EMC CPD Online: Starting to Teach A Level English Literature (Full day online 2.11.22)

Course content

This is a day-long, cross-specification course to introduce you to the principles and practices of A Level teaching. We will exemplify approaches on texts drawn from a range of genres, highlighting ways in which these can be applied to the texts you are teaching. This course will run with limited numbers to allow for plenty of opportunities to try out and reflect on the activities, individually, as a whole group and in smaller break-out sessions.

Session 1 (10-11.30am)

  • An introduction to A Level teaching and learning
  • Planning and managing the reading of whole texts
  • Priming the reading & whole text work

Session 2 (11.45-1.15pm)

  • Close reading and ways of responding to texts in writing
  • Student writing about whole texts, including comparative
  • The question of context

Session 3 (2-3.30pm)

  • Teaching poetry: principles and practice
  • Practical strategies for analysing poems
  • Making effective use of criticism
  • Live Q&A

N.B. This is a repeat course.

Further details

  • This course will run with limited numbers.
  • On these longer EMC online courses, we try to make good use of Zoom's interactive features, such as breakout rooms and live Q&A. This requires people to unmute their microphones and, preferably, to turn on their camera. If you would like to take part but will not be able to unmute your microphone, please email Kate to discuss whether the course is suitable for you.
    • As participants may be audible and visible, this course will not be recorded.
    • Please note: courses are designed to be watched by one participant only.
  • After the session you will receive the PowerPoint presentation, any resources used on the course, an additional pack of resources, PDF editions of EMC's Doing Close Reading and The Poetry Pack – Critical Skills, as well as a £10 voucher to use against any purchase on www.englishandmedia.co.uk
    • Vouchers can only be redeemed online.
    • Only one voucher can be used per purchase.
    • Vouchers expire after 6 weeks. 


  • Course materials will be sent out in advance. Please either print these out or have them available on screen during the session.

Course tutors: Barbara Bleiman & Lucy Webster

Barbara Bleiman is an education consultant at EMC, co-editor of emagazine and the author of What Matters in English Teaching. She writes blogs and articles about education and has written or co-written many EMC publications for the classroom, including several resources on poetry, novels and language study. Among these are Doing Close Reading, Studying The Handmaid’s TaleSight/Unseen PoetryKS3 Poetry Plus, as well as Curriculum Conversations: Going on an Odyssey. She takes the lead on EMC’s project on group work, ‘It’s Good to Talk’ and has a strong interest in ideas about the curriculum, developing the idea of ‘cultural conversations’ as a challenge to the notion of cultural capital. In 2019 she was awarded the NATE Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Teaching of English. She is also a Fellow of the English Association. Barbara is the author of two novels, Off the Voortrekker Road and Accidents of Love, and has recently published a collection of short stories, Kremlinology of Kisses.

Lucy Webster has been an advisory teacher at EMC since 1999. She is co-editor of emagazine, runs courses and writes and edits publications, specialising in A Level English Literature. Favourite publications include Doing Close Reading (with Barbara Bleiman), Studying A Streetcar Named DesireStudying HamletStudying King Lear and Exploring Mrs Dalloway. She edited The Literature Reader and co-edited What Matters in English Teaching.

Information about booking your place and joining the course

Bookings for this course close at 8am on Monday 31st October or when capacity is reached, whichever is the sooner.

  • If someone else is booking the place on your behalf, please confirm with them that the booking has been made online and that the automated acknowledgement has been received. (These emails sometimes go into junk – they can also check the booking by logging into their account and clicking 'My orders'.)
  • This course must be booked online. If you pay by card that is a big help to us as a small, not-for-profit organisation. Please only ask to be invoiced if required by your school. If you need to pay by invoice, you must be signed into a 'School User' account. You will not be able to request an invoice if you have one of the short courses in your basket at the same time. These must be paid for in advance.
  • To book a place on this course, first sign into your account on the website, or register one if you need to.
  • Click 'Book online' (right-hand column) and fill in the name and email address of the person attending the course. The joining information and post-course email will be sent to this address.
  • Please note: courses are designed to be watched by one participant only. If you are booking for more than one person, repeat the process.
  • Then hover over your basket (top right) and click checkout. You cannot update number of places booked from within your basket. If you want to book another place on the course, return to the course page and go through the same process.
  • Once you have booked your place, you will see a screen 'Your order was a success!' You may want to make a note of your order number. You will also receive an automatic acknowledgement of your booking.
  • Your email with all the information you need to join the session will be sent out on Tuesday 1st November. Please make sure the name and email address of the person attending is included in the booking. You will be sent a reminder on the day of the course. Please check your junk or promotions folder. Still no luck? Email Maria.


I thought this course was incredible - there were so many strategies that I can (and already have) put into immediate use with my A Level class.

Poppy Rushforth, Ursuline High School Wimbledon on 'EMC CPD Online: Starting to Teach English Literature A Level'.

This course was incredibly informative and interactive. Lots of great strategies were presented and we were guided through how to use them in an effective and engaging manner. I've been on a lot of EMC courses (both online and in person) and Lucy and Barbara never fail to deliver a wonderful virtual learning experience that engages everyone and encourages participation and discussion.

Pippa Simpson, Holmer Green Senior School on 'EMC CPD Online: Starting to Teach English Literature A Level'.

Questions about EMC courses? Check our FAQs or email web@englishandmedia.co.uk