We have an extraordinarily strong line up of speakers and workshop leaders for our Reading Spree. More may be added but so far the list includes;

Darren Chetty (@rapclassroom)

Darren is a teacher and academic. He contributed a thought provoking chapter to the highly successful ‘The Good Immigrant’. He has lots to say on the subject of representation of black and minority ethnicity characters in fiction. You can read his blog here.

Martin Galway (@GalwayMr)

Martin is a well known book lover and a literacy advisor. He is held in high regard for his attention to detail and his expertise in teaching grammar through reading of high quality texts. We’re letting him off the leash to speak on something close to his heart. There may be tears. Martin contributes to the Herts for Learning English blogs and newsletters . You can see some of his work here.

Mini Grey

Mini is the author and illustrator of a whole host of brilliant, quirky, thought provoking picturebooks including the all time classic ‘Traction Man’. Mini’s books often question or gently poke fun at stereotypes and preconceptions. You can find out more about Mini and her books here.

Sam Keeley

Sam has worked in education for 15 years.  After working in Hertfordshire teaching all ages from Key Stage One to Three and becoming a Leading Literacy Teacher she moved to Essex and worked as a literacy consultant for the Local Authority before joining the team at Just Imagine. Sam says, ‘I have never grown out of loving children’s books and am lucky to be able to share this with the teachers and children I work with and with my own two young children. The best part of my job is finding ways to make brilliant books come to life in the classroom.’

Andrew Moffat (@moffat_andrew)

Andrew teaches in Birmingham. He pioneered a ‘No Outsiders’ policy at his school ensuring that LGBT people were fully represented and included in the school. He is the author of ‘No Outsiders in Our School: Teaching the Equality Act in Primary Schools’. The Guardian ran an interesting article of Andrew’s work which you can read here.

Mary Myatt (@MaryMyatt)

Mary Myatt advises, writes and trains. She supports schools to think imaginatively about learners’ progress. She has written ‘High Challenge, Low Threat: How the Best Leaders Find the Balance’ and ‘Hopeful Schools: building humane communities’. She’ll be thinking about why pupils, and teachers, should be reading above their pay grade.

Mary’s blog is aways worth a read.

Mary Roche (@marygtroche)

Mary is a leading thinker in literacy education with a special interest in picturebooks and the author of ‘Developing Children’s Critical Thinking through Picturebooks’. Mary works with all age groups and also works with Post-Primary teachers and teachers of children with special needs as well as working with third level education students. This video is a terrific introduction to her thinking and her methods.

Chris Smith (@chrissts1)

Chris is an Oxford based storyteller, musician, trainer and founding member of Storytelling Schools. Chris has worked in schools, universities, museums and prisons using the power of story to improve education and to change lives. There’s lots more to find out at www.storytellingschools.com

Simon Smith (@smithsmn)

Simon spent some years as a literacy consultant but now works as a Head Teacher in Whitby. He has an infectious passion for children’s literature which runs from picturebooks to Young Adult Literature. Simon’s blog is thoughtful, entertaining and frequently moving.

Nick Swarbrick (@nickswarb)

Nick leads the teams for undergraduate degrees at the School of Education at Oxford Brooke’s University. He teaches on the undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Studies. He also teaches on the Primary PGCE with particular interest in Early Years pedagogy and the outdoors. Nick has a wide range of interests including picturebooks, Alan Garner and Werewolves. Nick blogs at www.nicktomjoe@brookesblogs.net

Mat Tobin (@Mat_at_Brookes)

Mat teaches at Oxford Brooke’s University. He is involved in ITT as well the Early Childhood Studies programme and the PGcert/MA programme. Mat has a dizzying array of research interests including landscape in the work of Alan Garner, depictions of fatherhood in picturebooks, vernacular architecture as a window into representation in children literature and Reading for Pleasure. Mat’s blog is a treasure trove of thoughts, reviews and interviews around children’s literature.

Piers Torday (@PiersTorday)

Piers is the author of the  ‘Last Wild’ trilogy and ‘There May be A Castle’, he also completed his late father’s novel ‘The Death of an Owl’ and has a story in the terrific collection ‘Winter Magic’. Piers website is interesting and includes this feature on his interest in Roald Dahl from BBC’s Countryfile.

Rhoda Wilson (@TemplarWilson)

Rhoda is a teacher and a school leader with a passion for books, books and more books. Rhoda has interesting insights into theory and practice of teaching literacy in general and reading in particular. She has helped many teachers refine their thinking and practice particularly in reference to guided reading. Her blog is always provocative.