We’ve got so much to tell you this week that I’m going to keep this introduction nice and short.
That ought to do it.
Special Offers – Time is running out!
Early Bird Offer – Our most popular deal yet by far! Your school can have an LMYL Day (including training) delivered by one of our expert consultants and a full 2014/15 Portfolio for the entire academic year, all for the special, reduced rate of just £799 (usual price is over £1000). However, this offer expires at the end of May, so be quick: get in touch here
Free Portfolio – Order a 2014-2015 Portfolio now and get a free Portfolio for the rest of this academic year. Contact us.
LMYL CPD Sessions
As well as the incredible impact LMYL is having on the lives of young writers across the world, we also regularly run CPD training sessions for staff across the UK (and Dubai!). All sessions are free to attend and never fail to receive remarkably positive feedback. If you’re in the area, why not come along? Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the event you’d like to attend and she’ll reserve a place for you and any of your colleagues.
Bradford – Cowling Primary School, Monday 19th May.
Liverpool – Woolton Primary School, Tuesday 20th May.
Stockton-on-Tees – St Cuthberts School, Tuesday 20th May.
Birmingham – Wheeler’s Lane Primary School, Wednesday 21st May.
Dubai – Deira International School, Tuesday 27th May.
Cornwall – Connor Downs School, Monday 2nd June.
Oxfordshire – Wallingford St Johns, Wednesday 4th June.
Cornwall – Trannack Community School, Wednesday 4th June.
Swindon – Greenmeadow Primary School, Thursday 5th June.
Cornwall – Stithians School, Thursday 5th June.
Stockton-on-Tees – Holy Trinity Rosehill VA Primary School, Tuesday 10th June.
Sunderland – St Paul’s CE Primary School, Thursday 12th June.
Hackney – Randal Cremer Primary School, Tuesday 24th June.
Sunderland – St Leonards Primary School, Monday 30th June.
Work of the Week
Thomas Cowley High School – a short film about body image.
Most weeks, I spend long and pleasurable hours reading through all the new posts and internally debating over which one stands out above the rest to make it as Work of the Week. This week, however, there was no contest. The talented students at Thomas Cowley High School have made a short film about body image which is at once emotional, arresting, evocative and incredibly moving. I urge you to watch this film. It might be the best piece of cinema you see all year.
School of the Week
This week’s School of the Week is the amazing St Hilary School in Penzance, Cornwall.
All right, so I should probably declare a personal interest here. St Hilary is one of ‘my schools’ – that is, one of the schools which fall under my remit as South-West Regional Manager. And it just so happens that I was the consultant who went in and delivered the LMYL Day there last week. And, of course, I absolutely loved it.
But put the element of favouritism to one side and allow me some objectivity. St Hilary simply had to be LMYL’s School of the Week this week because of one telling reason – the young writers there are so good that, in the space of five days, they received no less than 700 views and 100 comments on their anthology of writing!
Have a look at their Portfolio, and you’ll see exactly why their writing has been so popular.
Commenter of the Week
Chris is nothing short of a truly inspirational figure. Young writers are always thrilled when his name pops up in their comments columns. And it’s no surprise – he is not only a skilled primary teacher, but his blog www.mrandrewsonline.com (which focuses on the effective use of iPads in primary education) is a vital resource which has been utilised around the world. Chris, we’re so grateful for all your comments on LMYL and your tireless work in raising literacy standards – you are most assuredly our Commenter of the Week!
The Power of Publishing
One of the reasons I am so passionate about LMYL is because it gives young writers the chance to see their work published. I understand how empowering this can be, and I understand it at a very intimate level, because I too am a published author. My third and latest book – THE FRIENDSHIP HIGHWAY: Two Journeys in Tibet – hit the bookshop shelves this week, and the pure surge of elation I felt when it happened was inexplicable. Namely, it was because those words which I had toiled and sweated over for so long were now actualised, out there in the public domain, and ready for consumption. Those words, and this is the important part, could be shared.
That’s how our children feel, too, when their writing is published on LMYL. I know, because I’ve worked with thousands of them over the past few years as LMYL has grown and grown, and they’ve all told me the same thing. They write because, fundamentally, they enjoy it; but they also write because they want to be read. And now, finally, they are – not just by their teachers and parents, but by people from all over the world, by the whole 20,000 of them who log on to our website every month simply to read children’s writing. Some of the children in the LMYL Community now have more readers than I could ever dream of for myself. All of them deserve it.
If you’re interested, you can see my latest book here: But, if you’re a more discerning reader, I’d recommend you just go straight to the LMYL homepage and see the inspirational offerings we have there. They will all be from people more than twenty years younger than me, but already I can feel the competition looming. Seriously, how did they get so good so young?
Meet the New Members of the Team!
Usually, at this stage in the Newsletter, we like to regale you with an interview with one of the LMYL Team, an interview which digs deeper beneath the skin than one of those horrid bugs which gap-year students seem to adore telling you about. However, this week we have eschewed that for a grand and initiating welcome to the four teachers who will be joining LMYL in the new academic year. As you will see, they are all ridiculously talented, immaculately visionary, and stupendously passionate about literacy and its importance. There are, quite simply, not enough adverbs to do them justice. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the LMYL stage four people that we can’t wait to work with: Jenny Murray, Greg Findlayson, Adam Ormrod and Jonny Davies!
JENNY MURRAY – Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Manager
“I am an experienced Primary teacher and have worked in schools in Scotland, France, Togo and the United Arab Emirates. After completing an MA Hons in French at Edinburgh University, I travelled to West Africa to teach English in a Togolese middle school. On returning to Scotland, I took up a role as a Pupil Support worker before completing my PGDE (Primary) at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. My passion for travel and international education led me to Dubai, where I have lived and taught for the past 6 years.
I am excited to be launching and leading the first international branch of LMYL in the United Arab Emirates. Working in such an exciting and culturally diverse city, I know that there is incredible student writing happening across the Middle East region and that it should be shared with the world on LMYL! I have seen the massive impact on my own students and colleagues of making global learning connections via LMYL. Not only do the children beam with pride about being published authors but they develop an understanding of their part in an exciting international community of writers which is extending every day!
I am a yoga enthusiast and enjoy spending time outdoors with friends and family; sometimes on the beaches of Dubai and sometimes in the fresh air of Scotland! I am excited to be joining the LMYL team and am passionate about sharing children’s writing with a worldwide audience.”
GREG FINDLAYSON – North-East Regional Manager
“I have been a teacher for 19 years, teaching in 4 schools in London, Newcastle, Gateshead and Stockton-on-Tees. I have had different roles in schools ranging from PE leader, Science leader, Y7 tutor, NQT tutor, KS1 leader and currently KS2 leader. I have always believed in providing children with memorable experiences in their school-lives both in and out of the classroom. The work that I am going to do as North-East Regional manager for LMYL will continue to provide these opportunities, not only for 30 children in my class but for hundreds of children across the North-East.
I am married to Alison (also a teacher) and have 2 wonderful children: Noah, 6, and Will, 6 (not twins!). I am a keen sportsperson, taking part recently in my first duathlon. In my spare time (and there’s not much of that when you have 2 children), I follow Newcastle United, which goes down well with my Middlesbrough-supporting in-laws.”
ADAM ORMROD – East Midlands Regional Manager
“I’ve been teaching in Hayfield for the last five years, and in Year 6 for the last three years. I’m the Literacy subject leader and the Enterprise education subject leader. I am a great believer in trying to educate children to be creative and flexible enough to be capable of working in employments which most likely haven’t been invented yet, solving problems which probably don’t exist! I love the diverse nature of teaching in primary schools and the satisfaction of seeing wings grow and appetites wetted. Literacy is my passion and I love the LMYL approach to providing an audience and a purpose to all learners.
I’m also a writing moderator for the local authority which allows me the privilege of visiting and enjoying writing from a variety of schools.
I’m a keen amateur footballer, although dodgy knees are beginning to slow me down. In fact, I love any sport and can’t wait for the huge summer of sport!
I’ve four beautiful kids: Freddie and Martha, 10 months old; Lily, 7 years old; and Josh, 12 years old.”
JONNY DAVIES – Yorkshire and Humber Regional Manager
“I first became a supporter of LendMeYourLiteracy as a class teacher, when the power of sharing children’s writing with a global audience helped to transform my class from reluctant writers into children who enjoy writing. My classes have always been avid bloggers, sharing blogged pieces of creative writing with schools around the World. I dedicated considerable time to this, with some success, however this all changed when I discovered LendMeYourLiteracy. Once I’d trialled LMYL, I discovered that as a busy classroom teacher this platform saved me so much time and, more importantly, my pupils’ writing was plunged among a thriving global community of schools and literacy enthusiasts, celebrating all in one place. My pupils’ writing received so much more attention than I could have imagined: they adored it and made stunning progress.
I have taught years 3, 4, 5 and 6, and my most recent teaching challenge has been in a school with a range of diverse learners, including high percentages of children with SEN, EAL and extremely challenging emotional and behavioural needs.
Outside the classroom, I am a keen sportsman, and can often be spotted struggling to hit a golf-ball around a field, sat watching Test Match cricket or at the rugby union Six Nations claiming to be a Welshman from Yorkshire! I also like to cook and have a keen interest in history, stemming from my Ancient History degree at Cardiff University.”
Have a blinding week!
Charlie Carroll for LendMeYourLiteracy