Wed 26 October 2016
Leicester 2012
Leicester 2012
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Skill Sharing Day: Leicester 2012

This event was hosted by De Montfort University.

Around 50 writers attended the event, jointly organized by Writing East Midlands, Writing West Midlands, De Montfort University and NAWE. Introducing the day, I found myself describing it is a branch line of the NAWE Conference, its principles being the same: those of peer learning and mutual support, the very same things that underpin NAWE’s mission as a whole – sharing the art, craft and imagination.

Sue Horner gave the opening address, stating what she considers to be the challenges and opportunities for writers in schools. With a new curriculum that seems to have ignored the expert panel that gave it such detailed consideration, writers are perhaps once again to become the ‘antidote’, but we still have power to steer teachers’ subsequent work. We do however need to help teachers understand the writer’s process; we need to become better at explaining what it is that we do.

Sue stressed the importance of ‘group power’; writers are sole traders and it is only by forming a community of practice that we have influence. This, again, underlines the importance of NAWE (and the folly of ACE in ignoring that fact).

In making my own closing remarks, I endorsed Sue’s views and applauded the assembled community of writers who were effectively placing themselves at the forefront of work with young people, demonstrating the necessary commitment to sharing their practice, improving their own skills and reinforcing our strength as a group.

It is particularly important that peer learning continues to characterize professional development for writers in education. The whole writers-in-schools movement grew because writers found that their work with young people enriched their own practice. That experience has been passed on with ever greater sophistication, and our Navigator partnership is currently working to complement that which we know works well. It may well be that some radical new training opportunities are developed. It is however crucial that any such development is undertaken with the full support of the community. We can therefore ensure all NAWE members that we will use the Navigator partnership to the best of our ability, ensuring that the combined voice of some 25,000 artists is heard when any new measures are introduced.

Here available to download are the slides from Sue Horner's opening address.

Sue Purkiss Blog
Read the blog by Sue Purkiss who attended the Skill Sharing Day in Leicester.

It is part of a group blog called An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, which belongs to the Scattered Authors' Society - all children's authors who make regular visits to schools.
Event Programme
Download the full programme for the day below.