Local UKLA representatives

East

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Claire Williams
([email protected])

I am the Year 5 class teacher and Reading Lead at St. Andrew's C of E Primary School in Halstead, Essex. Nurturing a genuine love of reading and children's growth as lifelong readers is at the heart of everything I do and the experiences I've had as part of the Teacher Advisory Group for the Open University Teachers as Readers development work have been amongst the most influential of my career. I have recently completed an MEd in Children's Literature at the University of Cambridge, which explored the potential of metafictive picturebooks to support children's growth as writers, and working with Early Career Teachers to develop their literacy practice is another real passion.

Deciding to become a member of UKLA will always be one of the most life-changing, life-enriching decisions I have made as a teacher and my first six years of teaching simply wouldn't have been the same without the myriad of opportunities that UKLA has brought. It is a real privilege to be a Regional Representative for the Eastern Region and work collaboratively to share and develop exciting literacy practice in our region.

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John-Mark Winstanley
([email protected])

It is a real privilege to work with UKLA members from such diverse areas and I very much hope that our region will be able to work together and learn from each other about best practice in Literacy. I work as Deputy Course Manager of the Primary PGCE at The University of Cambridge and I am passionate about all things surrounding Primary Literacy. I have a particular interest in children's writing. I joined UKLA because I believe in its ethos. I feel proud to be able to contribute to a supportive community which places children's learning at its heart and recognises the value of evidence-informed practice. I would love to hear from UKLA members in the region who would like to become more involved in our work - please feel free to get in touch!

East Midlands

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Emma Rogers
([email protected])

I joined Bishop Grosseteste University as a senior lecturer and English team leader in August 2017 after 6 years as a self-employed school advisor providing in-class coaching and training to local authorities and schools. I worked for several years for the Primary National Strategies leading the Every Child a Writer programme and have worked with international organisations to develop languages curricula and assessment guidance in over 150 countries.I am interested in children’s literature and reading for pleasure and lead an OU/UKLA Teachers’ Reading group in Lincolnshire to develop Reading for Pleasure Pedagogies with teachers and students. I am currently co-researcher on the ‘Developing 21st Century Maker Circles’ project exploring digital literacies with researchers at Sheffield Hallam University and have just begun a PhD to explore student teachers’ reading identities.

I have been a member of UKLA for over 20 years and have benefitted greatly from the expertise and experience of UKLA colleagues and friends and I’m looking forward to working with members in the region. I tweet as @ecawemma. Feel free to contact me to discuss children’s books, writing and all things literacy! 

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Petula Bhojwani
([email protected])

Formerly a primary school teacher and now a teacher educator specialising in literacy, Petula has worked in education for over 20 years. Her passion is engaging children in rich digital and paper texts to develop literacy activities in and beyond the classroom. She has developed this interest from an extensive range of teaching experience in close partnership with universities, local authorities, senior leaders and teachers. Her roles across the Midlands have included literacy coordinator, consultant and Regional Advisor for the Primary National Strategies.

Moving into higher education, she was Senior Lecturer in Primary English at Birmingham City University and taught post graduate students at the University of Nottingham where she also completed her MA in Children’s Literature and PhD in multimodal literacy. Petula specialises in developing approaches to engage children and raise boys’ attainment, and has published school-based research, teaching materials and resources on multimodality. She is sub-editor for the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) newsletter and a regional representative.

Petula continues to support primary and secondary schools as an independent literacy consultant. She is based in Nottinghamshire where she also works as an Associate Advisor for the Local Authority.

London

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Cheryl Parkinson
([email protected])

Ms Cheryl Diane Parkinson is an author and educator of 14 years, teaching English Literature and Language, GCSE and A Level at an all boys catholic school in London. Her publishing history includes articles for The National Union of Teacher's newsletter, The Voice Online as well as online magazines. Currently she is in the final year of a PhD in Creative Writing at Birmingham University, part of the Russell Group.

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​Richard Charlesworth
([email protected])

Hi! My name is Richard Charlesworth and I am a Teaching and Enhancement Lead of English at Springwell Primary School, West London. Having recently graduated with a Masters degree in Children's Literature, I am passionate about the development of a more creative and effective English curriculum, one which reflects on theory and research in the field.

Over the past few years, I have worked alongside my Headteacher to implement unique, one-off lessons using high-quality picturebooks across the school curriculum. This has allowed children to write around a range of important issues and themes. One of my current interests is developing children's empathy through a range of texts - having studied the affect that graphic novels may have on their readers in my own research.

Since joining the UKLA in March 2018, I have already seen the benefits of being part of such a supportive and nurturing community of like minded literature enthusiasts. I know the UKLA will continue to inspire me for many years to come and hope to spread the wonderful work that is going on across the region.

Any questions? Do get in touch. I tweet @rcharlesworth

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Kat Vallely
([email protected])

Hi! My name is Kat Vallely and I am a practitioner of primary education at the University of Greenwich. I have spent a number of years researching children’s early writing development, with a tight focus on the relationship between teachers as writers, and writers as teachers. Branching out further, my current literacy interests include multimodal forms of communication in Early Childhood Education. I am particularly interested in the overt focus that we, as teachers and researchers, place on children when it comes to talking, rather than recognising and responding to their alternative forms of communication within the classroom environment.

North West

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Rebecca Simpson Hargreaves
([email protected])

Hi I’m Rebecca and I am a lecturer and professional tutor on the Primary PGCE course at the University of Manchester. Throughout my years teaching in the primary sector and now in FE I have developed a keen interest in using children’s literature to support and nurture young minds, with past and present research looking at how picture books can raise awareness of global citizenship and human rights. Joining the UKLA was a real catalyst in both developing my own subject knowledge through inspirational conferences but also in the wonderful connections and friendships I’ve made along the way. It’s opened doors to working with key figures in literacy research, as well as teachers and librarians, all striving for equality of opportunity in literacy education. I sit on the UKLA membership and awards committee which highlights the amazing practice that goes in our schools. I also review key academic texts and children’s literature through the academic book award and student shadowing book award. In addition I am the Greater Manchester OU/UKLA Teachers as Readers Book group leader so do get in touch if you are interested in moving your reading for pleasure practice forward in your school!

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Rebecca Hurst
([email protected])

I am the regional rep for the North West region, a role I share with my colleague Rebecca Simpson-Hargreaves. I first joined the UKLA in 2007 when I was a class teacher and English coordinator and haven’t looked back since! Being a member of the organisation has not only enabled me to discuss and debate aspects of literacy with a diverse range of people for many years but has also broadened my outlook and understanding of literacy education in all its forms. Access to the UKLA’s range of resources, research, publications and conferences really helped me to understand literacy teaching and develop practice throughout my school. In my current role as a teacher educator at the University of Manchester, I am delighted to be able to introduce trainees and new teachers to the work of the UKLA so that they can benefit in the same way. If you are working in education in the North West and want to find out more about what we do as an organisation in this region, or if you want to get more involved with the UKLA, please do get in touch. 

South

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Jo Tregenza
([email protected])

I am delighted to represent the UKLA in the South of England alongside my colleague Julia. I was and English consultant for 15 years, presenting at regional and international conferences. I previously worked as a Primary teacher for 10 years in Brighton and Hove, West Sussex and Oxfordshire. I have organised and led learning networks and have a strong track record for building links with communities and schools. I

I have written the teaching guidance materials for OUP’s reading scheme Project X and produced many materials for schools including the West Sussex Sequence for Writing, KS2 Creative Cross-Curricular model, a tool for auditing and developing talk and materials to develop visual literacy and multi-modal learning.

More recently I have worked with teachers from Cliffdale Primary and Mary Rose Special school to produce a progression in reading document for children with severe needs. 

Do get in touch with us if you'd like to find out more.

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Julia Sutherland
([email protected])

I came to the University of Sussex from a 16-year teaching career specialising in English, in secondary, tertiary and higher education, latterly as Head of undergraduate, A Level and GCSE provision at Harlow College. I have considerable prior experience of teaching English language and literature across the full range of courses.

At Sussex, I led and greatly expanded the PGCE in English and developed a new, interdisciplinary BA in English Education Studies, enabling teaching assistants from non-traditional academic backgrounds to gain a degree and become English teachers - a widening participation initiative.

In 2012, I set up the annual Teacher Researcher conference, in which MAE finalists, members of Faculty and teachers/school leaders explore research findings and work through Sussex networks to ensure that these are embedded in schools, achieving impact. I currently run very successful reading groups for secondary teachers.

My research is on English and literacy, specifically, reading, dialogic classroom discourses & teacher development. 

South East

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Jamie Evans
([email protected])

Being so close to London, we benefit from the expertise and close contact with many members of the UKLA, and also have access to a number of events run in the London area. In recent years, we have also increased the profile of UKLA in the South East area, with our first UKLA Regional Conference in July 2018. The day, hosted at Canterbury Christ Church University, featured a selection of workshops focusing on Writing for Pleasure, as well as key-note speeches by Michael Rosen and Piers Torday.

I am particularly interested in comprehension and all that is entailed in being ‘good’ at comprehension, often with a broader spectrum beyond purely ‘reading’. I am also passionate about children’s writing and the need to develop children’s voice in a world of ever-changing media.

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Rebecca Austin
([email protected])

I am a lecturer in primary English in initial teacher education at Canterbury Christ Church University. I am interested in how teachers develop their values and principles in relation to their teaching of English and how this is played out in the classroom. I am currently engaged in a research project looking at supporting undergraduate student teachers with academic writing.

I am also a huge Elvis fan!

South West

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Kirsty Jones
([email protected])

I'm a Key Stage 2 teacher and Head of English at Horfield Primary School in Bristol. I have previously been on the judging panel for the UKLA Book Award and the 3-6 and 7-11 longlisting panel. I'm passionate about Reading for Pleasure and aim to get high-quality, recently published children’s literature used in Bristol classrooms by helping lead the annual Bristol Book Award.

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Dan Northover
([email protected])

I am a Senior Lecturer in Primary Education at UWE Bristol and I currently lead English across our undergraduate and postgraduate ITE programmes.

I am also currently completing an ESRC-funded PhD in Education at the University of Exeter. My research focuses on children's writing, specifically exploring how metacognition and metalinguistic awareness develop in relation to writing across the primary years.

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Anita Wood
([email protected])

I am a primary school teacher and primary ITE lecturer and one of the South West representatives for UKLA. I am based in Devon and work at the University of Exeter in the Graduate School of Education. I work as joint rep with Carrie Ansell who is based in Plymouth. We are always pleased to welcome new UKLA members to our diverse region.

West Midlands

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Rachel Clarke
([email protected])

Rachel Clarke is a freelance trainer and writer and the owner of the Primary English Education Consultancy Limited. She has worked in Primary Education for over 20 years as a teacher, SENCO, English Subject Leader, Deputy Headteacher and local authority Literacy Adviser. Rachel is the series editor and author of the popular Reading Detectives series published by Collins. She also writes regular articles for Teach Primary magazine and is an enthusiastic blogger. Her website www.primaryenglished.co.uk is a source of guidance and resources and is visited daily by teachers looking for support and inspiration. When not working with teachers, Rachel can usually be found with a cup of tea and a good book. 

Yorkshire

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Nikki Gamble
([email protected])

I'm Nikki Gamble and I'm proud to be aa longstanding member of UKLA. I joined as a student teacher back in the early 1980s. Since then UKLA has supported, refreshed and challenged me throughout my career, so I am espcially pleased to be in a position to represent Yorkshire and look forward to working with Kelly Ashley to grow the membership across this region.

My background is in teaching and teacher education. After teaching in secondary and primary schools in London and Essex, I worked as senior lecturer in English within the Faculty of Education at Anglia Ruskin University for 14 years, where I established a children's literature route within the MEd programme. Reading, children' s literature and critical thinking have been constant threads through my practice and research, so in 2000, I set up Just Imagine in Essex, a centre for developing excellence in the teaching of reading. We now have six regional hubs including our partnersip with Ebor Academy Trust in York. Working in schools alongside children and teachers and developing action research is an invigorating experience and I am still thrilled by bringing about change and developing practice in partnership wth schools and other organisations.

If you are thinking about joining UKLA, or you are an existing member and would like to be more involved in activity at a regional level, please do get in touch

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Kelly Ashley
([email protected])

With varied experience as a primary teacher, leader, researcher and adviser in both England and America, Kelly currently works as an independent consultant specialising in primary English, delivering high-quality, evidence-informed training and support for schools across the country. She has a keen interest in vocabulary development and language acquisition and her first book, Word Power, will be published June 2019. Twitter @kashleyenglish

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Karen Daniels
([email protected])

Dr Karen Daniels is a Senior Lecturer in Primary English at the Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University. She leads the development of provision for English in teacher education courses and her recent research focuses on the material-discursive and affective dimensions of young children’s literacy practices. Prior to this, Karen worked as a Primary and Early Years teacher and as an Early Years outreach teacher. Karen is also co-convenor of the Early Literacy in Education SiG.

Northern Ireland

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Donna Hazzard
([email protected] )

Donna Hazzard is Principal Lecturer, at St Mary’s University College, A College of Queen’s University, Belfast. Donna has taught at St Mary’s University College, Belfast since 1978 where she is Chair of the M-Level Programme Team and Literacy Course Team. She teaches BEd1 to BEd4 undergraduate Literacy as well as a number of Master’s level modules. Donna has been UKLA's Northern Ireland Regional Representative since 2005.Her primary interests are in critical literacy and teaching reading and writing.

Scotland

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Alice Atkinson
([email protected])

I am the Acting Deputy Head Teacher of Westpark School in Aberdeen. My main area of interest is promoting reading for pleasure, and to this end I have built close links with our local library (which has recently avoided the threat of closure due to a huge increase in footfall, predominantly from our pupils). I am also on the 7-11 longlisting panel, and manage the Aberdeen UKLA/OU RfP group.

Wales

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Simon Fisher
([email protected])

Simon Fisher is a primary school teacher in Wrexham, North East Wales. He is passionate about Reading for Pleasure and is striving to build an enthusiastic reading community around children's authors of Wales. He reads aloud at least once a day in school and three times a night at home. He runs the Wrexham OU/UKLA 'Teachers As Readers' Group and reviews children's books at familybookworms.wales.

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Jo Bowers
([email protected])

My name is Jo Bowers and I am based in Cardiff, South East Wales area of Wales and work in Cardiff Metropolitan University, where I have worked for the last ten years. Prior to that I was a primary school teacher for twenty years. Throughout my career in the classroom I was a literacy coordinator and since working in Cardiff Met I have taught literacy to PGCE students and education students. I also organise conferences and events with a literacy, reading for pleasure, children’s literature focus for student and teachers and all others invested in literacy rich environments for children. As well as being a Welsh regional representative for the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA), I have also been the editor for the English Association/ UKLA Literacy magazine for primary teachers, English 4-11 and now sit on the editorial board. I have a lifelong interest and passion in children’s literature and developing children’s reading for pleasure and teachers’ subject knowledge of children’s literature.

Current UKLA activity in Wales is the OU/UKLA Reading for Pleasure Teacher Book Groups. There are four running this year (2018-19) across Wales in the Cardiff, Newport and Wrexham areas. Please get in touch if you would like more details.

Forthcoming Regional events

​Literacy Association of Ireland’s 43rd International Conference.

Engaging literacy learners in diverse settings


Creative Approaches to Teaching Grammar In Context: A Joint NEU and UKLA event

This practical morning will explore how creative approaches to teaching grammar can be developed both in English lessons and across the curriculum.


Reading for Pleasure: the thread that connects

OU Reading for Pleasure Conference in association with UKLA. This conference will help you enrich your repertoire of children’s texts and create reading communities that connect and support young readers.


4th Baltic Sea Conference on Literacy

Searching for a Common Language


UKLA National Conference 2020: Writing for Pleasure


UKLA 56th International Conference

"We need to talk about literacy": Why spoken language matters in literacy learning and teaching.