EMC CPD Online: Starting to Teach English Literature A Level

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 (10-11.35am)

  • An introduction to A Level teaching and learning
  • Close reading and ways of responding to texts
  • Student writing.

Session 2 (11.50-1.15pm)

  • Planning and managing the reading of whole texts 
  • Priming the reading & whole text work
  • Teaching critical engagement with contextual material

Session 3 (2-3.30pm)

  • Teaching poetry: principles and practice
  • Practical strategies for analysing individual poems
  • Using statements to sharpen up comparative responses
  • Live Q & A

N.B. This course is a repeat of the Starting to Teach English Literature A Level course run in July and September 2020.

Further details

  • This course will be limited to 30 participants.
  • Due to the interactive nature of this course (with people encouraged to have their cameras on at various points) this course will not be recorded.


  • Course materials will be sent out in advance. Please either print these out or have them available on screen during the session.
  • After the course you will receive the PowerPoint presentation and a PDF of resources from the day.
  • All teachers attending will receive a free digital version of EMC’s Doing Close Reading (usual price £80).

Course tutors: Barbara Bleiman and 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 resources on poetry, novels and language study. She takes the lead on EMC’s project on group work, ‘It’s Good to Talk’. In 2019 she was awarded the NATE Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Teaching of English. Barbara is also the author of two novels and has a collection of short stories coming out next year with Blue Door Press.

Lucy Webster is an education consultant at the English and Media Centre, specialising in KS5. She is co-editor of emagazine, runs courses and writes and edits publications. 

How to book your place

  • Please sign in to the website, add the course to your basket and checkout. 
  • If you are booking a place for someone else, or want the joining information to go to an email other than the one you used to sign into the website please add this to the additional information box.
  • This course must be booked online. Payment by invoice is available for this session, provided you are signed into a 'School User' account. Please note: your fee is non-refundable.
  • You will receive an automatic acknowledgement of your booking.
  • Your email with all the information you need to join the session will be sent out on Wednesday 4th November. You will be sent a reminder on the day of the course. Please check your junk or promotions folder. Still no luck? Email courses@englishandmedia.co.uk.

Bookings for this course will close at 8am on Tuesday 3rd November, or when capacity is reached, whichever is the sooner.


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