Rethinking Writing

, 09:30 - 16:00
A student writing on a worksheet in a gallery
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  • Tel: 020 7412 7797
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  • Standard admission - £100; UKLA members - £90

This one-day conference is hosted by the British Library and run in partnership with Arvon, the Open University, the University of Exeter and the UKLA

The conference will share new research from Teachers as Writers on writing and the teaching of writing, and will offer hands-on sessions with rich ideas for your classroom. The day will include keynotes from Teresa Cremin and Debra Myhill on their recent research, an ‘overheard in conversation’ style event with writers Wyl Menmuir and Narinder Dhami, practical workshops, and a closing panel with professional writers, teachers and teacher educators. There will also be an opportunity to explore Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land, the British Library’s latest exhibition. Come to be inspired, to debate ways forward for policy and practice and to rethink routes that effectively support young people as writers.

The conference will offer:
  • An overview of recent research with consideration of classroom consequences
  • Support for teaching through practical pedagogy-focused workshops
  • Opportunity to encounter the British Library’s exhibition Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land
  • Discussion about teaching writing and about being a writer

The conference is aimed at primary and secondary teachers, teacher educators, colleagues from arts and cultural organisations, professional writers, researchers.

See the conference flyer for the agenda and details of workshops on offer.

Following the success of previous conferences, we recommend early booking. Ticket prices: UKLA members £90, non-members £100


Provisional programme

09:30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Welcome from Arvon, British Library and UKLA
10:15 Teachers as Writers: insights from research: Teresa Cremin and Debra Myhill
11.00 Break
11.10 Workshop 1 (choice of sessions)
12.25 Reflecting on writing processes: Narinder Dhami and Wyl Menmuir in conversation
12.55 Lunch
13:45 Workshop 2 (choice of sessions)
15:00 Coffee/tea
15:20 Panel session: Rethinking our way forwards
15:50 Plenary and evaluation
16:00 Close

Workshop sessions:
A. Revision and feedback: Lucy Oliver and Ian Eyres
This workshop will explore the critical role of revision and feedback in the crafting of writing. It will draw on the voices of professional writers, teachers and students involved in the Teachers as Writers project to show how self-evaluation processes, sharing of writing and audience response contribute to effective revision. Practical examples of how review and editing can be approached in the classroom will be offered.

B. Writing from experience: Teresa Cremin and Anthony Wilson
Professional writers emphasise the importance of drawing on their personal experience in their writing practice. In this workshop, through leaning on our lives, we will explore different starting points for writing that can be used in the classroom to support young writers. We will also explore the personal dimension of being a writer and reasons for writing, as well as writing from the heart. There will be time for participants to reflect upon the implications for their own writing pedagogy, including how to support young writers to use such material in their chosen pieces of extended writing.

C. Time and space to write - a writing workshop: Alicia Stubbersfield
This workshop will offer time and space to write and will draw from exercises used through the Teachers as Writers project. We will explore the value of teachers writing alongside students and on the implications for your own teaching of writing. There will be time for participants to discuss how to adapt writing exercises, and to integrate ‘Just Write’ sessions, writing journals and sharing into the writing process with students in the classroom.

D. Write Here - Windrush Stories: British Library
During this creative writing session delegates will be inspired by the Library’s Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land exhibition to develop original pieces in response to works and objects on display in the gallery. The session will uncover the exhibition narrative and consider individual stories, using these as the catalyst for original responses. Activities support literacy, creativity and critical enquiry. The session is suitable for both primary and secondary teachers.

E: Crafting and Creating: Debra Myhill
This workshop will explore the place of explicit teaching of the how and why of writing, and how to bring together the creative and the critical. It will draw on the voices of writers from the project, particularly the professional writers, to illustrate the importance of supporting young writers to become apprentices in the craft of writing. These ideas will be explored through practical classroom examples.


Age group: Teachers at Primary and Secondary level
When: , 09:30 - 16:00
Key skills: English teaching; writing skills
Price: Standard admission - £100; UKLA members - £90
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
Enquiries: 020 7412 7797
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