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Deadline - ah, heavy word! For a change, I'd like to tell you about some fast approaching dates that provide wonderful opportunities for you and your students. From free food (and an exciting workshop) in Kendal this Saturday to pushing forward research in new ways of reading and extending your students' understanding of freedom of expression - it's all here. But act soon - these offers won't last long!
There may still be a couple of places left at the free NATE/BT All Talk workshop in Kendal this Saturday 3rd December if you act quickly. Ring The Full English on 0117 974 1033 or email Alison Smith to see if there's still a place for you. More details here.
There is another All Talk day in York on Thursday 8th December - but that, I'm afraid, is already full and has a waiting list. I said you need to act quickly!
Friendly Andy Goodwyn is giving you a little more time to complete Reading University's e-reader survey - and few minutes is all you need. He writes:
We have had a good number of responses about e-readers with some fascinating comments about how English teachers are developing their use with their students. As a result we have decided to extend the deadline by a few days to ensure that you can have your say if you have not yet had time to respond. The new deadline will be Wednesday 7th December - we look forward to receiving your views.
Andy Goodwyn, NATE Past Chair and Head of the Institute of Education at the University of Reading
More details of the survey can be found here.
Secondary-school students are invited to pick up their pens - or reach for their keyboards - and enter the third Right Words writing competition, launched by the Human Rights Watch London Network and English PEN.
The competition is run to highlight the importance of human rights, this year focusing on the issue of freedom of expression. Entrants are encouraged to submit a poem, a story, factual article, dialogue/monologue or a rap on this topic. The competition is open to Years 10 and 11 in England and Wales, and Secondary 3 and 4 students in Scotland, and is intended to form part of the Citizenship, English and Religious Education curriculum.
Human Rights Watch UK Director David Mepham says: 'Freedom of expression is fundamental to a healthy democracy and central to human rights. It is a freedom often taken for granted by too many in the western world, when in some countries, expression of political, social or cultural view is suppressed, often violently. This competition aims to make students think about what this right means for them as individuals and for their fellow citizens of the world.'
Monica Ali from English PEN says: 'I really hope as many 14-16 year olds as possible have a go at writing something for Right Words, particularly given freedom of expression is so important now, possibly more than ever. I'm interested in the rights we have under free speech, but also the responsibilities that come with that. Competitions like this can help get new voices and ideas out there, which is important because we can never rely simply on what we've got. Write a story, change the world - it's as simple as that!'
Author Anthony Horowitz says: 'Good writing has the power to change the world. Here's an opportunity to flex your muscles and show what you can do. If ever there was a writing competition worth entering this is it and, as a member of PEN, I wish you the best of luck.'
The Human Rights Watch London Network and English PEN will provide free workshops to schools and other student groups taking part in the competition. These are designed to engage students with human rights and writing, and can be tailored to the needs of student groups. The competition closing date is 20 January 2012. Winners will be invited to the Right Words Prize Giving in London and will also have their work published in an anthology.
If you're thinking of attending the LATE/BFI Conference in London on 10th December, you'd better act quickly too! For the programme and how to book, please visit the LATE site.
Best wishes as you cope with deadlines, the end of term and (I hope) very enjoyable festivities!
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