CPD for English teachers and trainers

A suite of courses and resources designed to meet the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) needs of all English practitioners in the Further Education and Training sector.

English CPD graphic

This suite of courses is designed to meet the CPD needs of all English teachers and trainers in the Further Education and Training sector. The courses are for practitioners at all levels and stages of their development. Courses have been categorised as Introductory courses, Extended (for more experienced practitioners), and All levels (useful for everyone).

To support busy practitioners, courses are primarily made up of short and focused, one-hour webinars and two-hour interactive courses. This is to enable teachers and trainers to build up specific subject and pedagogical knowledge and skills through a regular and ongoing rhythm of CPD. Most courses can be done on their own and in any order, but are designed to be undertaken as a package, according to individual needs, skills and knowledge. Courses that are designed to be undertaken in a specific sequence are found in Topic Pathways.

link to reading This symbol will indicate where a course should be undertaken as part of a topic pathway.

We also offer longer GSCE and Functional skills courses that take place over 10 sessions. Most of our offer is currently live online with one asynchronous course (GCSE English writing: CPD training for teachers).

Courses are delivered by our expert delivery partners. Note that not all courses may have session that you can currently book, but please register your interest as there may be new sessions arranged, partly driven by demand.

For more information, on any of the courses please discuss with your Regional Specialist Lead.

Teaching and learning

These courses do consider aspects of English as a subject, but the emphasis is more on pedagogical aspects of teaching and learning:

Introductory courses

  • Assessment in English: knowing your learners’ starting points
    This course considers strategies for identifying gaps, and areas that learners struggle with, to use as a starting point for their learning. English learners tend to be returning learners that don’t wish to sit the qualifications in this subject again. By pinpointing these specific areas of difficulty, we can aim to make their learning experience different for them.
  • Introduction to assessment for learning for English
    This course will support technical and vocational tutors, trainers and assessors to understand that assessment of English GCSEs and Functional Skills is a process of gathering data to better understand the progress of the learner and how to use this data to inform planning that lead to improvements in learning.
  • Learners’ skills and needs as a driver for planning and teaching English
    This interactive introductory course is designed to help you get a better picture of how your learners’ backgrounds may have influenced their behaviour, motivation and language development and signposts you to a raft of new courses where their needs will be explored further, and appropriate pedagogical approaches will be investigated.
  • Overcoming barriers to learning English
    The course is for teachers of English in the post-16 sector who have resit learners or learners who experience barriers to progress in their learning of English.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Courses for everyone

  • Developing problem-solving, investigative and collaborative approaches to reading link to reading
    Teachers frequently experience a gap between learners’ decoding and comprehension skills. This course will focus on reading skills for post-16 learners. It will help teachers to explore, try out and evaluate some reading approaches which encourage problem-solving and resilient reading behaviours.
  • Integrating English into vocational training
    This interactive course aims to help teachers plan and deliver holistic learning activities that connect English to the learner’s vocational area. The workshop focusses on two key areas: how to use the vocational area as the foundation for all English teaching and learning activities; and how to ensure that, as far as possible, activities are holistic and representative of what learners might find themselves undertaking in the workplace.
  • Marking, assessing and feeding forward in English
    The importance of effective marking and ways of feeding forward will be discussed in this course and plenty of opportunities to share ideas will be given. We will then move onto setting accurate and realistic targets for your learners that present sufficient challenge for them with actionable feedback that should help fuel progress.
  • Planning for deep learning in English
    In this course, you will be looking at the importance of planning how you set tasks up and the order that they are introduced as well as exploring strategies which are designed to encourage deep learning. It will also help you understand Ofsted’s 3 I’s in education which are Intent, Implication and Impact.
  • Using formative assessment for planning English
    This course offers an insight into the effectiveness of using formative assessment techniques when planning for both Functional Skills and GCSE English teaching. Methods for ensuring that impact is measured are covered plus the tracking of learners’ incremental progress and encouraging them to take responsibility for their targets.
  • Sharing English CPD
    These interactive sessions, free for those who have participated in other paid for CPD, will provide a chance for participants to share ideas of effective practice around an English topic.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Assessment

The following courses have a focus on assessment of aspects of English:

Introductory courses

  • Introduction to assessment for learning for English
    This course will support technical and vocational tutors, trainers and assessors to understand that assessment of English GCSEs and Functional Skills is a process of gathering data to better understand the progress of the learner and how to use this data to inform planning that lead to improvements in learning.
  • Assessment in English: knowing your learners’ starting points
    This course considers strategies for identifying gaps, and areas that learners struggle with, to use as a starting point for their learning. English learners tend to be returning learners that don’t wish to sit the qualifications in this subject again. By pinpointing these specific areas of difficulty, we can aim to make their learning experience different for them.
  • Learners’ skills and needs as a driver for planning and teaching English
    This interactive introductory course is designed to help you get a better picture of how your learners’ backgrounds may have influenced their behaviour, motivation and language development and signposts you to a raft of new courses where their needs will be explored further, and appropriate pedagogical approaches will be investigated.
  • The role of speaking and listening in language development and English exams link to speaking and listening
    This interactive course will help you to explore the importance of teaching learners more about the differences between speech and writing so that they can use language purposefully and make informed communicative choices. With a focus on practical activities, and using real samples, you will explore how speaking and listening skills can be used to inform ad improve writing.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Courses for everyone

  • Assessing and developing learners’ vocabulary link to reading
    This interactive course is for you if your learners may have limited vocabulary and this impacts negatively on their performance. You will consider ways to assess your learners’ vocabulary and be introduced to, and evaluate, some practical strategies to help your learners develop their vocabulary.
  • Marking, assessing and feeding forward in English
    This course will discuss the importance of effective marking and ways of feeding forward and plenty of opportunities to share ideas will be given. We will then move onto setting accurate and realistic targets for your learners that present sufficient challenge for them with actionable feedback that should help fuel progress.
  • Teaching how to plan and write non-fiction text for GCSE and Functional Skills exams link to writing
    This course explores the difference between writing for GCSE and Functional Skills. Also, the process of writing, developing ideas, turning ideas into plans, developing detail and preparing for writing is examined through a range of activities.
  • Using formative assessment for planning English
    This course offers an insight into the effectiveness of using formative assessment techniques when planning for both Functional Skills and GCSE English teaching. Methods for ensuring that impact is measured are covered plus the tracking of learners’ incremental progress and encouraging them to take responsibility for their targets.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

GCSE

These courses have a GCSE teaching focus:

Courses for everyone

  • Critical writing: helping GCSE learners to write about reading link to reading
    This course will explore that crossover between reading and writing and how to help learners to develop the skills of writing about their reading. We will investigate the much used PEED/L approach and consider and try out other strategies for helping learners to succeed in this area of English.
  • Creative writing in GCSE English and the challenges link to writing
    This interactive course will explore ways to build learners’ confidence and resilience around creative writing. It explores strategies for supporting learners to see themselves as writers, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to spark their creativity and imagination and produce writing which consciously develops theme and narrative perspective.
  • Helping learners to craft and control creative writing link to writing
    GCSE English learners need to see themselves as writers who craft, manipulate and control language and structures for effect if they are to be successful in the examination’s creative writing task. This course explores how teachers can support learners to make decisions and control narrative voice, structure and time for effect in their creative writing.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Extended courses

  • English GCSE re-sits: develop your practice (Level 5 module)
    This Level 5 CPD course will explore and experience how to engage and motivate learners and undertake assessment to build on their prior learning. You will experience digital approaches and other effective practices for leading GCSE English courses.
  • GCSE English writing: CPD training for teachers – asynchronous on FutureLearn
    The aim of this technical English writing course is to help you develop your learners’ writing skills. The course is based on a really interesting study, Aspects of Writing, published by Cambridge Assessment in 2016. It provides a fascinating analysis of the language that students actually use during GCSE exams. We have built in tools to help you assess learners’ work and give actionable feedback.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Functional skills

These courses have a Functional Skills teaching focus:

Courses for everyone

  • Developing Speaking and Listening for Functional Skills English
    This course looks at the Functional Skills English content for Speaking, Listening and Communicating to help you understand language requirements at different levels of the exam and why it needs to be taught separately. It will explore examples of practical activities for supporting learners with opportunities to share ideas.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Extended courses

  • English Functional Skills teaching (Level 5 module)
    This Level 5 CPD course supports practitioners working with Functional Skills English learners. You will explore and experience how to engage and motivate learners and undertake assessment to build on their prior learning. It is designed to meet the needs of all parts of the sector, including independent training providers, offender learning and adult and community education.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Additional learning support

All levels

  • The correlation with mental health and wellbeing in English
    Delegates will explore “emotional differentiation and problem solving” solutions for when a learner is faced with a subject specific anxiety, as well as enhancing practitioners understanding of “cognitive schemas” and how these are important in relation to experiences in English.
  • Additional SEND needs – opening up your English curriculum (dates coming in November)
  • Innovative teaching methods and modes of delivery in English (dates coming in November)
  • What makes an effective supporter worker in tackling maths and English (dates coming in November)
  • Using support workers to effectively support teaching and learning (dates coming in November)

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Topic Pathways

These courses are grouped around a topic and it is recommended that they are undertaken in the order given.

Grammar

  1. Developing grammar for reading and writing
    This interactive webinar aims to explore how knowledge and skills in grammar can be taught in imaginative ways through the active exploration of everyday and vocational texts.
  2. Investigating grammar: supporting your learners to understand how texts work
    This interactive course aims to explore how knowledge and skills in grammar can be taught in imaginative ways through the active exploration of everyday and vocational texts.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Vocabulary

  1. Assessing and developing learners’ vocabulary
    This interactive course is for you if your learners may have limited vocabulary and this impacts negatively on their performance. You will consider ways to assess your learners’ vocabulary. You will also be introduced to, and evaluate, some practical strategies to help your learners develop their vocabulary.
  2. Vocabulary: developing fluency in reading
    This course is for you if you support learners of English Functional Skills and GCSEs (including those with ESOL needs) and you want to identify ways to develop your learners’ fluency in reading. The course will aim to provide you with the tools to increase learners’ core vocabulary and underpin the skills of reading and writing, helping learners to succeed in assessment.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Phonics

  1. Phonics: an introduction to the key principles of post-16 phonics
    This interactive course offers an introduction to the key ideas and terminology of post-16 phonics. You will explore important guiding principles to apply to your practice to optimise the influence phonics can have on learners. The course lays the foundations to give you the knowledge, confidence and motivation to go on to attend other phonics courses.
  2. Developing our learners’ phonics skills
    This course explores ways of using phonics to identify and plan for the needs of learners. You will reflect on common errors learners on FS and GCSE English courses make and be guided to explore phonics strategies for improvement.
  3. Phonics: strategies for improving reading and writing
    This course is a practical session to provide English teachers with strategies and ideas for using phonics in ways that are accessible, relevant and useful to learners. Tried and tested activities using phonics to improve reading and spelling in Functional Skills and GCSE English classes will be shared.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Reading

  1. Helping post-16 learners to read with understanding and to build resilience
    This course explores how to develop learners’ active reading skills by explicitly teaching some of the process and problem-solving strategies that proficient readers use automatically e.g. when good readers read, they consider what they are reading and how it fits with what they already know.
  2. Developing problem-solving, investigative and collaborative approaches to reading
    Teachers also frequently experience a gap between learners’ decoding and comprehension skills. This course will help teachers to explore, try out and evaluate some reading approaches which encourage problem-solving and resilient reading behaviours.
  3. Critical writing: helping GCSE learners to write about reading
    This course will explore that crossover between reading and writing and how to help learners to develop the skills of writing about their reading. We will investigate the much used PEED/L approach and consider and try out other strategies for helping learners to succeed in this area of English.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Writing

  1. Teaching learners how to plan and write non-fiction text for GCSE and Functional Skills exams
    This course explores the difference between writing for GCSE and Functional Skills. Also, the process of writing, developing ideas, turning ideas into plans, developing detail and preparing for writing is examined through a range of activities.
  2. Developing writing: teacher modelling and collaborative writing techniques
    This interactive course will explore a range of strategies and activities designed to support learners during the formative stages of the writing process. These will include teacher modelling, collaborative writing and activities which help learners revise and refine their writing.
  3. Creative writing in GCSE English and the challenges
    This course will explore strategies for supporting learners to see themselves as writers, equipping them with the skills and knowledge to spark their creativity and imagination (especially when working with GCSE style picture and word prompts) and produce writing which consciously develops theme and narrative perspective.
  4. Helping GCSE resit learners to craft and control creative writing
    This course explores how teachers can support learners to make decisions and control narrative voice, structure and time for effect in their creative writing. The course activities encourage participants to try out suggestions for writing activities before using them with their learners.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Speaking and listening

  1. The role of speaking and listening in language development and English exams
    This interactive course will help you to explore the importance of teaching learners more about the differences between speech and writing so that they can use language purposefully and make informed communicative choices. With a focus on practical activities, and using real samples, you will explore how speaking and listening skills can be used to inform ad improve writing.
  2. Developing Speaking and Listening for Functional Skills English
    This course looks at the Functional Skills English content for Speaking, Listening and Communicating to help you understand language requirements at different levels of the exam and why it needs to be taught separately. It will explore examples of practical activities for supporting learners with opportunities to share ideas.

For a full course description please follow the course link to the ETF booking website.

Resources

A body of resources to support practitioners’ individual needs, skills and knowledge.

Return to Maths and English

View CPD for maths teachers and trainers