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Lyn Stone – Spelling for Life Workshop

All through the year, schools and colleges are hives of industry, and trying to find a suitable time in the academic calendar to run a professional learning workshop can be tricky.

However, considering the impressive attendance at Lyn Stone’s ‘Spelling for Life’ session last Friday, the best advice is simply to organize a high-quality speaker whose work directly applies to the classroom, and the tickets will be snapped up! This was certainly the case with Lyn’s workshop, as an extra batch of tickets was released and sold out immediately.

Educators, literacy leads and principals from primary and post-primary schools drank in the fascinating linguistic knowledge that underpins the teaching of phonics. Lyn demonstrated a depth of understanding that cannot be gained without knowing the fundamentals of the English language system. She rooted out some pedagogical missteps that often occur which helps prevent the need to ‘unlearn’ aspects of the written code if taught incorrectly (or unwittingly) in the beginning. She provided the rationale behind many of the (sometimes confusing) spelling patterns we see in the English language and then followed this up by inviting the participants to apply such information to practice. 

The buzz during and after this professional development event has been very gratifying. Participants networked with colleagues old and new. Email exchanges talk of further connections and curriculum reform at class and school level. One thing is for sure….this session has (re)ignited the passion in many of those who attended, to return to their places of work with a renewed and reinvigorated will to ‘do business’ differently. St Mary’s provided a very warm, welcoming and supportive space within which such links between first, second and third level educators could occur.

Lyn is returning to Ireland in October of this year. Could we entice her back…..?

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