2018 Annual Conference & AGM

Date: 21/04/2018

Location: Imperial College, London

Price (per person): Members £155, Non-members £185

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2018 Annual Conference & AGM










Location: London

Booking Ref: 2018 Conference

Day of Week: Saturday

Course Times: 9.30am to 5.00pm (registration from 8.30am)

Link to Venue: Imperial College London (download map here)


8.30 - 9.30:Registration, Sir Alexander Fleming Building Foyer (Refreshments will be available in the Sherfield Building Exhibition area)

9.30  - 11.00: Conference opened by Lynn Greenwold, Chief Executive Officer – Patoss and Keynote Address by Professor Maggie Snowling: Language and Dyslexia: Current Research

11.00 - 11.30: Refreshments, Sir Alexander Fleming Building Foyer

11.30 - 12.45: First Seminar Session, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, rooms to be advised in delegate packs

12.45 - 2.15: Lunch, Sherfield Building, Senior and Junior Common Rooms

2.15 - 3.30: Second Seminar Session*, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, rooms to be advised in delegate packs

3.40 - 4.30: Topical Address by Lynn Greenwold

5.00: Close

Download a brochure here

Keynote Speech

Keynote Speaker: Professor Margaret (Maggie) Snowling 

Professor Maggie Snowling is President of St. John’s College at the University of Oxford.
Maggie completed her first degree at Bristol and her doctorate at University College London. She is also professionally qualified as a clinical psychologist. She was awarded the British Psychological Society Presidents' Award (2003) and the Samuel T Orton Award of the International Dyslexia Association (2005); she is Past-President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading and former Joint Editor of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. She served on Sir Jim Rose’s Expert Advisory Group on provision for Dyslexia and was an expert member of the Education for All: Fast Track Initiative group in Washington DC in 2011. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from Goldsmiths London (2010), University College London (2014) and Warwick University (2016) for contributions to the science of reading and dyslexia.
She is Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. She was appointed CBE for services to science and the understanding of dyslexia in 2016.

Language and Dyslexia: Current Research

Language skills are the foundation of learning to read and many children with dyslexia have language difficulties. This talk will present findings from a longitudinal study of children at high-risk of dyslexia either because of preschool speech and language difficulties or because of a first degree affected relative, from age 3 to 8 years will follow. Evidence suggests that poor phonology is a shared risk factor between familial dyslexia and developmental language disorder but there are also differences and the developmental picture is complex. It will be argued, in line with the critical age hypothesis, that children who enter school with a persistent speech or language impairment are most at risk of reading problems. Closing a virtuous circle from theory to application, the talk will present implications for screening and intervention.


Seminars: Delegates to choose TWO seminars from the six listed below:

Know your Latin Roots and Crack the Meaning of Thousands of English Words with Judy Capener
AGE RANGE: Secondary

A deep connection exists between vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension and academic success. Learners moving through their education face increasing numbers of unfamiliar words in school texts, reading material, which are not in their spoken vocabulary.  They have not only to decode them but, more importantly, attach meaning. The majority of these will have been ‘borrowed’ from Latin. Understanding and knowing how these Latin words work can be a powerful tool in unlocking new vocabulary.

The workshop explores how awareness of affixes, base words found in everyday vocabulary transfers to the structure of Latin ones and the logic in the patterns and meaning of the word parts. It will focus on strategies to help learners from KSt2 upwards analyse new words to unlock their meaning and make connections with related ones, and show how as a bonus grammatical, expressive vocabulary and spelling skills improve. It will also provide a fascinating exploration for teachers. No prior knowledge of Latin necessary!

Judy Capener
Judy is an experienced teacher, teacher trainer and long -standing member of the British Dyslexia Association Accreditation Board. She has been a programme leader for a number of post-graduate courses in SpLD, including an OCR Certificate in Teaching Learners with SpLD for teachers under the Rose Review funding. More recently she has presented on the DfE Funded training days, Teaching for Neurodiversity. She has delivered extensive dyslexia training in the UK, including speaking at BDA International Conferences and Patoss CPD days on the importance of morphology to developing vocabulary, reading and spelling skills. Currently Judy works independently as a consultant, assessor and specialist teacher and is a director of PATOSS.

Make words a priority – an introduction to teaching vocabulary knowledge with Sue Francis
AGE RANGE: Primary 6 - 13 years

A rich vocabulary supports learning and is tightly related to reading comprehension. To be a proficient reader you need to be able not only to decode words but more importantly, attach meaning to them. To be a successful writer and to be able to convey ideas effectively you need to have command of a rich variety of words. This workshop will investigate how we come to ‘know’ new words and the levels of knowledge. It will introduce the concept of Beck’s three tiers of vocabulary knowledge to help you select the words that will have the most impact, including how to work with the vocabulary to ensure a good understanding to support listening and comprehension. The workshop will briefly discuss methods of assessment and individual/classroom strategies.

Sue Francis
Sue has worked in the field of SpLD since gaining her qualifications in the 1990s and works as a Senior SEND Advisor for Stoke-on-Trent LEA. She continually updates her knowledge and uses this and her experience to support schools, individual teachers, SENCOs, parents, professionals and pupils. Sue undertakes training in all areas that affect the inclusion of pupils with SpLD in the classroom and leads on the Stoke-on-Trent dyslexia friendly schools initiative together with her team of specialist teachers. She trains both locally and nationally and is an accredited Inference Trainer and a Word Aware Trainer. Sue has delivered workshops at Patoss Annual Conferences and at the SpLD Central 2017 Conference. Sue was elected to the Patoss Board in 2010.

Keeping the Learner at the Heart of the Assessment Process: from Impact to Recommendations with Sally-Ann Morrison
(SASC authorised 1 hr 15 mins)

Undeniably, the aim of a diagnostic assessment is not only to answer the ‘Am I dyslexic?’ question, but also to provide ways forward to allow the individual to achieve in their studies, or succeed more readily in employment. Integral to this process is the identification of the potential impact of our findings on the individual in the environment they are returning to.  Why does what we have found matter?

This workshop aims to look at the ‘so what’ of assessment. Assessors will have the opportunity to work through some common assessment findings and consider their potential impact in real situations with real individuals. Assessors will then be equipped to build positive recommendations that are genuinely individualised and of practical use. This interactive session is suitable for diagnosticians working with all age groups and will aim to explore how, by working in this way, we truly are able to keep the learner at the heart of the process.

Sally-Ann Morrison
Sally-Ann has over 20 years’ experience as an SpLD specialist and holds a Masters degree in Adult Dyslexia Diagnosis and Support. She is the Director of Adult Dyslexia Consulting, based in the North West of England and is a member of the Patoss APC Review team. Her mission is to ensure the assessment process is accessible, meaningful and of direct relevance to the individual so as to provide reassurance, identification of strengths, and suggesting ways forward to ensure equality and the challenging of barriers in both education and the workplace.

What is academic language, why do academics and professionals use it, and how can we help our students to build academic language skills? with Rachel Simpson

“I have used lots of long words and made my sentences longer because my module tutor has told me to use academic language.” This misconception – that “academic language” means “long and complex” – is common not only amongst students but also amongst some university staff, and can lead to work which is extremely difficult to understand.

The session will consider how we can use examples of accessible and obscure academic writing to help students recognise:
• What academic language is – what features make it “academic”
• Why academic language is useful
• Ways in which academic language is sometimes misused and how we can we differentiate between good and bad.

The session will then use a case study
• to explore a range of strategies and resources for developing a student’s academic language skills and knowledge
• to share ideas, practices and experience of working with students who have problems with academic language skills

Rachel Simpson
Rachel is part of the Oxford SpLD Tutor Group and has worked for the past 8 years at Oxford Brookes University, initially as an In-house Specialist Dyslexia SpLD Tutor and then as a freelance Tutor and Assessor. This experience has given her a useful insight into some of the difficulties of being an independent tutor, whilst also benefiting from the advantages of being part of a highly experienced and supportive team. She has written a chapter on “How to Make the Most of Your Lectures”, and contributed to a chapter on “Reading Strategies”, for the 3rd Edition of Study Skills for Students with Dyslexia: Support for Specific Learning Differences (SpLDS) edited by Sandra Hargreaves and Jamie Crabb.

Prior to becoming a Specialist Dyslexia/SpLD Tutor Rachel had taught History (GCSE, A Level and Access), Basic Literacy and Numeracy, and English as a Foreign Language in FE Colleges and Basic Skills centres in the UK and Cyprus, and in Hong Kong University School of Professional and Continuing Education. More recently she also taught the PG Diploma in Assessment of SpLDs at London Metropolitan University from 2011-2016, with responsibility for updating the course design to meet changing assessment requirements.

Improving Emotional Literacy - The Foundation For Better Mental Health In Schools with Dr Susan Wilkinson

We are facing a potential crisis with regards to the mental health of children and young people in this country. Young Minds reports that 3 children in every classroom have a diagnosable mental disorder and that 90% of school leaders have reported an increase in the last 5 years in the number of students experiencing anxiety, stress, low mood or depression; and the Department of Health’s ‘Future in Mind’ (2015) reports that ‘one in ten children needs support or treatment for mental health problems’.

In a recent article, (Stephan, Sugai, Lever and Conors, 2015) schools are encouraged to adopt a pyramid model wherein pupils receive a multitiered system of support, with all pupils accessing good quality PSHE at tier 1, and with targeted support being offered to individual or small groups of pupils who have been identified as being at risk for a given concern or problem at tier 2, and already displaying a particular concern or problem at tier 3.  ‘SEAL’ also advocates a three-wave programme, and was instrumental, along with the Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) programme (2008) in developing the ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) course (Dodds and Blake, 2015), with a view to it contributing to tier 2 and 3 support.

The key components and research base underpinning ELSA’s work in school are detailed alongside some useful ways to monitor the emotional wellbeing of individuals, groups of students and whole schools.

Dr Wilkinson will present 2 seminars – The morning session will focus on Key Stages 1 and 2 differentiating the "signs" of early mental health issues and relevant supporting activities.

Dr Wilkinson’s afternoon session will focus on Key Stages 3 and 4 differentiating the "signs" of early mental health issues and relevant supporting activities.

Dr Susan Wilkinson (BSc (Senior Honours); PhD; QTS; CCET; D.Ch.Ed.Psy).
Dr Wilkinson is registered practitioner psychologist with the Health and Care Professionals Council (Reg. No PYL27774) and adheres to their professional guidelines and recommendations for practice and continued professional development.

Susan has worked with the Child and Educational Psychology Practice (CEPP) for 3 years as a Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist having previously worked within the Educational Psychology Services within Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk County Councils.

She holds a PhD in the psychology of behaviour change and an additional doctorate in Child and Educational Psychology (focusing on whole school approaches to supporting students with bereavement and loss). She is also: a qualified teacher; bereavement care supervisor; Assistant EP supervisor, member of the Multi-Disciplinary Autistic Spectrum Condition Assessment team in Norfolk and is the Norfolk ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) lead trainer and supervisor.

Dyslexia and Dyscalculia: exploring the mathematical issues in Higher Education with Clare Trott

In the context of dyslexia, the workshop will consider reading and writing mathematics as well as memory for mathematics. The session will also consider dyscalculia and the impact on Higher Education studies, particularly the unexpected statistical modules that frequently occur. The session will seek to show some of the differences between dyslexia with maths difficulties and dyscalculia and highlight some possible ways forward.

Clare Trott
Clare is a member of the Counselling and Disabilities Service at Loughborough University. She provides one-to-one mathematics support for students with identified needs. This includes neurodiverse students and those who are low in mathematical confidence. She is particularly interested in dyscalculia in Higher Education and in the effects of dyslexia in mathematics although the support provided covers the full range of neurodiversities.

Topical Address with Lynn Greenwold: Supporting Professional Practice - Data Protection (GDPR) and You 

As per the last two conferences the Chief Executive of Patoss, Lynn Greenwold, will deliver a topical address in the Large Lecture Theatre from 3.40-4.30pm. You can book onto this session as well as onto the two seminars of your choice when making your booking. This year Lynn will be looking at the new data protection regulations (GDPR) and requirements coming into effect in May 2018, steps members can take in handling and storing data and issues members should be aware of to ensure they are in compliance.

Gallagher     Crossbow

List of Exhibitors

Barrington Stoke
Cambridge House Dyslexia Resources
Clear Links Support Ltd
Crossbow Education Ltd (Sponsor)
Learning Materials Ltd
Little Creative Days
Pearson Clinical Assessment
Phonic Books Ltd
Read Successfully Ltd
Scanning Pens Shop
SEN Marketing
TTS Group
Word Shark