics that underpin all SSP programmes and the importance of each skill and how we can use these skills to accelerate children’s progress. We will explore the DfE ‘Challenge Checklist’ which links to the Ofsted Framework and look at what our next steps might be. We will explore how we can ensure that we get all children reading and discuss strategies to take away to help close gaps in learning.  This workshop is suitable for any school staff.

Workshop 7 – Friday 12th March 11.30-1pm Workshop: Phonics Recovery: How to continually support children after lockdown
As all children return to school we will look at what we need to do next in terms of our recovery. How can we help support all children and staff in their next steps and ensure that every child becomes a reader.

Workshop 8 – Friday 26th March 11.30-1pm Workshop: The lowest 20%
In this workshop we will look at what we can do to support our most vulnerable children as well as those who might be behind where they need to be in their phonics and journey in learning to read. We will discuss strategies to help and there will be ideas to take away to help support children within your school communities.

We also might also be able to offer you funding for your school, please get in touch if you want to find out more.

To book a space on any of the workshops or the showcase then please email stating your name, role, school and email address that you will be using to attend the workshop.

We hope you have a restful and well earned half term break when it eventually arrives.

We are here to support you through these challenging times and also throughout the recovery after Covid. If you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are currently booking the following and you will be contacted about how to book once these are confirmed:
  • Gill Jones – HMI Ofsted’s Deputy Director for Schools and Early Education Policy for an online session.
  • Michael Rosen – two seperate twilight sessions on Reading for Pleasure and also Poetry.
  • Vocabulary Ninja session.
We will cover the costs of these and they will be free for you to access as part of our English Hub support to schools.

How to book:

If you would like a space on any of the above workshops or showcases then please email : with the name, role and email address of the person wishing to take part. If you are unsure who wants to take part but wish to reserve a space then still please email. Spaces might have to be capped at two per school if they get too busy. If you have trainee teachers in your school they are more than welcome to attend as well.

Please email your 2020 Autumn Year 2 Phonic Screening Check Data % pass rate when you have it so we can update our records to see how we might be able to support you further with tailored support and access to funding.

In order to access this support we request that you please fill in this year’s self referral with your latest data and predictions for 2020 as this will help us see whether we can offer you further tailored support, school audits and access to free funding.

We are currently supporting a number of schools with Partner School Support which includes literacy specialist support days working alongside the school.  Please get in touch for further information.