This course will enable teachers to maximise their ability to help students make excellent progress and achieve top grades by helping them develop a range of strategies to stretch and challenge students. Led by respected subject specialist, author, examiner and previous trust-wide Leader of English Megan Mansworth, this course will provide teachers with a range of key teaching and learning strategies to enable students to fulfil their potential and achieve fantastic results. This course will demonstrate how to improve your practice by ‘teaching to the top’ in order to ensure that your students achieve excellent results. This course is ideal for teachers of GCSE English but would also be very useful for teachers of A-level and KS3.


  • Increase your ability to ‘teach to the top’ to enable your students to achieve the highest results
  • Gain knowledge of a range of research-informed strategies to stretch and challenge ‘gifted and talented’ students
  • Develop confidence in understanding what ‘stretch and challenge’ looks like in the English classroom
  • Take away teaching strategies and approaches that excite students and ensure success
  • Gain insights into key elements of advanced subject knowledge in English that can be applied in all key stages to help students achieve maximum progress and attain top grades
  • Develop understanding of advanced exam technique to ensure students maximise their potential
  • Apply advanced critical concepts and theories to your teaching and use these to empower students to reach the top grades.
COURSE DATE AND LOCATION Online | Thursday 10 June 2021
  • Heads of Department
  • Experienced teachers looking to develop their ability to enable higher ability students to achieve top grades
  • New teachers seeking to improve confidence in stretching and challenging students
  • Teachers of KS3, GCSE, and A-level English
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • You will receive a specially prepared file electronically containing detailed notes, and teaching materials and resources which will be of immediate practical benefit in the classroom.
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


10.00 – 11.15am: The Pedagogy of Challenge

  • Curriculum and lesson planning to maximise challenge
  • Big ideas: how to stretch and challenge with conceptual questioning
  • The mind-set of stretch and challenge
  • Differentiation and the higher attaining student
  • Embedding retrieval practice
  • Developing metacognition with A and A* English students

11.15-11.30am: Break

11.30-12.45pm: Stretching with High Level Subject Knowledge

  • Feedback: looking back at the summer exams: What went well? What did examiners look for at the top levels?
  • Embedding higher level subject knowledge in teaching
  • How to ‘teach to the top’ for every child
  • Applying academic and university-level knowledge in schools
  • Spotting opportunities for embedding high level knowledge

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch  

1.45-3.00pm: The Expert Teacher Challenges Capable Students

  • Modelling the joy of challenge and maintaining motivation and engagement
  • Developing your own knowledge in order to stretch G&T students to achieve
  • Developing confidence to stretch and challenge the highest achievers
  • Equipping students with the confidence to aim for the highest grades

3.00-3.10: Afternoon Break

3.10-3.45pm: Reflection and Plenary

  • The value and importance of ‘teaching to the top’ – our obligation to provide adequate stimulus for all students
  • Applying today’s reflections in your own classroom – application for a variety of contexts
  • Summary of key insights, strategies techniques and tactics.
  • Q&A

3.45-4.00pm: Depart

Megan Mansworth

Megan Mansworth is an experienced English teacher and leader with a track record of enabling students to achieve outstanding results. She has led English both on a departmental level and for an academy trust, and previously was Leader of Research for another academy trust. She is committed to both research-informed teaching, and to helping teachers to develop the knowledge and skills to enable their students to achieve excellent results. Megan’s writing on education has appeared in national magazines and journals, including a co-edited book ‘Teaching English Language and Literature 16-19’ which was published in 2020. She is currently completing a PhD. Alongside this, she continues to provide CPD for teachers and to teach in schools, and is writing a book for John Catt Educational, ‘Teach to the Top’ which focuses on how to enable students to achieve the highest grades and enjoy learning by using higher level subject knowledge in teaching.