NEU sponsorship for students to attend the UKLA International Conference, recognises the wonderful contributions to literacy education students can make during their training. Attending the conference builds on this, opening the door to further inspirational research and practice. Each year tutors shadowing one of the current UKLA Book Awards with groups of students are invited to nominate one or two students for sponsored places. The panel considers the strengths of each nomination in three key areas:
- Engagement in the shadowing process beyond book group discussion (both on and off-line)
- Innovative or effective practice using the books with children/in the classroom
- Involvement in wider school/community initiatives involving reading/the books from shadowing
Congratulations to our 2023 sponsored students:
Natasha Hearn University of Exeter (nominated by Annabel Watson):
Lois Insley and Joanna McKinney University of Manchester (nominated by Rebecca Simpson-Hargreaves);
George Hinton and Emily Ford University of Sussex (nominated by Jo Tregenza)
Isabel Jarvis and Jessica Knight UWE Bristol (nominated by Dan Northover & Kalpa Ghelani)
Annabel Watson, tutor University of Exeter, wrote: The UKLA conference brought together a uniquely inspiring community of teachers, authors, researchers and teacher educators. The event was hugely motivating for the teachers and trainees that I attended with, and has inspired me to make sure that all of my trainees in future are able to get involved with UKLA in some form.
Joanna McKinney, student from Manchester, wrote: I thought the conference was excellent. It was lovely to be in a room with others who were so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about children’s literature and who want to make a difference. I thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Our Class Loves This Book’ session as I was able to hear how other teachers used the Shadowing books to involve their children in literature and ignite a passion for learning. I came away with many practical activities to help my new Year 3 class and a renewed excitement for literacy.
Jessica Knight a student from UWE Bristol wrote about her two favourite memories: It was so surreal sitting and talking to the authors and illustrators and hearing how they got into what they do, and I found the seminar about ‘a bridge to independence’ on the Saturday and I believe that, as well as the storytelling seminar, will help my future teaching practice.
And finally, Isabel Jarvis student UWE wrote: I didn’t know what to expect before going but had the most fantastic time. It felt like an amazing opportunity to be able to find out all the amazing research taking place, to be able to ask questions and link them to ideas I’ve been introduced to at university. I loved the session from UCL researchers on creative responses to texts using animation, Alastair Daniel brought so much energy to the storytelling workshop, and Charlotte Hacking’s talk was fascinating. The Book Awards were also wonderful! Having the chance to meet so many authors and illustrators and talk to them about books I’ve genuinely loved reading was an amazing experience! I hope this conference will be my first of many.
Thank you to Molly Hall, who represented NEU at the Conference, for running a sell-out stall and presenting certificates to the sponsored students. She commented: ‘The UKLA Conference was a great way to see the work of our student members first-hand. The event also offers excellent CPD and networking opportunities and an insight into the fantastic work of the UKLA’. Emily Ford, student University of Sussex, wrote: I really enjoyed talking to Molly and the benefits that come from joining the NEU. Panel: Joy Court, Lynda Graham (chair), Prue Goodwin, Chris Lockwood, Debra Myhill,