Opening Doors

Bob's two new books, 'Opening Doors to a Richer English Curriculum' for ages 6-9 and 10-13 are NOW available!

Opening Doors

Welcome to the website for ‘Searching for Excellence Ltd”, the home of Bob Cox, the author of the ‘Opening Doors’ series.

Latest News from Bob

We are thrilled to be completing the two new books which we hope can support your drive for challenging English for all pupils, pitched high but accessed by all. See the pre-order link at the top for more information.

This year, I received many comments from moderators, verbally and in messages, about the impact of the opening doors strategies. It was very gratifying as so many teachers say to me that they learn in their classrooms every day after designing a challenging curriculum. See A Daily Diet of CPD! January 2019

Here is an example from a local authority moderator, Emily Weaver, on the impact of ‘Opening Doors’:

Just dropping you a quick line to say I have just undergone key stage 2 writing moderation as a moderator this year and what an absolute difference following your books and the opening doors approach to writing has had for end of key stage outcomes.

They stood out hugely compared to other approaches and strategies by an absolute mile.

Where people were using heritage texts as drivers for writing, the work, especially at the greater depth standard was superb.

2019/2020 already includes travels to Manchester, Hartlepool, London, Hampshire, Kent, Birmingham, Reading, Macclesfield, Stoke and many more. I will be speaking at the Reading Rocks South conference on October 5th (see @readingrocks) and The Oxford Reading Spree on October 19th (see @OxReadingSpree) where we will be launching the books. Do come!

Let me know if you would like me to speak at your conference or support your school/cluster!

2018/2019 travels included many areas of the UK. See  A Richer English Curriculum.         Apart from key-notes, for example at the National Association for the Teaching  of English ‘Primary Matters’ Conference and the Lancashire Annual English Conference, we also supported schools, LA’s or MATs in ongoing ways. We have enjoyed working with Cheshire teachers from 2017-2019 via the Aspirer Research School and we are returning for a third time in 2019/20 such has been the impact. Here is a selection of comments:

“One of the best courses I’ve been on.”

“How to make challenging texts accessible to all children.”

“A shift in thinking regarding the English curriculum – using key concepts to ensure a clear, sequential progression. Pupils will have a thirst for tackling more complex texts, drawing on a wider vocabulary to write in a sophisticated way.”

“All children have accessed and so improved in both their understanding of texts and constructing high quality responses to questions and writing tasks. Thank you Bob, you’ve inspired both me and my class.” 


Searching for Excellence Support

Bob can support your school or speak at your conference on:

‘Opening Doors to a Richer English Curriculum’. This will be relevant to key stages 1,2 or 3. 

‘Pitching High’. This will support strategies for ensuring the inclusion of all learners in a high quality curriculum

Ongoing in-house support tailored to need.

‘Searching for Excellence’ offers experienced, professional support for the development of learning in schools.  Since becoming a freelance educational consultant in 2007, Bob has worked with a range of schools cross-phase and has delivered inset at national, international and county conferences, often in a leading capacity.  He has now supported over 500 schools in their “search for excellence”.

2018 briefs included key notes in national conferences, for Hampshire and Leeds LA and across many clusters: Oldham, Macclesfield, York, the Isle of Man, The Isle of Wight, Kent and many, many more. Bob also worked with parents, teachers and pupils in Singapore!

If you are interested in support for a richer, deeper English curriculum and want advice on how it can be achieved with the resources to back it up, do contact Bob on

Award Winning Author:  ‘The Educational Resources Award’:

“All Bob’s books should be in every school and used.” 16th April 2017
Pie Corbett – teacher, author, storyteller and developer of Talk4Writing

On March 17th, 2017, Bob became an award winning author!

Bob’s ‘Opening Doors to Quality Writing’ books have won an award in the ‘educational book’ category at The Educational Resources Awards!  Here is
what the judges said:

“Described as two gems which provide innovative approaches to exploring quality texts as stimuli for children’s writing.  Judges described ‘The Opening Doors to Quality Writing’ series is an invaluable resource, particularly for non-specialist teachers.  Excellent literary choices contained within very attractively produced books.”

Bob accepted the award ‘for all the amazing teachers opening doors for their pupils to language, literature and life chances’.

“Teachers that have used the books report enhanced confidence, a broader range of teaching strategies and a greater sense of enjoyment and achievement.”
Martin Galway, Teaching and Learning Adviser (English), Herts for Learning Ltd

“Bob was a pleasure to work with and his professional, thoughtful approach was very popular with our delegates. His enthusiasm and love of classic texts was palpable and immediately engaging; many of our schools here in Leeds have now adopted his approach to ensure that this material is part of their reading and writing curricula.” Steve Dawson, Leeds LA, key-note 2018

“Bob Cox gave a superb keynote at SAPERE’s annual Philosophy for Children (P4C) conference, November 2017, that was engaging, thought-provoking and with many practical ideas for teachers.  Bob showed us how philosophy can breathe life into reading and writing; drawing on his Opening Doors books that promote dialogue and a creative approach to the curriculum.”
Lizzy Lewis, SAPERE, Partnerships and Content Manager

Reactions to the award include:Logo_ERA2017_Winner_100W

“Congratulations to Bob Cox, ERA award winner, for such a fine series of books on teaching writing.  Essential resources for raising our game.”
18th March 2017

“Well deserved Bob!  I attended your training last year and this has had a huge impact on the expectations we have of our pupils and the quality and complexity of the texts we are using.  Rarely have I been on training that has had such an impact on my practice – having done the job for nearly 20 years and been a consultant for part of that time.”
Samantha Collier, Vice Principal, Hillcrest Academy For Gorse Academies Trust

There are now thousands of schools using Bob’s ‘going deeper’ strategies!  Bob and his team would like to work with you on an exciting journey using all kinds of quality reading – picture books, children’s fiction and literary classics – to stimulate quality writing.  We want to help spread the use of quality texts, poetry and literature in primary schools and across the transition phase to KS3!



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