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Professional Development for



Do you want to enhance your subject knowledge and develop practice in using critical thinking strategies in the classroom?

More than ever, the ability to think critically is an essential skill for our students. However, finding ways to systematically embed that practice in the classroom can be more of a challenge. Integrating best AfL practice alongside the most recent research available, including the EEF Review of effective pedagogical practice, I have devised Inset which demonstrates the efficacy of these strategies, resulting in proven progress and success for students across all age ranges and at GCSE. 

These approaches also can be tailored to subject or content specific contexts in both the primary and secondary phases, both of which I have taught to excellent standards. 

I have a particular interest in adapting Thinking Skills to the teaching of poetry, which teachers can sometimes feel less confident in teaching.


Recent feedback from primary phase and secondary phase teachers in Greenwich, following my design and delivery of such a session, suggested this was very positively received.​

"Johannah ran a highly effective, interactive poetry CPD session for Greenwich English Subject Leaders. The afternoon consisted of developing subject knowledge and confidence in the teaching of poetry from KS1-GCSE which was achieved through a balance of modelling, discussion and graphic organisers to develop sustained thinking. Feedback from teachers was extremely positive. They left enthused with a range of practical ideas to take straight back to school as well as a whole-school vision for the teaching and embedding of poetry in every phase. I can’t recommend the session highly enough."

Elizabeth Camp, School Advisor, Royal Borough of Greenwich


What was the most useful part of the training course?

  • "Different ways of teaching/using poetry in class and how to teach beyond 'spot the feature'."

  • "Circle map idea of listing and responding with likes and dislikes and then responding to reading."

What has the impact of the session been on your learning?

  • "Improved my understanding of how to teach poetry in KS2."

  • "Updating my subject knowledge."

  • "Understand different approaches to introducing poetry, making it more relatable and understandable."

What actions will you take back in school?

  • "Encourage/model explanations of the effects word choices/structures can have on a reader."

  • "Stretching more able - introduce some new terminology so they can effectively comment on input of poetry."

  • "Use of the thinking circle idea."

  • "Planning a PDM on poetry to share ideas from today."


  • I have mentored and coached colleagues, trainee teachers and NQTs; led whole school
    Reflective Practice sessions including teachers’ peer observations, with a focus on Oracy and Thinking Skills; and led intervention groups, specifically for High Previous Attainers. 

  • In my previous roles as Head of English at Middle and Secondary schools, I have delivered on high
    targets for 4 GCSEs through data analysis and intervention strategies. I have lead teams; organized Parent Conference and Information events; and developed AfL and Thinking Skills within Schemes of Learning. 

  • I have previously lectured in Primary Maths and English for the Dorchester SCITT.

  • Prior to that, I led on Assessment for Learning at Primary level, delivering whole school and Local Education Authority In-service training as well as teaching across the full Primary age range in London and Dorset.

  • Most recently, I have planned and delivered Inset on Effective Teaching of Poetry for Greenwich.


  • Publication in the Journal of Early Childhood Education and the National College magazine.

  • Shortlisted for National Poetry Day entry #speakyourtruth.

  • Attendance at the annual NATE conference, with the focus on improving poetry teaching.

  • Attendance at the International Thinking Skills conference, with a focus on Sutton Trust 
    research and Thinking Maps.

  • Organisation of whole staff Well-being sessions, including a Self Defence Skills course.

  • Attendance at training on Behavioural Indicators of Key Emotional and Mental Health Issues for
    Children and Young People.

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