Reading Recovery Europe


Reading Recovery national conference

Professional development to enhance your practice in working with struggling readers with opportunities to build your expertise in literacy learning and share experiences with colleagues.

A boy reading to his brother

Image: by Philip Meech 

24 April 2020  10.00 - 16.30 - postponed to 23 April 2021
Logan Hall, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL.

Conference theme:  'Learning to talk, talking to learn.'

Through language we represent our ideas and our knowledge; we negotiate our place in contexts and express our hopes and feelings; we refine and test what we understand in connection with others. Language has many dimensions which interact with reading and writing including meaning, vocabulary, structural conventions, phonology and pragmatics. We express our ideas  and receive and respond to the ideas of others though language -  it's not surprising that language development is so  influential on literacy development. This conference explores key themes in language development and literacy development,  pedagogical practices which support children in learning to talk, listen, read and write and the role that talk plays in learning through meaningful interaction with adults and peers.   

Who is it for?
Reading Recovery professionals, classroom teachers, literacy coordinators, SENDCos, school leaders, literacy consultants, student teachers and literacy advocates.


  • Beccy Earnshaw, the Director of Voice21, a charity doing pioneering and transformational work in oracy education.

Beccy joined Voice 21 in 2015 as its first CEO and the charity now supports over 1000 state schools in its mission to enable all children and young people to benefit from a high quality oracy education.

Feature sessions include:

  • Deepening our understanding of literacy acquisition of second language learners: Dr Sue Bodman;
  • Is there a “fiction effect”?  Lines of enquiry into language and literacy development in the early years: Prof Gemma Moss;
  • Teacher talk as scaffolding: Combining expert noticing and fine-tuned responding to avoid ‘instructional risk’: Dr Helen Morris;
  • Book Talk - valuing genuine child/ teacher conversations about reading: Glen Franklin;
  • ‘We talk – we get a story in – that’s our time’; understanding shared reading practices in families: Dr Rachael Levy;
  • Linking sounds and letters in Reading Recovery: Evidence and Practice: Dr Sinéad Harmey;
  • Using digital technology to support language and literacy: where does it belong? Dr Charlotte Vidal-Hall;
  • Embedding critical and enjoyable news-reading experiences in the KS2 classroom: Dr Frances Bodger, lecturer in Education UCL- Institute of Education and Nicolette Smallshaw, Head of Education, First News;
  • Reading Comprehension: the need for cognitively challenging talk: Nikki Gamble;
  • Genuine conversations leading to progression in writing: how do we construct opportunities for variety across genres and increasing complexity?’: Kerry Clegg.

More information about the seminar sessions:

Exhibitions by: Cambridge University Press (tbc), Harper Collins, Hachette Children’s Books, Jo Thornhill Books, Ransom Publishing Ltd, Scholastic and Walker Books (tbc).

Programme outline
9.00 - 9.45          Registration, refreshments and exhibition viewing
10.00 -10.10       Welcome
10.10 - 11.10       Keynote: Beccy Earnshaw, Director of Voice21
11.10 – 11.25      Tea & coffee
11.30 - 12.45       Concurrent sessions (Strand A)
12.45 - 13.30       Lunch and exhibition viewing
13.45 - 15.00       Concurrent sessions (Strand B)
15.05 – 15.20      Tea and exhibition viewing
15.25 - 16.25       Keynote: Alan Durant, Children’s author and poet
16.25 - 16.35       Close
16.35 - 17.15       Wine reception and book signing by Alan Durant

What teachers said about our previous national conference:
Based on academic evidence, made me reflect on my word work and clarified some issues. Good mix of talk and task, can’t wait to try out some ideas. ”
“As a class teacher I have learned lots that I can go away and think about how to improve my practice.”

“Great opportunity to reconnect with Reading Recovery, lovely to be able to network and share ideas.


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