Keynote Speakers

The Power of Reading

Featuring Michael Morpurgo, Jonathan Bishop and Bronnie Williams
Our keynote session, a conversation with Michael Morpurgo proved to be both fascinating and inspiring. Michael spoke about his intial writing in the early ‘70s as a Year 6 teacher in Kent, and how this grew into a collection of more than 130 books, as well as how this shaped his view of reading in the classroom.

How the Hubs can Help

Featuring Schools Minister Nick Gibb and Jenni MacDuff
If you are considering working with the English Hubs programme, this short session with Jenni MacDuff (Hubs Programme Lead) will give you a sense of how the hubs can help.

Storytime with Michael

Featuring Michael Morpurgo
We thoroughly enjoyed ending the day with storytime. Michael Morpugo kindly returned to read us his book 'My Father is a Polar Bear.'

 

Strand A - Becoming Bookworms

Immersing children texts so that they become avid readers

Schools that Love to Read
Featuring Jonathan Bishop, CEO and Hub Strategic Lead

Jonathan is the CEO of Cornerstone, as well as the strategic lead of the English Hub. In this session, he discusses his vision for school cultures that ensure that every child leaves as a reader.

Encouraging Reluctant Readers
Featuring Lucy Lees, Cornerstone English Specialist

Lucy is the Reading Leader for the Trust; a role which involves overseeing and supporting the delivery of the Trust’s phonics approach. She works closely with teachers, putting in place tutoring provision and providing personalised and relevant CPD for staff. It also involves coaching teachers on how to ensure that reluctant readers can be supported in book selection and mentoring.

Entering Worlds Made of Words
Featuring Bronnie Williams, Cornerstone Drama Lead

Bronnie Williams trained to teach a Cornerstone Academy Trust and has worked there ever since. She is currently a Year 6 teacher at Broadclyst Community Primary School and leads Key Stage 2 across the Trust. As English and Drama subject lead, she is also passionate about the Creative Arts and harnessing drama as a tool to support learning in English and the wider curriculum.

Best Practice in Love of Reading
Chaired by Jonathan Bishop and South West Hub Leads

In this session, Jonathan is joined by Pamela Waters of Kernow English Hub, Danni Cooke from Ilsham English Hub and Charlotte Vickers from St Peters Primary and the UKLA reading group. The topic for discussion: 'How can we intentionally build school cultures that encourage a love of reading?'

 

Strand B - Building Blocks

Helping children to appreciate and learn new words

Intentional Excellence in Teaching Vocabulary
Featuring Aaron Leary, Founder of Bedrock Vocabulary

As a teacher in busy London schools, Aaron saw that whilst all teachers certainly understood the benefits of a wide vocabulary, the pressures of school life often meant that vocabulary teaching in classrooms was neither frequent nor consistent. He went on to co-found Bedrock Vocabulary to respond to this challenge.

Building Blocks Panel Discussion
Chaired by Matthew Pitts, TCAT English Hub Lead

This session welcomed Sally-Anne Winston (S&L Specialist), Oliva Sumpter (Bedrock Learning) and Rowena Lucas (Ramsbury English Hub). The panel tackled a broad range of common questions on the teaching of vocabulary, as well as supporting children with speech and language issues.

Words that are Just Right
Featuring Sally-Anne Taylor, Speech and Language Therapist

Sally-Anne has worked as a speech and language therapist for 12 years, most of this time in mainstream schools and nurseries, but also in complex needs and acquired communication disorders from age 0-25 years. This session tackles how teachers can introduce children of a range of ages and needs to tier 2 'Goldilocks' vocabulary.

Teaching Tier 3 Words Though the Wider Curriculum
Featuring James Beevor, Cornerstone Project Based Learning Lead

James is subject leader for Project Based Learning across the trust. As such, he takes responsibility for ensuring pupils across the trust engage in a project rich curriculum, with lots of opportunities to apply 21st Century Skills. In this session, James gives practical ideas for how the wider curriculum can provide authentic opportunities for teaching tier 3 terms.

 

Strand C - Brilliant Beginnings

Ensuring the basics of teaching reading are done well

Making Every Word Count
Featuring Hannah Lyons and Sarah Gomersall, Cornerstone Literacy Specialists

Hannah and Sarah are both experienced KS1 teachers who has helped ensure a high standard of phonics teaching is maintained across a growing multi-academy trust. They are also both English Hub Literacy Specialists. They have a passion for influencing the lives of children and giving every child the best possible start to their reading journey. In this session, they look at how reading progress can be accelerated through coaching and mentoring.

Rebooting Letters and Sounds
Featuring Janine Ashman, St Peter's English Hub

Janine Ashman is the lead of Unlocking Excellence English Hub, which uses Letters and Sounds as its phonics programme. In her role, she works closely with the hub’s partner schools of varying programmes. Jess works for Unlocking Excellence as a Literacy Specialist and has an extensive knowledge of best practice in using Letters and Sounds.

Brilliant Beginnings Panel Discussion
Chaired by Nina Rothery (Hub Lead) with Hub Partner Schools

Deciding to embed a new approach to phonics and early reading in a school can be a daunting task. However, when implemented with rigour and enthusiasm, a new phonics scheme can make a significant difference to children's outcomes. In this session, Hub Lead Nina Rothery speaks with three of Cornerstone's partner schools about the challenges and successes of their respective school improvement journeys.

Word Rich Environments in Nursery
Featuring Tonia Dudley, Cornerstone Literacy Specialist

Tonia and Laura work together in leading the early years across Cornerstone Academy Trust, as well as supporting other schools and trusts through the English Hub. In this session, the tackle the topic of how schools can make the best possible use of nurseries by implementing a culture that values words and reading from a young age.

 

Strand D - Delivering Digitally

Making technology work for your English teaching

Catch-up and SEND Panel Discussion
Chaired by Anthony Lees, Computing Hub Lead

Our colleagues from the Cornerstone EdTech Demonstrator School join us for a panel discussion on how EdTech can support the delivery of an engaging, inclusive English curriculum Ant, Dave and Beth are also joined by Kevin Sait of Microsoft Education. This session covers both Strands D&E.

Enriching English - Digital Tools for Teaching
Featuring Anthony Lees, Computing Hub Lead

Anthony is Deputy Head of School for recently opened Westclyst Community Primary School, Devon, within the Cornerstone Academy Trust, where he also leads on EdTech strategy for the Trust. As a lead for the primary arm the South West Computing Hub he supports schools across the region in the area of computing and the creation of digital content. In this session, he gives practical ideas for how best practice in English teaching can be enhanced by digital tools.

Agile Assessment in English
Featuring Michael Kimber, Cornerstone English Specialist

How can the digital environment support teachers in making rapid formative judgements? In this session, Michael Kimber (Cornerstone CPD lead) tackles the use of digital assignments in the English curriculum. He also looks at the power of rubrics for responsive feedback.

Discovering Inclusivity - Supportive Tools for Engaging with Words
Featuring Hector Minto, Microsoft Accessibility

Hector Minto has worked at the cutting edge of Assistive Technology (AT) for 23 years specializing in Alternative Communication (AAC), Home Automation (EC) and computer access for people with physical, sensory and learning disabilities.Currently, he is responsible for a network of Microsoft employees and partners committed to driving disability inclusion and digital accessibility at scale, across all industries. He has also worked on a number of government committees and groups and currently sits in the Business Leaders Group for Disability Confident.

 

Strand E - Helping Hands

Supporting pupils for whom learning to read proves challenging

Catch-up and SEND Panel Discussion
Chaired by Anthony Lees, Computing Hub Lead

Our colleagues from the Cornerstone EdTech Demonstrator School join us for a panel discussion on how EdTech can support the delivery of an engaging, inclusive English curriculum Ant, Dave and Beth are also joined by Kevin Sait of Microsoft Education. This session covers both Strands D&E.

Making the Most of Digital Universal Provision
Featuring Teresa Cavallo and Jim Green, Cornerstone SEND Team

Teresa Cavallo has taught within Cornerstone Trust for 15 years and is currently on the Senior Leadership Team and assumes the role of Head of Children’s Services across the Trust. Jim is the SENDCo at our North Devon school campus. As part of his role, he looks at the way digital tools in Office 365 can be used to support teaching and learning across the Primary age range.

Empowering Potential
Featuring Arran Smith, Microsoft Dyslexia Consultant

When Arran was aged 9 he was diagnosed with dyslexia. He uses the metaphor that dyslexia is like going to the dentist, well that’s how it was for him all the way until he was 14, this was the age when he realised that dyslexia is a difference not a disadvantage. Despite Arran being severely dyslexic Arran uses technology to support his needs and without technology he would not be doing what he is doing today.

Discovering Inclusivity - Supportive Tools for Engaging with Words
Featuring Hector Minto, Microsoft Accessibility

Hector Minto has worked at the cutting edge of Assistive Technology (AT) for 23 years specializing in Alternative Communication (AAC), Home Automation (EC) and computer access for people with physical, sensory and learning disabilities.Currently, he is responsible for a network of Microsoft employees and partners committed to driving disability inclusion and digital accessibility at scale, across all industries. He has also worked on a number of government committees and groups and currently sits in the Business Leaders Group for Disability Confident.