Welcome to the team!

Published by Christine Yalland on

This term our team has continued to grow as we have been joined by two fabulous new consultants: Jo and Sue. Read on to find out a bit more about them and how their first few weeks with The Literacy Company have been going...

At University, back in the late 90s, I studied a unit of Children’s Literature. All the classics: The Secret Garden, The Wind in the Willows, Mary Poppins. It was a dream of a course and my Management and Economics friends looked on with envy as I sat ‘studying’!

I couldn’t have imagined that, twenty years on, the joy I felt sitting in those seminars would be replicated in the job I now do for a living. Working for The Literacy Company, feels like coming full circle, bringing together my passion for children’s books and my experience as a teacher.

I arrived at work on Day One with a spring in my step and was met by a group of highly supportive, knowledgeable and inspirational colleagues who had planned plenty of opportunities for me to shadow and learn. I couldn’t wait to get stuck in, having been a delegate on many of their courses and used various Pathways units in the classroom.

With a background in Middle School education, I was trusted with the new, exciting Yr7 transition project. Allison and I have developed a unique Pathways to Write unit and built a support package to help KS3 teachers bridge that tricky gap between primary and secondary. When we delivered part one to a group of secondary teachers last week, it was a delight to see their enthusiasm at the prospect of launching it in their classrooms. I cannot wait to see the work the children produce from the activities we planned.

Working with Associate Teachers this week has also been invigorating. Their energy and commitment to the profession they are entering was infectious and, although they left the session exhausted, they talked about feeling primed and ready for the classroom.

Here, at the end of Week Four, I am eager to see what next week has in store. Every day so far has been so varied and brought me into contact with a wide range of education professionals and contexts. At the root of what we do at The Literacy Company are the children: imagining the impact of our work in the classroom as the passion for the books we introduce is shared. It is a fabulous reason to come to work in the morning!

Roll on Week Five!

    - Jo

Wow! A month in now, and I am part of a team of the most knowledgeable, creative and professional colleagues I could ever wish for…

My journey to The Literacy Company began (a long time ago!) as a child who just loved books. Who has ever met a child who does not love a story, or a teacher who has not felt the magic of sharing a wonderful book with a class of children hanging onto your every word in hushed fascination?

I was only ever going to teach, and my first job took me to London where I worked across KS2 and became Deputy Head before starting my family. Those early years of my career confirmed for me the power of a great book to inspire engagement, thought, talk, imagination, cross-curricular links – and the inspiration for writing. The endless possibilities of a great text! Moving to Cheshire meant the opportunity to work in several special and mainstream schools before joining a school where my role developed from being a specialist dyslexia teacher, SENCo and KS2 teacher to joining the Local Authority as a Special Educational Needs Consultant and then as a Literacy Consultant.

On my return to school after these secondments, I worked in EYFS for five glorious years. There I was able to revel with the children in the rhythm and rhyme of language, verse and stories, and to share in the privilege of leading the development of their literacy skills. On becoming Assistant Head then Interim Vice Principal, the whole school joined in with initiatives to develop and encourage reading for pleasure and to write or learn poetry, then perform it as part of Poetry Slam events. It is pretty uplifting and affirming when you hear children rehearsing their poetry in quiet corners of the playground!

What a journey it has been, and now for the next amazing stage – the opportunity to work alongside like-minded colleagues at The Literacy Company to develop and support the teaching of English in schools. Here goes…

- Sue

Categories: The Team