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Closing the Word Gap: What Really Works led by Jean Gross

DATE: Tuesday 12th November 2019

TIME: 09:30-15:30


The curriculum and assessment system now place heavy demands on children’s vocabulary knowledge. Schools are increasingly concerned about the implications for many of their children; government have made closing the gap a key part of their strategy to increase social mobility.

This practical day, provided by the former government Communication Champion for children Jean Gross, provides a framework for effective action to build children’s language skills from early years to the end of primary school. It explores what we mean by the word gap, and why it matters. Showcasing effective approaches in schools and settings across the country, it summarises research on what helps children and young people develop breadth and depth of vocabulary, and highlights the importance of three key factors: a place to talk, a reason to talk and support for talk.

This session includes:

  • fascinating facts from the latest science about how children’s language develops
  • the links between vocabulary and reading comprehension
  • how to create communication-supportive classrooms and school environments
  • whole-class approaches to developing vocabulary and wider language skills
  • choosing and implementing ‘catch-uo’ strategies for those with limited language
  • good practice in supporting parents and carers to develop their children’s language skills


Jean Gross’ career in education as a teacher, and educational psychologist, author and an adviser to government is all about children who, one way or another, don’t have much going for them in their lives.

Until 2005. Jean was Senior Director within the Governments’s Primary National Strategy, responsible for its work on overcoming barriers to achievement. More recently, she was England’s Communication Champion for Children. Her best-selling book ‘Time to Talk’, now in its second edition, reflects the many examples of good practice she saw in this role.

This event is sponsored by Oxford University Press.


This event is free to those schools who subscribe to the Gateway Alliance – core offer for EARLY YEARS.

There is one place available per subscribing school. Additional places may be booked at a cost of £105 per person. Non-subscribing schools may attend, subject to availability, at a cost of £180 per person. Invoices to be paid prior to the event.


If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact us on 02476 347697 or email: info@gatewayalliance.co.uk

Stoneleigh Park Stoneleigh Road (B4113)
Kenilworth,CV8 2LGUnited Kingdom

Who's Attending

61 people are attending Early Years Leaders Conference – Jean Gross (Autumn 2019)

  • Louise Duncan
  • Christian Hilton
  • Juliet Jones
  • Tracey Mafe
  • Fiona Caddick
  • Julie Forshew
  • Simon Pearson
  • Karen Hallard
  • Liz Poultney
  • Jane McNally
  • Matthew Edwards
  • Rebecca Noon
  • Carol Hoverd
  • Denise Barnes
  • Michelle Gavin
  • Debbie Bateman
  • Hannah Proctor
  • Sam Pater
  • Julie Clarke
  • Charlene Frost
  • Karen Johnson
  • Maggie Godfrey
  • Juliet McCarron
  • Jen James
  • Louise Eccles
  • Laura Scott
  • Marjorie Dean
  • anne woodley
  • Roberta Sale
  • Jo Burn
  • Alli Lalande-Villemin
  • Daisy Newey
  • Kay Middleton
  • Louise Quayle
  • Dawn Wilson
  • Donna Harrington
  • Jayneq Davies
  • Rekha Malhan
  • Stacy Hands
  • Michelle Wilkes
  • Gemma Wright
  • Debby Hughes
  • Sharon Hillyard
  • Margaret Freeman
  • Catherine Winter
  • Karen Hanson
  • Glyn Morgans
  • Sarah Rayson
  • Sally Obrey
  • Lucy Vickers
  • Sharon Arnold
  • Karen McGrath
  • Alex Dainty
  • Jayne Neale
  • Sonia Aldridge
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