More Online CPD Ideas for 2023/24

The two hours flew by thanks to your pace, variety of resources and wonderful video (and music) inputs. I was sceptical about Zoom compared to in-person, but it was great. 

Phil Bowker (interim executive headteacher St Paul’s Primary VA and Christ the King Catholic Primary School – Leeds)

Greater Depth CPD and Live Greater Depth Writing Workshops

Another area for CPD requests which has returned after the pandemic is support for teachers in looking at practical strategies for potential greater depth children in both reading and writing. My personal favourite input was provided during live, greater depth writing workshops for children and their teachers. This involves a dual approach of providing CPD for teachers whilst engaging the children in writing activities online. Last year, these were organised for Year 2, Year 5 and Year 6 children. This year I am also planning to involve children in Year 3 and Year 4.

These workshops took place in the spring term and summer one. Most schools have re-booked for 2024 and I will advertise spare places in autumn 2. There will also be workshops for Year 1 in 2024.

Whole school progression in inference

This request came about after school was asked during a reading deep dive about how they ensure the progression of inference skills throughout the school. This CPD involved consultations with my group of literacy leaders and the delivery of a CPD session with a school. We looked at all the aspects of inference and how they progress from the Foundation Stage right up to 3 mark questions about character inference in upper Key Stage 2. The CPD focused upon progression in questioning and in hands-on practical reading activities.

Whole school progression in retrieval and summarising

This involve the similar process to whole school progression in literacy and looked at how we could move retrieval and summarising skills on throughout the whole school. Again, there was a focus on progression in questioning and hands-on practical activities.

Training for support staff – 10 ideas to support reading comprehension and reading fluency

Two new sessions introduced this year involving practical support for teaching assistants and other support staff. These have included 10 ideas for teaching assistants, looking at some of the typical activities that happen in the classroom that TAs may not have been trained in, providing them with resources and templates to enable them to work one-to-one or with small groups.

Following issues picked up during a ‘mocksted’, I have also planned and delivered a half day session for teaching assistants on progression in reading fluency. This enables colleagues to provide support to children who need to develop their reading fluency to enable them to be able to comprehend texts more readily.

Old favourites


2022/23 saw an increase in the number of requests for training in vocabulary. This being based upon the tier two and tier three classification of vocabulary as suggested by Isabel Beck et al in the seminal book Bringing Words to Life.

Non-fiction and poetry

To supplement five phase training for English which tends to focus upon fiction, I have also delivered several sessions for schools with an emphasis upon non-fiction and poetry as these are often neglected areas and ones in which staff lack confidence.


Some schools and organisations have asked me to deliver a version of my New (or not) to Reception course for them. In accordance with the DfE report The Reading Framework: teaching the foundations of Literacy 

Planning with individual teachers and year groups.

I have continued to be involved in planning English units with teachers in all age groups from Reception up to Year Six.

Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum

Over the last two years I have delivered half day courses to subject readers in history, geography and science.

This year the sequence was completed with new CPD for leaders of art and design and music. The focus is always up on reading and writing activities in each subject but with the subject itself coming first. I share a core of ideas that can be used right across the curriculum so that children can learn how to do the activities but the context changes. These separate subject sessions could easily be combined for a whole school training day.

Guided Reading

Some schools have asked for a revision of guided reading training. This has usually involved a mixture of small group and whole class guided reading. As well as looking at progression in questioning, the sessions are full of practical ideas for engaging children throughout the school. The ideas build on the research I have done mentioned above relating to progression in inference and retrieval.


I have also continued to deliver whole school spelling training. This has tended to be either half day sessions or twilights.