Patoss Nottinghamshire Events
sign outside venue
Patoss Nottinghamshire organise at least one event with a speaker (or other relevant focus) each term.  Our affordable lectures provide valuable informal CPD for a broad range of professionals, such as assessors, teachers, teaching assistants, speech or occupational therapists.

If some of the people whom you teach or otherwise support may have specific learning differences, our events are for you. You can attend either as a member or a visitor. 

Summer 2019 event

The Annual General Meeting was followed by a lecture:

'Nurturing the Strengths of the 'Vulnerable Brain'

 by Jo Stockdale who is a trainer and consultant in brain development and learning.

She has a background in the creative sector, including many years of experience in Arts Development specialising in Arts & Health. Much of her role within her company ‘Well Within Reach’, is to provide training for parents, educators and other practitioners involved in the development and learning of children. She has also been a freelance drama practitioner for 15 years working directly with young people, especially those with specific learning difficulties and those who experience social, emotional and mental health needs.

Jo’s impressive knowledge of the human brain was acquired, as she puts it, ‘through a happy accident’. She conveyed her complex knowledge to us through her compelling, fresh presentation using slides and hastily (but very effective) hand drawn images on a whiteboard: such was her energy!

Jo explained the need for continuous healthy brain development from the moment of birth in order to help children flourish and learn with a happier and more positive mind set. She supported these theories with information about the biological systems of the brain including how certain hormones are needed to enable the brain to operate most effectively and how we, as specialist and mainstream teachers, can facilitate this for our young learners.

Her enthusiasm for her subject was captivating and extremely informative even though, as she explained at the start of the event, that she was not formally trained as a psychologist but had worked very closely with Dr Elizabeth Morris who specialised in mental health and wellbeing of children and young people for many years.

Jo’s main mission in her work is ‘to unlock cognitive, social & emotional strength’ to enable success and well-being. She varied her lecture by encouraging us to work on short tasks with each other to demonstrate her points which added a lighter tone to the event.

The lecture was packed with interesting facts and relevant examples all emphasizing the vulnerability of our young people’s minds. Jo reminded us of this important issue and stressed how crucial it was to be mindful and aware as we teach our young people. 

As one of our attendees put it, Jo’s lecture was ‘one of the best lectures she has ever attended’.

April 2019: An Audience with Ros Blackburn

Our Spring event was a presentation by Ros Blackburn on her perspective as a person with Autism. Her unique insight into the difficulties and challenges this presents in our neurotypical world was described in the most authentic and honest way. She roused emotions and made us laugh and feel sad simultaneously, when describing aspects of her day to day life: even mundane tasks that most of us take for granted present severe difficulties for Ros.  

No amount of theoretical training can compare with listening to Ros, who spoke for a riveting two solid hours (and could have continued if she had not been tactfully steered to a close!). This diminutive woman, addressing the audience with just a couple of slides, held us captive and mesmerised. Ros' words and delivery were so powerful, she did not need any clever technology and impressive stage setting.  

Many of us, working in the professional field, believe we have the knowledge and expertise to educate, but there is no substitute for listening and learning from Ros' candid, humorous and beautifully detailed descriptions of events in her life. Through her stories, she allowed us the privilege to visit a hidden world; she informed and entertained us about how Autism has and does impact her life and sadly, the negative reactions non-autistic people can have towards her due to ignorance. We are fortunate that Ros is able to speak so eloquently about her experiences as many people with autism can not: she provides a voice for them which helps us to understand the condition of Autism and to become a more inclusive society.

Past Speakers

Speakers over the last few years have included some eminent people in the field (such as Angela Fawcett, Lindsay Peer, John Stein, Joel Talcott and Neil Mackay).

Subjects addressed have covered a range of both theoretical and practical topics, including:  

  • Technological support for dyslexia.
  • Phonology and dyslexia.
  • History of the teaching of reading.
  • Neurological accounts of Specific Learning Difficulty.
  • Co-morbidity and inter-relations between SpLDs.
  • Tourette's Syndrome.
  • Specific difficulty with numeracy.
  • Autism: aetiology and research roundup.
  • iPads supporting learning difficulty. 
  • Visual Stress and Dyslexia.
  • Stress, Anxiety and Specific Learning Difficulty.
  • Deafness and co-occurring SpLDs.   
  • Mindfulness and SpLD.
  • Dyslexia, Language and Social Communication.
  • Coaching and mentoring.
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder.
  • Working memory.
  • Dyscalculia.
  • Pragmatic teaching strategies for dyslexia friendly schools.
  • Handwriting difficulty.
  • 'Gadgets and Gizmos': the latest on productivity tools.
  • Specific learning difficulty and mental health.
  • Understanding barriers to success with mathematics.
  • Experience and insights from an adult with severe autism.
  • Brain function, learning and behaviour.