English Conference (Spring 2024)

Delegate price £200.00
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Windmill Village Hotel
Date & Details
Speaker Profiles

English Conference 2024

Igniting Children’s Imaginations

Led by Neill Cameron & Ben Payne

Writing is a concern in many Primary Schools as children struggle to make-up for lost learning in an aspect of English which can be tricky at the best of times.  Although mastering transcriptional accuracy is important, we also need writers in our classrooms who are engaged and have something to say.

At this year’s conference, leaders will have the opportunity to have fun and think deeply about how to truly immerse students in the writing process.

We will have an interactive session: ‘Comics in the Classroom’ – led by Neill Cameron, cartoonist, writer and illustrator. Neill will talk to us about how comics – both reading them and making them – can be used in the classroom to help children develop vital literacy skills, and to instil a love of reading for pleasure that can last a lifetime. The session will include lots of ideas and practical suggestions for comics-based activities that can be tried by even the most confirmed ‘can’t draw, won’t draw’ of children (and, for that matter, adults).

We will also hear from Ben Payne, co-founder and former co-director of ‘The Ministry of Stories’, who will introduce the principles of ‘The Ministry of Stories’ methodology and facilitate this hands-on workshop where colleagues will get to experience what it feels like to write a story.   This will be a collaborative experience in which delegates will start from their own creative thoughts and ideas, work through the process of story making together and to where they end up as published authors.

DATE: Monday 29th January 2024

TIME: 09:30-15:30

VENUE: Windmill Village Hotel, Golf Club and Spa, Birmingham Road, Allesley
​Coventry, CV5 9AL

COST: £200 per person


Schools who subscribe to the Gateway Alliance – ENGLISH subject leader network have 1 FREE place per school. 

Costs will be incurred for additional places and for schools that do not subscribe. Please contact us for details.


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

Neill Cameron is a cartoonist and writer, creator of the graphic novel series ‘Mega Robo Bros’, the ‘Freddy VS School’ illustrated novels, and is a frequent contributor to weekly children’s comic ‘The Phoenix’.

Neill is a former artist-in-residence at The Story Museum in Oxford, where he contributed several large-scale comic strip installations and continues to be involved in comics-based education and activities, including curating the exhibition ‘KABOOM: The Art of Creating Comics’ in 2023, and running a monthly Comics Club group for young cartoonists.

Neill frequently travels the country giving workshops in schools, libraries and at festivals, and is a passionate advocate for the role comics can play in developing literacy skills and encouraging children’s creativity.

Ben Payne has had a successful career across the performing arts and literature as a theatre writer, director, producer and artistic facilitator. In 2010 he co-founded the Ministry of Stories (MoS) with Lucy Macnab and the writer Nick Hornby. MoS has now worked with over 10,000 children in East London, trained many thousands of volunteers to be the children’s writing mentors, and has replicated this across the UK.  Along the way, he got to help create projects where young people launched an album of their own songs, delivered speeches in the Houses of Parliament, and invented and ran an independent country, all through their own writing.

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