English adviser and author
An English teacher, senior leader and adviser, Helen has led English, literacy, and drama provision for over 20 years. Her work benefits from time spent as an Ofsted Inspector, acting head in an all-through setting, author, adviser to several academy chains and AQA examiner. Author of a national literacy audit toolkit, Helen has worked on several cross-phase, literacy projects for schools and charities. To date, Helen has worked with over three hundred school leadership teams across the UK to improve focus on vocabulary, literacy, and English.
Since the release of The Word Gap report in 2018, Helen has been determined to highlight effective, explicit teaching of vocabulary. This passion to address the word gap has focused her work in this area and, in the summer of 2020, she presented six vocabulary webinars for both Oxford University Press and ASCL, attended by over 5000 teachers. She was delighted to be a panellist for the launch of the 2020 report: Bridging the Word Gap at Transition.
You can access the recordings of these webinars on this link.
Helen hosts the weekly ‘Word-Up’ podcast series for Oxford Education, talking about vocabulary with a diverse range of inspiring educators, authors and actors.
Published by Oxford University Press, Helen is the author of three vocabulary books. ‘Get It Right: Boost Your Vocabulary’ is a series of practical, write-in workbooks designed to expand students' vocabulary and address the word gap. The series includes carefully selected, aspirational words drawn from the Oxford Children's Corpus to build tier 2 vocabulary through a range of activities, alongside a selection of engaging fiction and non-fiction extracts.
Available from 25th of February 2021, you can pre-order now here.
Helen is also delighted to be making her first foray into children’s picture books! Teaming up with the incredible Minifish illustrator, ‘Granny Alice’ will make her debut in 2021.
Always busy, always solving, the shrewd and adventurous Granny Alice depends on her red tricycle, its bottomless basket filled with magical knitting. Surrounded by the village schoolchildren of St Hugo's, Granny Alice knits her way to clever solutions, saving the day, with hints of mischief, wit and charm. Appealing to 3-8 year olds, her four stories are engaging and funny reads which span the seasons.
Keep an eye out for the release date on Helen’s Amazon author page here.
Driven by a passion to bridge this word-gap, Helen designed an app to secure rapid vocabulary acquisition: ‘ChatterStars’. Designed to support schools and parents with a little and often, targeted resource, children aged 6-16 complete fun, personalised activities to build an empowered voice. Puzzles are aligned to the British National Curriculum and provide schools with a go-to resource to secure rapid progress – because ‘if you can say it, you can write it’.
Find out more at www.chatterstars.co.uk