Sent to Coventry

Traditionally we think of ‘being sent to Coventry’ as a punishment where nobody speaks to you. Today though we flipped that saying on its head and hosted an event featuring three top quality presenters who spoke to us throughout the day.

First out was the quietly charismatic David Mitchell. David outlined his journey through pupil blogging from his ‘field of dreams‘ moment to his current position of presiding over the Quad Blogging initiative. If you’ve not heard David speak before, then we recommend him highly. David’s realistic and honest delivery provides listeners with a greater understanding of what pupil blogging is all about. He frequently refers to his own considerable evidence base: sharing childrens’ starting points and how their writing has improved through blogging.

Providing children with authentic purposes and audiences for their writing is key to David’s message. Enjoyment is central; standards are essential and, global citizenship is a consequence of David’s work.

Thank you David for sharing with us.

Rob Smith from The Literacy Shed gave us a very practical session about how to inspire writing through visual literacy.

Rob’s considerable bank of animations and movie shorts played a central role in his presentation. Rob reminded us that short animations can deliver whole narratives in short bursts of time and so are a valuable asset in the busy classroom. Listening to Rob made us recollect many of our own resources and techniques – it’s incredible sometimes how a little prompt makes so many ideas come flooding back to you! Do you remember our blog post about Word Clines? By waving some paint chips Rob reminded us of the work we’ve done on vocabulary and also the Pinterest board that we have about the multitudinous classroom uses of paint chips!

Rob’s website is a fabulous resource for teachers. Stimulating imagery is such a great tool for writing which is why we’ve blogged about it and ensured that our Pinterest boards contain lots of interesting images to stimulate writing.

Our afternoon was brought to a close by the inspirational Roger Black MBE. Roger helped us to realise the importance of goal setting and brought us close to tears with films of sporting success from his life and the life of Britain’s amazing Olympians.

So, it was quite a day here in Coventry with plenty of great talk, opportunities to reflect and a chance to learn with and from each other.


Rachel Clarke – Director, Primary English Education Consultancy Limited.

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