Literacy Matters.

Eva John

Independent Literacy Consultant, Eva John, provides teachers’ notes on texts, bespoke literacy support for schools, and workshops on reading and writing and The Lost Words and Spell Songs.

Support for teaching staff:

  • refining teaching strategies
  • using authentic contexts
  • managing the learning environment effectively
  • using diagnostic assessment

Accelerating Literacy intervention programme for under-attaining pupils

To instil a love of literature by developing:

  • pupil response through critical thinking
  • curiosity and engagement
  • understanding of authorial intent
  • creativity through drama, art and design, music, writing
  • confidence in communicating effectively

The ability to name, the capacity to notice...

  • ‘the redevelopment of a strong shared poetic and musical culture, rooted in an awareness of our environment’
  • free downloadable explorer’s guides and challenge cards
  • creative writing workshops

Eva’s Views and News

Canadian astronomer, Rebecca Elson's, sense of wonder and perspective is conveyed vividly:

Antidotes to Fear of Death

Sometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.

Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Til they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.

Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:

No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
Already there
But unconstrained by form.

And sometime it’s enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:

To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.

A poem for these times, written in the 1950s by Pablo Neruda:

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.

Life is what it is about...

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with

Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

What a lovely, uplifting surprise: thank you to two young people for sharing their wonderful creative responses to their natural environment, using the Explorer's Pack for Spell Songs:

Read more of Eva’s Views and News