We are Felicity Ferguson & Ross Young. We are national writing representatives for The UKLA (United Kingdom Literacy Association). Between us we have over 50 years’ experience of teaching in the classroom. We now work full-time talking, reading and writing about teaching literacy in an effective and pleasurable way. We are both committed writer-teachers; teachers who write and writers who teach.
What We Have Done:
- We are the series creators of Power English: Writing which is a research-based approach to teaching writing effectively across primary school.
- We are authors of two books for Routledge:
- Real-World Writing: A handbook for teaching writing effectively across primary school (2020).
- A Writing For Pleasure pedagogy: from theory to practice (2020).
- We were the lead researchers on What is it Writing For Pleasure teachers do that makes the difference? commissioned by The Goldsmiths’ Educational Company.
- We are content providers for The National Literacy Trust.
- We regularly write for: TeachPrimary, Teach Reading & Writing, Primary School Management and English 4-11.
- We have written materials to accompany Schools’ Television literacy programmes.
- We have contributed to book lists produced by CLPE (Centre for Language in Primary Education – London).
- We currently curate the Twitter group #WritingRocks.
- We have spoken at and helped organise both international and national conferences.
- We have carried out successful CPD training across the country.
To date, our work is used as part of teacher education at the following universities:
- University of Greenwich
- Canterbury Christchurch University
- University of Sussex
- University of Strathclyde
- University of Chichester
- Birmingham City University
- St Mary’s University
- Nottingham Trent University
- Texas A&M University
- Curtin University
I studied French and Russian at Birmingham University, and later gained two MAs, one in Linguistics and the other in Children’s Literature. I have worked in both the maintained and the independent sectors as SENCO and Deputy Head.
When I was ten and a new pupil at secondary school, I completed my first set homework assignment for R.E. – a recount of the one of the seven plagues of Egypt. I wrote it like a story, with my usual enthusiasm and emotional investment. After a few days my book came back with the comment Is this all your own work? To this day I still feel the injury to my early strong sense of myself as a writer. I was a self-styled Jo March, with a drive to write from a very early age. I wrote out of desire, with engagement, pleasure, absorption, satisfaction, as escapism too. I wrote a great deal at home – stories, unfinished novels, programmes for shows put on with friends in somebody’s backyard, started a magazine with me as editor – one issue a month. It’s my ambition for every child to gain as much pleasure and empowerment from writing as I did.
I studied Primary Education with History & Geography as my specialism, at The University Of Brighton, and later gained an MA in Education with Linguistics.
I am a serving Primary school teacher of ten years’ experience. I have worked in both the maintained and independent sectors. When I was young, I didn’t realise that literature and the written word were for me to use or enjoy. I was never told I was a writer. This all changed when I began talking, learning and writing alongside the children in my classroom. I want the children in my class to have a different experience and enter the literacy club as early as possible, so they have control of it and can use it effectively and for pleasure now and in their futures.