'That's me'! Ensuring diverse representation across the primary English curriculum

    Diversity is the theme of the Herts for Learning national primary English conference 2022; specifically focusing on ensuring that all pupils are given adequate opportunities to make a deep connection with reading through enhancing teacher’s commitment to providing books that reflect a wide range of realities.

    Seeing aspects of yourself reflected back in the pages of a book can be a startling experience. Being ‘seen’ in the class text, or in a book selected from the school library, can act as a form of validation; moreover, it can engage, excite, energise and invigorate the reader. When a child makes a connection with a book, much of a teacher’s work is done! Without need for prompt or provocation, a child will often seek a way to express that connection, be it through an enthused contribution to a discussion (‘Oh yes, that’s like me/my family/ my grandpa’), or perhaps through a written response. Either way, by helping all children to see that the books we choose relate to them, teachers can greatly improve engagement and, in turn, progress.

    The conference will feature input from experienced teachers, academics and political campaigners and will ensure that delegates leave with an understanding of how they can work to improve diverse representation through the English curriculum in their schools and classrooms, and why this work matters so much.

    • Andrew Moffat, Teacher, Parkfield Community School, Birmingham and author of the No Outsiders programme
    • Darren Chetty, Lecturer (Teaching), University College London
    • Sophie Driver, English subject leader, Highover Primary School, Hertfordshire
    • Gemma Bagnall, Primary school teacher, Worcestershire
    • Farah Serroukh, author of CLPE’s Reflecting Realities Survey of Ethnic Representation within UK Children’s Literature 2017
    • Michael Gray, Teaching and Learning Adviser – Primary English, Herts for Learning

    The conference will end with a contribution from the younger brother of Stephen Lawrence, The Right Honourable Stuart Lawrence OBE, activist and campaign lead for the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation.

    Why attend?

    • hear a range of views and perspectives as to why it’s so important that all children see themselves represented in the texts they encounter in primary school
    • gain valuable insight by listening to speakers who have researched, evidenced and improved practice and provision on diversity and inclusion within the primary English reading curriculum;
    • harness the inspiration needed to lead change across the school in this important and on-going area of focus for educators.
    • Herts for Learning will be making a charitable donation of 5% of all ticket sales to The Stephen Lawrence Foundation to support their work.
    • recordings of sessions will be available to all delates for 28 days after the event.

    Book your place now