Educational trainer and influencer David Didau delivered a literacy training session at Brooke Weston Academy giving teachers insights into how to ensure children are ‘word rich’ and empowered in every subject area.
Mr Didau, a former secondary English teacher, began The Learning Spy blog in 2011, which proved so popular, attracting millions of followers, that he now lectures, creates resources and writes full time.
He said: ‘I started writing about my observations and thoughts and people started reading my blog. Over time that audience built up and I was asked if I wanted to write a book and people wanted me to talk to them about my experiences. I have just published my fifth book called ‘Making Kids Cleverer’ about how we can use what we know from cognitive science and other arenas to increase the likelihood of the most disadvantaged children doing well.’
‘The focus today has been on the differences between students who are ‘word rich’ and those who are word poor, and it is a useful way to think about what children bring to the classroom. If they are ‘word poor’ then the likelihood that they will just pick up what teachers found easy to learn is more remote. It is very easy, especially if you have a lot of children from ‘word rich’ backgrounds, to think you are doing really well as a school or teacher. But sometimes ‘word poor’ children do well despite, and not because, of us.
‘I have given the teachers at Brooke Weston Academy a few ideas about how to get children to read more, or read better, as well as how to improve students’ writing. As a secondary English teacher I just didn’t know how children learned to read and that is something that I made it my business to find out more about; so I speak more and more to primary school teachers. I split my time between writing, producing resources and speaking at schools and events.’