Opening Doors: Depth and Greater Depth

It’s eight years since the publication of ‘Opening Doors to Famous Poetry and Prose’. Since then four more books have explained how ideas for challenging English have emerged with the work of schools at the heart of those ideas! Opening Doors has always focussed on classroom impact. There are now a huge number of schools engaged with the opening doors strategies to develop a much richer experience of English at KS1,2 and 3.

RR 2

The concept is simple: use quality texts to quality writing journeys to provide learning opportunities and new knowledge acquisition for all. En route, teachers and pupils learn more and ambition grows in a school community. The scope for exploring and enjoying literature of all kinds is greater. The blogs give a snapshot of the potential for schools:


Here is an example of a session with a greater depth emphasis. It’s important to stress that the team supports long term strategies and visions for a richer curriculum. These kinds of visions ensure that greater depth opportunities are integral to the experience all pupils can have. It should not be a bolt on for the few but part of an excellence ethos for all. More advanced pupils are stretched by the challenge of the texts and varied routes to success but all pupils are included, sharing the same content and deep objective. We can provide the knowledge and skills toolkit needed to nurture pupils to a genuine greater depth via more reading, more questioning and more direct teaching too. It’s always a mix of methods to address the key principles.

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Inset with a ‘greater depth’ focus
The opening doors strategies support a richer, deeper English curriculum for all learners. It follows that this kind of curriculum gives opportunities for achievement at greater depth built into the planning and expectations.
HOW can this move be made towards a curriculum which promotes excellence for all?
An ‘Opening Doors’ inset session could follow this kind of schedule but can be tailored to your needs.
Opening Doors to a Richer English Curriculum

1) Introduction: Why and how can a school develop more pupils to reach a higher standard? What are the key principles for an excellence culture?
2) From picturebooks to literature: strategies for a richer diet of thinking, speaking, reading and writing.
3) Key principles for developing a richer writing curriculum: quality text to quality writing journeys; access; planning for concepts. An exploration of many specific ideas and techniques in the opening doors toolkit of approaches which emphasise flexibility and creativity.
4) Application: Bob will explain a full case study and include examples of pupils’ writing from across the UK inspired by great writers. There will be a chance for delegates to apply the ideas from the session to map out ways of devising quality text to quality writing journeys.

Key outcomes from the session will be:
 More understanding of how greater depth standards emerge from a whole curriculum of excellence for all
 Key principles for going deeper
 Ideas for an English curriculum design
 Specific strategies for including and inspiring able learners and growing more of them!
 The resources to introduce more quality texts via Bob’s ‘opening doors’ series which has 50 units across 3 books.

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