Oxford Reading Spree 2017: part 2!

Full of words of wisdom from the morning sessions, it was time for lunch! An amazing spread was on offer and everyone loaded up their plates before heading off to their first workshop.

There was an amazing array of workshops on offer, but after much consideration, I choose to go to 'Storytelling Schools' with Chris Smith. It was no surprise that we started with a story and then some games to develop storytelling skills. Chris then told us about the Storytelling Schools programme and the success schools are having using it.

The second workshop I chose was 'Making books with anyone, any age' with the very talented Mini Grey. She was fascinating to listen to as she enthused about the joys of making things. She told us that writing books is a way of sending your ideas to others- of travelling through time!

She showed us a whole range of pop-up books and talked with such enthusiasm about how to make them and how they work- it was so inspiring to listen to! We all made a little book which folds over on itself- great fun and so much potential for using with children!

It was then time for the 'Open Space Discussion Groups'. Jack Brown, a member of Larkrise staff, had been gathering ideas for topics that people wanted to discuss. The idea was simple; you could drift from discussion to discussion contributing and listening to what was going on.

Different conversations were held all around the school on a whole host of topics!

Nick Swarbrick was the next speaker, talking about books and parental involvement in EYFS. He was questioning whether what we offer parents is a partnership and how we could address this-' it should be a dance which we dance together!' Very thought provoking!

Any session entitled 'Reading is a many splendored thing' gets my support! Martin Galway works for the Herts for Learning team and was full of good ideas and food for thought!

The day ended with Mary Roche speaking about using picture books to develop critical thinking. She was wonderful, using children's comments to illustrate her points about comprehension, making connections and developing their language.

All too soon, the day was over and the lovely Ed Finch was drawing everything to a close. It had been a wonderful day, leaving everyone buzzing and full of new ideas and enthusiasm.

I am so gald I attended the Oxford Reading Spree this year- and am very much hoping that a) we can do something like it and b) that they hold another one next year!

A huge well done and thank you to the team from Larkrise and everyone who gave their time and expertise to make it such a success.