Love That Book: the Herts for Learning Primary English Conference 2019

    Published: 20 December 2018

    A great book is often the start of a magical journey in the primary classroom. Find the right book, and the rest simply falls into place. With the children captured by the words and images, the reading and writing opportunities naturally set flight from the text, creating not only impressive learning outcomes for pupils, but also a hunger for engaging with more great literature!

    This conference aims to hook teachers up with the perfect book for them and their pupils; a text that will light a fire of interest and imagination and will allow reading and writing to flourish. Herts for Learning advisers will tempt delegates with tantalising texts and demonstrate the reading and writing opportunities that can be drawn from them. With creative examples of how these text can be used in the classroom, delegates will be sure to leave enthused about introducing their pupils to new text choices. Authors and illustrators will join us throughout the day to share their thoughts on what makes a great book, and give some insights into their own reading journeys.

    Jane Ray will join us for an informal question and answer session, Bob Cox is back by popular demand running a workshop and Joe Todd‑Stanton will be with us signing books and joining a workshop that showcases work inspired by his book, The Secret of Black Rock.

    Joe Todd Stanton
    Joe Todd-Stanton


    Where the Wild Things Are with Ruth Goodman, HfL English Teaching & Learning Adviser and Professional Artist

    Ruth Goodman
    Ruth Goodman

    Ruth will explore how to fully engage with both the illustrations and the text from a popular children’s picture book. She will draw out techniques that the illustrator uses such as colour, composition and layout as well as the hidden detail that we may not see unless we look really hard. You will never look at a picture book in the same way again!

    A conversation with Jane Ray, Illustrator and Author

    Jane Ray
    Jane Ray

    Jane was drawn to the world of children’s books and in 1989 her first full-colour picture book, A Balloon for Grandad by Nigel Gray, was published, the start of a long and continuing collaboration with Orchard. Since then Jane has illustrated over 60 children’s books, working with authors such as Michael Rosen, Carol Ann Duffy, Jeanette Winterson and Kevin Crossley-Holland. She also illustrated the much-loved text, Zeraffa Giraffa by Dianne Hofmeyr, which we know has brought delight to many classrooms. She also writes her own material including Can you catch a Mermaid?, The Apple Pip Princess, The Dolls House Fairy, Ahmed and the Feather Girl and The Elephant’s Garden.


    The Time Machine with Bob Cox, Author and Education Consultant

    In this workshop, Bob will explore just why he thinks this classic of all sci-fi classics is still an absolute winner accessed carefully at Key Stage 2. Not surprisingly, he will apply some of the opening doors strategies to unlock the enduring wonder of time travel. How near are we now to HG Wells’ vision of the ‘future’?

    The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton with Martin Galway, HfL English Teaching & Learning Adviser

    In this workshop, Martin will share the process, ideas and outcomes that led to a primary school in Harlow being taken over, in the best possible way, by Joe Todd-Stanton’s The Secret of Black Rock. Martin will be joined by two of the school’s staff and together they will provide a wealth of advice on how to make a whole-school book study a roaring success.

    The King Who Banned the Dark by Emily Haworth-Booth with Jane Andrews, HfL English Teaching & Learning Adviser

    In this workshop, Jane Andrews will share her love of The King Who Banned the Dark and help you to consider how it can inspire learning across two key stages. You will be taken on a carefully considered romp through sentence structures from Reception to Year 6. Who knew grammar could be so much fun? Delegates will engage with practical ideas to teach sentence structures – including the marvels of prepositional phrases, all manner of clauses and the place for punctuation and punctuation in its place.

    Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena with Kathy Roe, HfL English Teaching & Learning Adviser

    In this workshop, Kathy will use the wonderful, award-winning picture book Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena. Delegates will explore the poetic language and poignant themes of this book by participating in a range of engaging activities.

    The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt (illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi) with Penny Slater, HfL Deputy Lead English Teaching & Learning Adviser

    In this workshop, Penny will lure you into the dark and macabre world of the silver-tongued spider, who, through his slick parley, succeeds in enticing a naïve little fly to her death! Join Penny – if you dare – as she demonstrates the reading and writing outcomes that can be achieved through engaging with this chilling tale.

    Join us on the day to see how 10 schools have used a superb text to inspire reading and writing. The pupil’s work will be on display throughout the day for all to admire. For those teachers who know that one way to a child’s heart (and mind) is through a great book, then this is a conference not to be missed! Don’t forget to bring a shopping bag! There will be books-a-plenty to browse and purchase.

    Here's to a book-filled New Year!

    Contact details

    Latest blogs

    Receive our latest posts direct to your inbox...