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  • Writer's pictureTom Hopkins-Burke

Recap: TTR English 02/12/2023

Teachers Talk Radio's inaugural live event took place on Saturday 2 December, with the turn of English teachers from the UK and beyond to share their insights into effective teaching and learning in their subject. Read on for more...

TTR English welcomed fourteen teachers to its first online event on Saturday 2 December, and what a treat it was with over 4,500 live viewers on Twitter/X plus even more on Streamyard, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook!

We began with Head of Secondary English Stephanie Keenan who told us about five ways forward for poetry practice, before Matt Pinkett talked us through what English teachers should and should not be doing when teaching texts featuring suicide.

Following on, KS4 co-ordinator Zara Shah delved into how English teachers can think about the concept of marginal gains in their practice, Cecilia Adekoya demonstrated how she helps students to remember quotations in the context of GCSE teaching, and Director of Education Haili Hughes spoke about how she uses academic theory as a springboard for discussion and thesis statement generation in GCSE English Literature - with links made to Key Stage 3, too.

We were delighted to hear from Oxfordshire teacher Catherine Knowles as she discussed teaching imagery at KS3 through modelling for excellence, and Vanessa Sefa revealed what foundations are necessary for transforming a reading culture in her setting with a large number of disadvantaged pupils. Whole-school reading co-ordinator Manal Zahid zoomed in on the oft-neglected strand of reading fluency and how this can be best developed.

Christal Williams spoke eloquently about why EdTech should be an English teacher's best friend, Lead Practitioner Annie Bergin explained how she encourages critical evaluation among her students, and Vietnam-based English teacher Freya Odell explored flipped learning and the Harkness model to support the teaching of (I)GCSE texts.

To round off the event in the afternoon, teaching Head of Year Kieran Rhys offered another perspective on unlocking reading fluency, long-standing Head of English Lorraine Coram wowed us on starting a literacy festival, and Director of English (and other subjects!) Sabrina Ahmed-Qureshi led our deep dive into the state of English in FE.

A massive thanks must go to our event sponsors, without whom we could not provide teacher professional development for free:

Further thanks has to go to Tom Rogers, who stepped in at the very last minute to host the event for the full 4+ hours while on holiday in France!

Missed TTR English and intrigued by the talks? You can catch up with the full event on demand here:

Our next subject-specific events are below -if your subject isn't listed, get in touch at and let us know what you'd like covered on TTR!

6 February 2024: Teachers Talk Sociology - online

16 March 2024: Teachers Talk History - online

20 April 2024: Teachers Talk Science - face-to-face in Manchester

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