My approach to literacy

My approach is based on the understanding that teachers who read and who understand themselves as readers are more effective teachers of reading, and similarly, that teachers who write and who understand the writing process are better teachers of writing. My background includes senior leadership roles within primary schools with responsibility for whole school literacy, working on the 2008 National Year of Reading, with the international education charity Creativity, Culture and Education. I’m an associate consultant for the National Literacy Trust, deliver the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education‘s flagship programme Power of Reading, and am an ambassador for the creative writing charity Arvon

I am also currently developing a project with schools in Cornwall to improve young people’s creative writing through the creation of authentic, dedicated writing spaces within school.

Recent clients

The Learning Institute/ Kernow Education Arts Partnership

Dates: 2014 - present

The job

Space to Write

Working with Kernow Arts Education Partnership and The Learning Institute, I devised, designed and delivered a year-long pilot project investigating the use of space, time and motivation in developing independent writing in young people. Worked with four schools across Cornwall, developing different methods, and establishing good practice.

Centre for Literacy in Primary Education

January 2014 - present

The job

Power of Reading

I deliver teacher training for CLPE’s flagship literacy programme, Power of Reading. The whole school development programme uses evidence-based approaches to developing children’s reading and writing, though focusing on high quality texts and creative approaches to teaching.

National Literacy Trust

Dates: 2014 - present

The job

Outstanding Literacy/ Boys’ Literacy/ Reading for pleasure

I deliver teacher training for literacy coordinators and teaching teams to improve the teaching of literacy, through the National Literacy Trust.

Aldridge Foundation

Dates: 2012 - 2014

The job

Whole school approaches to reading for pleasure

I ran a yearlong project working with five academy schools across the UK to help them develop whole school approaches to reading for pleasure. The project, which I ran with the National Literacy Trust, developed a framework for developing reading for pleasure in secondary schools and supported the work of the project managers in each school to inspire children across their settings to read more and to read more widely.


Dates: 2013

The job

2013 National Conference, Wales

The brief was to create and deliver workshops at the 2013 Welsh national UKLA (United Kingdom Literacy Association) conference. The workshops were designed to help attendees develop their understanding of practical ideas for developing reading for pleasure in their settings, whether whole schools, classrooms or libraries.

Scottish Booktrust

Dates: 2013

The job

Teachers as writers Edinburgh

The brief was to inspire teachers involved in Scottish Booktrust’s teachers as writers programme at the beginning of their year-long project by developing and running a workshop outlining the research case for teachers developing as writers and offering practical tools to take into the classroom. The workshop was a development of my post-graduate research into developing teachers as writers.

Medway Schools

Dates: 2013

The job

Medway Creative Literacy Conference

The brief: to deliver a seminar to 25 head teachers and literacy coordinators to engage them with the idea of using school blogs to improve attainment in writing across the authority. The seminar drew on the heads’ previous experience of blogging, their hopes and fears around blogging, drew on my experience of using blogs as a tool for writer development and set out a model for Medway schools to develop a self supporting network of blogs.

Recent posts about literacy