Conference Due to Set Sail on 25th June 2024

Conference Due to Set Sail on 25th June 2024

We invite Early Years Teachers and Senior Leaders to step onboard and set sail with us on our inaugural National Literacy Conference:

DECKCHAIRS ON THE TITANIC: ENERGISING EYFS LITERACY CONFERENCE - 25TH JUNE 2024 - Vanquis Banking Group Headquarters, Bradford, Yorkshire

This one-day conference is open to any Practitioners working in Early Years, Headteachers, SLT or LA Consultants. The focus is on increasing creativity and nurturing the imagination. We are linking this via the Literacy Curriculum into making learning richer and more efficient.

We promise to make it a smooth, comfortable, informative, and fun crossing - without an iceberg in sight!


Conference Schedule

The day will be jam packed with extraordinary speakers, engaging and interactive workshops, and new ideas. View the schedule here.

We are excited that Hywel Roberts is our Keynote Speaker, and we have other fabulous guests covering interactive workshops on:

  • Shared Reading
  • Working with Parents
  • Writing Opportunities in Provision
  • Developing talk through Small World Play.


VIP Workshop by Hywel Roberts

Hywel Roberts (Speaker – Writer – Storyteller – Humourist – Educator) will be offering a special seminar specifically for Head Teachers, Advisory Teachers and SLT on developing a highly creative and imaginative culture in school. 

Have you seen Hywel Roberts in action? He is “….a world leader in enthusiasm…”

Hywel’s reputation as an in-demand contributor to international conversations around leadership, learning, optimism, and hope, is all wrapped up in a singular, easy to remember word: botheredness.

Originally a teacher, Hywel contributes to the national conversation around learning and thinking at all levels and is a very highly regarded teller of stories and a raconteur. He is also a well- respected author and contributes regularly to a variety of publications.

He is an incredibly witty and entertaining speaker, and we are delighted that he can join us.


As a Conference Delegate, you will get:

  • Effective Professional Development
  • Inspiring Keynotes
  • Choice of 2 x 45 minute workshops
  • Fabulous Lunch in the on-site Restaurant and Refreshments
  • Goodie Bag with Small World items to use in the classroom
  • Rachel’s New Book on Developing Literacy through Small World Play (1 FREE copy per school)
  • Countless ideas, practical tips and tools, including a Reading List
  • Lots of interaction and collaboration time with like-minded people
  • Chance to win a Spa Day with Three Treatments for Two at a Bannatyne Health Club
  • An opportunity or stay onboard longer to relax with a drink and network with delegates or speak to the contributors


Meet the Crew:

  • Rachel Jacobs - Education Consultant and founder of Leading Children Ltd
  • Hywel Roberts - Renowned Travelling Teacher, Writer, Humourist and Storyteller
  • Jennifer McArdle - Assistant Head / EYFS Lead, St Oswald's C of E Primary Academy, Bradford
  • Claire Goulding - KS1 Teacher, Bramley Sunnyside Infants and Nursery School, Rotherham
  • Lucy Barnes - Assistant Headteacher, Dixons Allerton Academy, Bradford


Early Bird Tickets Now on Sale

Our Early Bird offer is available until 7th May at £125 per person + VAT.

Tickets will then revert to the standard fee of £145 per person + VAT

Tickets must be booked in advance here.


Event enquiries:



Why is it called Deckchairs on the Titanic?

We all know the true story of the world's most famous ship that tragically struck an iceberg in the cold Atlantic Ocean. 

The phrase “rearranging deckchairs on the titanic” derives from this story. It is often used to describe someone who undertakes a futile action in the face of an impending catastrophe.

Marrying this phrase with the teaching of literacy might sound overly dramatic, but it could be said that we are sometimes only making well-meaning but negligible adjustments to the teaching of literacy, instead of addressing the larger, more important issues at hand.

Join us to discuss creative approaches that can be used to steer our children away from danger and create a nation of avid readers, prolific writers, imaginative story-makers, poets and copywriters.