ENGLISH and LITERACY – Helen Bowen started teaching in 1994 and has 11 years’ experience as a Primary School Teacher in Bridgend. During this time, she was also a visiting lecturer at Bridgend College working with Learning Support Assistants.
Helen Bowen was a member of the Newport Literacy Team for 9 years and for 3 years led on English and literacy in the region across primary and secondary schools. She was the regional representative to Welsh Government for the South East of Wales from 2010 to 2013 and was the System Leader with responsibility for English and Literacy in the EAS.
An ESTYN Team Inspector, Helen Bowen has sat on a number of national advisory panels including National Drama and the Arts Review Panel, which reported to Welsh Government in the Summer of 2013. She has advised universities in Wales on developing literacy in Initial Teacher Training and was the Deputy Chief Examiner for KS2/3 Assessment from 2009 to 2012. Helen is an external consultant to Welsh Government, and has worked on a number of projects with them. This includes creating the National Literacy Framework representing South East Wales, writing the guidance for the revised English and Welsh PoS in 2015 and more recently creating two ‘mythbusting’ documents on the NLNF and the National Reading Tests. She is also the literacy consultant for the National Union of Teachers and has lead their annual ‘New and Young Teachers’ Conference’ across Wales with key notes and workshops on literacy.
Supporting Schools, Securing Excellence, Helen believes that rich contexts for learning are key to the raising of standards and the development of literacy skills both within English and throughout the curriculum. She has used oracy and drama for many years to explore challenging subject matters and has worked with schools across Wales to explore how this can impact on the key literacy competencies of oracy, reading and writing. This includes using drama to explore philosophical concepts through ‘teacher in role’ and whole class engagement with complex scenarios. Helen is also the creator of ‘Reading Attack’ which is currently used by over 100 schools to develop pupil independence and reading stamina.