Supporting schools to improve teaching of phonics, early language and reading in Reception & Year 1




Our English Hub showcase events are practical, half day workshops designed to promote and share best practice in relation to the teaching of early language, reading and phonics. They have been carefully structured with inputs from school leaders, literacy and EYFS specialists and will include opportunities for lesson and teaching observations, action planning and facilitated, professional discussion.

The showcase events will consider implications for curriculum intent, implementation and impact as well as providing the opportunity for schools to find out more about the work of the English Hub and how their schools can access support, funding and further engagement.


28th November 2023

17th January 2024

27th February 2024

23rd April 2024

18th June 2024

10th July  2024


Showcase Events are fully funded for all schools and contributions to cover costs will be available for eligible schools following the attendance of the Headteacher.


Showcase Events will be held at Whiston Worrygoose Primary School, S60 4AG

Use the link below to book a place today!

8am – 12pm

Schools are only required to attend one Showcase Event.


Sensory Stories Led by The Learning Lady - Engaging SEND Pupils in Quality Storytelling

Built around brain based theory, sensory stories open up a world of memorable and practical possibilities for all learners!

The Learners First English Hub is delighted to welcome back ‘The Learning Lady’ to deliver this online, highly practical webinar around sensory stories and engaging PMLD students and those with significant barriers to learning, in high quality storytelling through a fun and fascinating approach.

Over her career, The Learning Lady has collaborated with Multi Academy Trusts, Teaching Schools, Learning Alliances, Teacher Training Programmes and Local Authorities, and has worked as an early Years Ofsted Inspector, mentored hundreds of Early Primary Trainees and worked internationally to share best practice.

During this webinar attendees will learn:

  • What sensory stories are and how they relate to brain based learning theory
  • How sensory stories support sensory processing
  • Which stories to choose and how to create a sensory story experience
  • How to adapt sensory stories to get started straight away


This amazingly insightful webinar will support schools to establish high expectations and a reading culture by meeting the needs of all readers and to nurture a love of reading by bringing books to life for all learners!

These network sessions are fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme.
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English Hub Updates
Led by Liz Kenny, English Hub Lead

As the educational landscape continues to change and develop there is an ever increasing amount of information for school staff to keep up to date with. This is particularly so in relation to phonics and early reading and here at the English Hub we are committed to supporting schools in navigating this successfully.

These English Hub updates, delivered by Liz Kenny who is the English Hub Lead here at Whiston Worrygoose, will provide schools with current key messages related to the teaching of phonics and early reading, vocabulary development and reading for pleasure. There will be opportunity to hear about any newly published documentation and to share helpful resources and information.



12th March 2024 – Reading Fluency

2nd July 2024

All updates will take place online, 3.30-4.30pm

These updates are fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme.
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Supporting Early Language Development

‘All talk is useful, especially when directed to the child specifically… children expand their   language and vocabulary when they listen to or join in with a story or rhymes… but an adult talking about it with them adds benefit’ The Reading Framework, 2023

Our 2-day Early Language training course is a research based CPD programme aimed at leaders or teachers working in primary settings. Participants will have the opportunity to consider their current early language pedagogy and how this could be strengthened and sustained. Content will include typical language development, how to support pupils who are struggling with language and what schools can do to improve outcomes for all. 
Programme Themes: 
  • What is language and how is it developed? 
  • How can we support talk in schools? 
  • Teaching words and making them stick 
  • Identifying and supporting SLCN 
  • Making and sustaining changes in schools  

Dates (participants will attend both days – 9.00am-3.00pm):


Fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme and schools will receive reimbursement of £80 per delegate to contribute towards cover costs (up to a maximum of 2 participants per setting)


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Kirstie Page: Embedding Interventions into Interactions

The Learners First English Hub is delighted to welcome back Kirstie Page to deliver a practical, online webinar considering children who are not meeting age-related expectations with Speech, Language and Communication Development. Kirstie Page qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist and specialised in the Early Years before training as a teacher. She now works with Local Authorities, MAT’s, English Hubs, Schools and PVI settings on topics relating to Speech, Language and Communication.

Throughout the webinar, delegates will look at key diagnostic questions to begin to identify the main skill gap which is acting as a barrier for each child. This understanding is crucial, enabling us to pinpoint which area of SLCD the child needs the most support with. Decisions can then be made about what strategies and embedding interventions need to be put into place.

This session will then focus on interaction with such children as these provide the biggest vehicle for embedding interventions into targeted practice. Colleagues will look at the need to match strategies to each child’s main skill gap, adapting these strategies overtime as the child makes progress.

This webinar will help support delegates to move away from generic language enrichment advice and one-size-fits-all approaches and will give greater clarity as to what a ‘High-Quality Interaction’ need to look and sound like for different children.

This course is online.


Fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme


Kirstie Page: Gap Identification & Embedding Interventions Information Session

Kirstie Page qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist and specialised in the Early Years before training as a teacher. She now works with Local Authorities, MAT’s, English Hubs, Schools and PVI settings on topics relating to Speech, Language and Communication.         

This webinar will be of interest to you if you are thinking one or more of the following:

  • We are concerned about the numbers and/or complexity of children entering EYFS with Speech, Language & Communication Skill Gaps.
  • We want to identify skill gaps and children with more specific & significant needs as soon as possible.
  • We want to specifically understand how to move children toward age-related expectations.
  • We teach Phonics well but still have a group of children who cannot blend.
  • Reading/Writing is our priority and I want a bottom-up approach to improve outcomes.
  • We want to ensure that interventions are matched to my children rather than implementing a blanket approach.
  • We want to get as many children as ready as possible for Phonics and other aspects of Literacy.
  • We want to ensure progression for ALL children.


All of the above concerns can be addressed by upskilling ourselves to understand the specific and incremental detail of child development. In particular, we can tackle these issues in a much more sustainable and productive way if we can identify children’s skill gaps and understand the process of removing these barriers to learning and progression. Where possible, interventions should then be embedded into targeted practice and Quality First Teaching. Delegates will find out more about how the Launchpad for Literacy Toolkit can support this upskilling process and give us this gap identification and closing capability we need.

This course is online.


Fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme

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OU/UKLA Teachers Reading Group

Whiston Worrygoose English Hub invites anyone committed to developing young people’s desire, delight and engagement as readers to join our online Reading Group. These groups provide free evidence–based CPD for all teachers to enrich their understanding of reading for pleasure (RfP) and how to support it.

The aims of the sessions are:

  • To foster children’s reading for pleasure through supporting teachers’ own RfP and research-informed practice
  • To support the profession by building a professional community around RfP locally and online
  • To share teachers’ resultant development work on the OU RfP website

The five sessions are informal, friendly and supportive and will be used to help develop evidence-informed practice, widen our knowledge of high-quality literature and other texts written for children, enrich our RfP pedagogy and document the impact on the young people as readers.

Course Dates (Remote Sessions)

3.30 – 5.00pm – Please select the dates you wish to attend – previous content will be re-capped at the start of each session

10th October 2024

14th November 2023

4th December 2023

29th January 2024

26th February 2024

Cost: Fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme.


Ready for Phonics? Pre-Phonics Training

With an emphasis on high expectations in phonics outcomes in schools, it is more important than ever that our youngest children are well prepared. This highly practical course will leave you with ideas and simple suggestions that you can implement in the classroom straight away! 
Attendees will join in with stories, songs and games, as well as having time to share ideas with colleagues and tap into the experience of an expert. Essential subject knowledge is paired with lots of active learning for a truly memorable experience with great impact!  

Date (9.00am-3.00pm):


Schools will receive reimbursement of £80 per delegate at F2F events to contribute towards cover costs (up to a maximum of 2 per setting)

Fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme and schools will receive reimbursement of £80 per delegate to contribute towards cover costs (up to a maximum of 2 participants per setting)

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Reading for Pleasure: Transforming your Schools Reading Culture (TSRC)

‘To nurture the reading habit, schools need a strategic approach rather than simply an eclectic mix of ’reading for pleasure’ activities’ 

The Reading Framework, 2023

The TSRC programme is a sustained, research based CPD programme aimed at primary English or Reading Leads. The programme will provide opportunities for participants to consider how to develop and embed their reading for pleasure pedagogy and leadership. Participants will be expected to attend all sessions and to undertake short gap tasks in between sessions.

Programme Aims:

  • Understand the research underpinning RfP practice and pedagogy
  • Widen knowledge of children’s literature
  • Transform whole school reading culture in your school
  • Develop the leadership skills to initiate and sustain change
  • Become advocates for RfP and share experiences and best practice

Virtual Courses

Session 1




Session 2




Session 3




Session 4




Session 5




Cost: Fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme.

Face to Face Courses
(participants will attend both days - 9:00am-3:00pm)

Session 1


Session 2


Cost: Fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme and schools will receive reimbursement of £80 per delegate to contribute towards cover costs (up to a maximum of 2 participants per setting)


Primary English Subject Leaders Network

  • 16th November 2023 – The Reading Framework
  • 8th February 2024 – Elements of Reading in English Lessons
  • 21st March 2024 – Non-Fiction
  • 18th April 2024
  • 6th June 2024
Further themes to be agreed in line with participant and school feedback
Following the success and growing engagement with the primary English Subject Leaders Network last academic year, Learners First is delighted to be able to offer further networking opportunities in 2023/24 for English Subject Leaders in primary schools.
The networking sessions, delivered as face-to-face events, aim to provide a professionally facilitated forum through which colleagues from different schools, MATs and geographical areas with responsibility for leading English in their settings can come together. They have been designed to provide opportunities for subject leaders to collaborate on common challenges, share strategies and engage with, and learn from, high quality research and impactful evidence. Key national updates, including those from Ofsted, the DfE and English Hub network, as well as other pertinent research findings will be shared and discussed to ensure subject leaders have access to the latest information. Importantly, the network will provide an opportunity for leaders to be professionally supported in the strategic interpretation and implementation of such updates in their own schools and settings. 
The networking sessions have been designed, and will be facilitated by, serving senior school leaders to ensure they are authentic, pertinent and reflect the current realities of English Subject Leadership in the primary sector. The networking sessions are offered as part of Learners First’s long standing strategic partnership with the experienced and extremely skilled and knowledgeable senior leaders at Humberstone Academy, winners of the UK’s Literacy School Of The Year. 
These network sessions are fully funded for all schools through the DfE English Hubs Programme.
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22/23 Ofsted Update: Phonics & Early Reading Briefing Led by Kirsty Godfrey

This online webinar provides delegates with a valuable insight into what inspectors will be considering when they look at how well schools teach children to read, what high quality reading provision looks like and how schools can better prepare.

Foundations for Phonics with Kirstie Page: Facilitating Language Skills

This webinar explores how having a greater understanding of children’s gaps can be used to inform our interactions and approach to language enrichment and help practitioners to create targeted opportunities and focused activities within the learning environment.

Foundations for Phonics with Kirstie Page: Phonic Preparation

Throughout this webinar Kirstie examines which skills feed directly into phonic readiness and looks closely at improving how targeted and incremental existing practice can become. The webinar also provides the opportunity to explore other skill strands that feed directly into readiness such as sequential auditory memory, conceptual understanding and visual skills.

Foundations for Phonics with Kirstie Page: Identifying Barriers to Phonic Learning and Progression

This webinar revisits some of the skill strands explored throughout earlier sessions but with greater emphasis placed upon older pupils who have gaps within them which have become barriers to their learning and progression. The webinar looks in more detail at the likely skill barriers for blending and grapheme-phoneme correspondence and considers more broadly issues such as reading comprehension and reading fluency.

How to Spot a Child at Risk of Falling Behind in Reading Led by David Morgan

David Morgan is the founder and CEO of DM Education and co-author of the Amazon best seller, ‘The 9 Main Causes of Reading Difficulty’. During the webinar, David shares his research informed insights and experiences of helping struggling readers based on a neurological analysis of what happens in the brain when someone reads or spells. The webinar supports delegates to better identify and support children at risk of falling behind in reading by providing an overview of some of the possible causes of reading difficulty and the corresponding, practical solutions to overcome them.




With your support our daily lessons have received more than 8m views. Lessons are continuing throughout the rest of the academic year and are ideal to share with your families who may be self-isolating.
Find our lessons on YouTube as new lessons continue to be uploaded. You can also find a full list of all lessons we have planned for the term on our Letters and Sounds website. Once our lessons are live, they stay live and are available for on-demand viewing 24/7.
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The DfE have recently announced that they will not now be publishing the previously promised update to the Letters and Sounds progression. Schools will continue to be able to access the original 2007 framework online. Following this announcement, schools will naturally have questions regarding the continuation of Letters and Sounds and the DfE have provided the following reassurance:

  • There is no suggestion that Letters and Sounds will disappear.
  • Current L&S accredited training will continue until July 2023, so there will be continuity for schools who are already using the current programme.
  • The new validated list (following a re-validation process to begin Summer 2021) means there will be more high-quality choice for schools looking at which SSP to use.
  • There will be no expectation that schools using Letters and Sounds well, and achieving excellent results, will have to change to a new programme.
  • There is no need to rush any decision about choosing an SSP; schools will be provided with support and guidance about the range of options.
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A Series of Writing Masterclass Webinars

Led and Facilitated by Alex Quigley

Learners First invites you to join us for a new series of three online, interconnected Writing Masterclass Webinars with Alex Quigley for primary leaders and teachers.

Webinars will take place throughout April 2024



Here at the English Hub we are determined to continue to offer support and advice to schools throughout these difficult and unusual times. With this in mind we have produced a resource which provides access to a selection of resources and websites which can help ensure that children are accessing high quality content which is both educational and engaging. Use the materials as a stimulus for speaking and listening activities, engaging with high quality texts or to motivate children to write down their own ideas or responses. If you would like any further help or advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.