We invite Early Years Teachers and Senior Leaders to step onboard and set sail with us on our inaugural National Literacy Conference. This will be held on Tuesday 25th June 2024 at 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!


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

Conference Schedule

The day will be jam packed with extraordinary speakers, engaging and interactive workshops, and new ideas. We are excited that Hywel Roberts is our Keynote Speaker, and we have other fabulous guests covering interactive workshops on:

 Shared Reading Strategies

Working with Parents

Writing Opportunities in Provision - Inside & Outside

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. 

Draft Schedule

9am     Coffee, Registration & Workshop Selections

9:20     Welcome

9:30     Opening Remarks - Rachel Jacobs, Leading Children Ltd

10:25   Break - Catch up with your peers over a coffee, visit the Exchange Board and Exhibitors

10:45   Keynote Speaker - Hywel Roberts

12.15   Lunch and stalls and networking - Enjoy lunch, network with your peers, visit the Exchange Board and Exhibitors

1:30     Workshop 1

2:15     Break - Catch up with your peers over a coffee, visit the Exchange
Board and Exhibitors

2:35     Workshop 2

3:20     Announcement - Small World: Huge Outcomes Book

3:40     Close

Opportunity to stay longer to relax with a drink and network with delegates or speak to the contributors

As a Conference Delegate, you will get:

Effective Professional Development

Inspiring Keynotes

Choice of 2 x 45 minute workshops

Fabulous Lunch and Refreshments

Goodie Bag including 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 and Parent Workshop Notes

Lots of interaction and collaboration time with like-minded people

  • FREE Goodie Bag

    Your Goodie Bag will include lots of Small World items to take back with you to use in the classroom

  • WIN a Spa Day for 2

    Chance to win a Spa Day
    with Three Treatments for Two people at a Bannatyne Health Club local to you

  • Great Food & Chat

    Vanquis' Chefs will provide a fabulous lunch and there will be free time allocated to chat with like-minded people

Meet the Crew

Rachel Jacobs - Education Consultant and co-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

Have you seen Hywel Roberts in action?

He is “….a world leader in enthusiasm…”

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.

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.