EMC CPD Online: Teaching an Adaptive English Curriculum: Getting the Content and Pedagogy Right (3-linked sessions: 15.9.21, 22.9.21 & 23.9.21)

Course content

This course explores how to design and teach an adaptive English curriculum that recognises the importance of treating content and pedagogy as part of the same package. Drawing on a ‘learning without limits’ approach to adaptive curricula, it will provide you with a wide range of ideas and resources to help develop your practice and inspire your students.

We will be taking an ambitious view of the subject, examining approaches that enable students to ‘do’ English in ways that boost their literacy, creativity and criticality. Placing talk, texts and the students themselves at the heart of learning, the three twilight sessions will be structured as follows:

Session 1: Linking content and pedagogy in an adaptive curriculum (Wednesday 15th September)

  • This session explores the principles of choice, connection and cognition that are fundamental to a ‘learning without limits’ approach to adaptive teaching. It will show how these principles are also key to bringing genuine diversity into the classroom – of content and of pedagogy.

Session 2: Adaptive approaches to textual understanding (Wednesday 22nd September)

  • Here you will look at ways into texts that open up possibilities for study, rather than narrowing them down to a single, prescribed endpoint. You will look at what texts (including novels) work best for adaptive teaching, how to deal with difficult texts and how to tackle different areas of the curriculum such as grammar and context.

Session 3: Adaptive approaches to writing and assessment (Thursday 23rd September)

  • The final session will draw on the principles and ideas from the previous two sessions to look at how to teach writing adaptively and also how to design adaptive assessment tasks – both written and spoken.

NB This course draws on the separate ‘Adaptive Curriculum’ sessions run in 2020-21.

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@englishandmedia.co.uk to discuss whether the course is suitable for you.
  • As participants may be audible and visible, 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 session you will receive the PowerPoint presentation, any resources used on the course and a £10 voucher to use against any purchase on www.englishandmedia.co.uk

Course tutors: Lucy Hinchliffe & Andrew McCallum

Lucy Hinchliffe works as an education consultant at the English and Media Centre, specialising in KS3 & KS4 courses. She has recently developed her first EMC publication, an EMC Teaching Novels pack for The Bone Sparrow. Lucy is also an English teacher, Key Stage 3 Coordinator and Professional Development Leader in a secondary school. She has recently qualified as a Lead Practitioner, using her EMC novel project work as the basis for researching writing across the curriculum. She is particularly interested in English curriculum design at Key Stage 3.

Andrew McCallum is Director of the English and Media Centre. Prior to that he ran a PGCE course in secondary English, and previously he taught for 15 years in London schools, spending most of that time at Acland Burghley School in Camden. He holds a doctorate in education, is author of Creativity and Learning in Secondary English (Routledge) and writes regularly for NATE's Teaching English magazine. If asked to name the EMC publication he's most proud of having worked on, it would be a three-way contest between Iridescent AdolescentDiverse Shorts and Write On.

Information about booking your place and joining the course

Bookings for this course will close at 8am on Monday 13th September, 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 clocking '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.
  • 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 14th September. 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 on admin@englishandmedia.co.uk.


Practical tips and tools for classroom application. Made me think and consider current practice. Facilitated well.

Ali Goddard Jones, Cabot Learning Federation, on ‘ Designing an Adaptive KS3 English Curriculum Part 3 – the Novel'

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