What’s the Story? Enriching Communication, Language and Literacy in the Early Years Conference

14th March, 2016 - 09:00 am to 16:00 pm
Price: £220.00


Early Years



What’s the Story?

Enriching Communication, Language and Literacy in the Early Years Conference

Monday 14 March 2016 9.00 - 4.00 (conference now past)

For Early Years practitioners and leaders, and all those invested in early language and literacy development.


Join us for an exceptional conference featuring an incredible line-up of speakers:

World renowned Early Years expert, Professor Tina Bruce CBE

World famous author and Children’s Laureate (2011-13), Julia Donaldson

National Storytelling Laureate (2012-14), Katrice Horsley


Highlights from this inspiring conference will include:

  • the last keynote speech that Professor Tina Bruce CBE will make in the UK
  • insight into the work of leading author, Julia Donaldson
  • the opportunity to develop oral storytelling skills from professional storyteller, Katrice Horsley
  • practical and inspiring workshops led by the CLPE alongside experienced practitioners
  • introduction to a range of high-quality texts and teaching approaches that inspire story making

Conference Aims and Objectives

Children need wide opportunities to retell and replay stories in a variety of ways to develop and enhance their own narratives both orally and in writing. The What’s the Story? Conference will inspire and equip teachers to engage young children in story making, storytelling, and performance by:

  • considering the significance of oral narratives within excellent Early Years provision
  • exploring the relationship between personal stories and fictional narrative
  • working with high quality texts with supportive story structures and rich language
  • demonstrating a range of teaching approaches to inspire our young storytellers
  • illustrating how provision rich in story making can support all children in their journey towards becoming confident performers, readers and writers

We recommend early booking as demand is high for this conference and places are limited.

About the Workshops

Drama on Paper - Reading, Role Play and Recording Story

Led by Katie Myles

This workshop will demonstrate how we can elicit deeper responses to a high quality storybook, developing empathy and enriching language through role play and drama. 

Nuggets of Inspiration - Small Worlds and Storyboxes

Led by Kate Sayer

This workshop will enable teachers to explore the rich world of storyboxes and the opportunities provided by small world play. Teachers will consider how children and families can be encouraged to share stories from home as well as playing with stories told in the setting. 

Quiet or Quest? Monsters, Make Believe and the Thrill of the Chase

Led by Charlotte Hacking

This workshop will enable teachers to consider more deeply the storymaking that takes place outside, during child initiated play. It will explore ways in which we can draw on our understanding of story plot to enrich language through the provision of open ended resources and high quality texts.

About the speakers

Julia Donaldson is one of the best loved writers for children today. Her rhyming picture books include The Gruffalo, The Snail and the Whale and Stick Man, all illustrated by Axel Scheffler. Other illustrators of her books include Lydia Monks, Nick Sharratt, David Roberts and Emily Gravett. Julia was Children’s Laureate 2011-2013 during which time she made the performance of poetry, plays and stories a major focus. Poems to Perform, a collection she selected, was shortlisted for the CLPE Poetry Award in 2014. Find out more about Julia at www.juliadonaldson.co.uk

Professor Tina Bruce CBE is an Honorary Visiting Professor in Early Childhood at the University of Roehampton. She is a leading international expert on play in early childhood and her accessible books on the subject are highly influential with Early Years practitioners. They include Observing Young Children, Learning through Play, Early Childhood Education and Cultivating Creativity. She says: ‘Children use stories we tell them to develop their pretend play. It helps them to create their own stories, to imagine and to function at their highest levels.’

Katrice Horsley is a professional storyteller who uses narrative to promote change and development. She was National Storytelling Laureate 2012-2014. She is known as a trainer in the field of creative evaluation and helped set up and was director of the Traditional Arts Foundation, an organisation that promotes traditional performance arts and explores their uses in education and development. She has worked for the BBC, UNICEF, UNHCR, the British Council and the British Heart Foundation. Find out more about Katrice at www.katalysttales.co.uk

‘Just as beavers build dams and spiders spin webs, people tell stories.’ 

Daniel Dennett, 1991

‘We rely on stories to sort out the world. From the stories we hear as children we inherit the ways in which we talk about how we feel, the values which we hold to be important, and what we regard as the truth.’ 

Margaret Meek, On Being Literate