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WRAT CPD Blog – Curriculum Subject Development

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Jasmine Clark - Subject Development Lead (English)

Jasmine shares some perspectives on subject specific CPD from last half term. This includes reflections from her experience as the English subject development lead, as well as perspectives from her colleagues in Maths and Science.


This half term, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with all three academies for the first WRAT English Curriculum CPD; It was delightful to see so many faces in attendance.

The CPD session opened with a discussion around COVID-19 recovery, allowing members of staff to consider the ‘widening of the gap’ between pupils which we had observed. Staff identified a thread of common issues that had arisen because of our current situation, and many were able to offer solution focused responses to ‘close the gap’.

It was a real pleasure to see our staff work so collaboratively to overcome shared obstacles. We also looked at Socratic Questioning and the theory behind this strategy, combining research with resources to clearly display how to use this questioning technique in both language and literature for KS4. Finally, we explored Diagnostic Questioning as a strategy for identifying and addressing misconceptions, considering how this can be adapted for KS3 vs. KS4 and for Language vs. Literature.

This created a real buzz amongst the group with staff immediately planning how to utilise this strategy within their teaching. At the end of the session, staff shared how they were going to use each of the strategies in their teaching for the next week, considering how they’ll adapt the strategies to suit the needs of the class and consequently how they will measure the impact.

In addition to this session, I met with Heads of Department across the WRAT to establish each English Departments’ priorities. I also created a subject knowledge audit at the end of HT1 to help me to inform future CPD planning.

As a result of this, I have been able to direct external CPD to specific members of staff and I am currently liaising between the three academies to arrange a session on comparison in poetry and Shakespeare analysis, which was identified as a desired area of training across the Trust.

The subject knowledge audit has also allowed me to identify strengths across the WRAT so that best practice can be shared. Subsequently, I was able to reach out to Ellie Russell and Alice Dale who created Loom CPD sessions on the importance of oracy and how to address grammatical misconceptions which have been shared across the Luminate Education Group.

We are looking forward to our upcoming trust-wide standardisation activity, which takes place for the Year 11 English examination mocks. This process will involve quality assuring the standard of marking in each English department across the Trust to ensure that all three academies are marking in line and, therefore, that pupils receive the most accurate mock examination results. It is wonderful to work with three dynamic, enthusiastic, and cooperative Heads of Departments to really drive progress within each English Department.

I have absolutely loved my first Term in the role of WRAT English Curriculum Staff and Subject Development Lead, especially as I have had the opportunity to work with such a range of people from across the trust and wider Luminate Education Group to develop our fantastic team of English teachers further. I am looking forward to Term 2 with much alacrity and I am already excited (researching and planning) for the next WRAT English Curriculum CPD session, which is to take place in March.


This half term we hosted our first maths trust-wide CPD evening of the year and had the great pleasure of also welcoming colleagues from the wider Luminate Education Group.

Miranda Lala (Curriculum Leader at LEA) delivered on assessment for learning and responsive teaching. Colleagues explored a number of scenarios and evaluated the effectiveness of a range of assessment for learning strategies, with takeaways around how to adapt and personalise learning for all pupils.

Jonny Hall (Lead Practitioner at LCA & Mathsbot Creator) led on manipulatives, specifically how to represent abstract concepts such as dividing fractions and completing the square using fraction walls and algebra tiles. Colleagues were also introduced to a visualisation system which will significantly enhance live modelling within lessons. Over thirty colleagues participated; it was a fantastic opportunity to unite the maths staff across our group!


Our first virtual WRAT Science CPD session was held on 18th November 2020 and was attended by more than 30 colleagues from across the Trust. This was hosted by our WRAT Science Staff and Development Lead Mwape Katebe. The session comprised of three speakers and focused on different areas of science education.

Dr Elisabeth Protopapa, Deputy Head of Sixth Form at Leeds Sixth Form College shared the results of a successful project called,” Be the examiner.” This project was funded by Let Teachers Shine and aimed to develop students’ metacognition skills through the use of mark schemes. Helen Russell, Lead Practitioner at Leeds West Academy gave a presentation on differentiation and teaching mixed ability groups. She shared useful strategies that can be utilised for both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students.

Our final speaker, Mwape Katebe’s presentation focused on the importance of literacy in science and strategies that can be used to promote literacy during lessons. The CPD session has received positive feedback and the shared strategies are already being implemented into lessons. We aim to continue sharing expert knowledge and expertise within the trust during this term, in order to deliver the best possible lessons that will ensure our students achieve their highest potential. We look forward to continuing our work as a team!

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