# 3 Shaping the Opening Doors Hubs Or What makes effective CPD? In this the third blog of three, I’ll explain the approach myself and the Opening Doors Hub schools took to support [...]
Leah has 15 years experience as a Local Authority English Inspector/Adviser, working across the primary and secondary phases. In her school career, she held pastoral and subject leader roles. She was part of the team that developed the APP Speaking and Listening materials with QCA.
Leah now leads Thinktalk consultancy, is an Associate Tutor for the King’s College Let’s Think in English Cognitive Acceleration programme and is on Bob Cox’s team of Opening Doors consultants, widening access to classic poetry and prose. Leah is teaching and studying at Winchester University and chairs the curriculum and standards committee at her local primary school.
Thank you so much for yesterday. We found it hugely useful. I loved the telescope idea - so many possibilities - I love the pairs of glasses idea again - so many uses. I think all teachers across the junior age range would have got something from that. But do you know what, I loved your passion and enthusiasm that comes across when talking about reading and writing. Normally in a 2.00-4.00pm slot on the first day back in January I would have been clock watching but time flew and that is sign of both a good presenter and good content. When can you come back?
Since working with Leah the way that we teach, plan and reflect has been transformed. She has given us the support and confidence we need to grow our department, and take risks to challenge ourselves and our students.
I have been given lots of practical activities to try in class and share with others and have gained new knowledge about some of the trickier grammar terminology. I am more confident now to ‘facilitate’ when teaching/questioning and I feel more able to reinforce the ‘ease’ in which grammatical knowledge can be applied to complex tasks through talk.
Inspired once again! Was great to see how quality texts can be used to introduce and apply grammatical concepts.
I just wanted to say thank you for all the support and advice you've given over the years. I've always felt secure under your guidance and have been grateful for your help in finding a pathway through the many (!) changes that have taken place. Your enthusiasm and clear vision are real strengths.
Thank you for lighting a fire under me and our school! Your passion and infectious enthusiasm for English was refreshing and much needed (especially after my first two terms on the SATs locomotive!)
When you walk away from a session with Leah, you have as many questions in your head as you have ideas to try out the next day. She puts you in the position of the children having to puzzle through a task so that you are more able to stand in their shoes and see from their perspective. Her energy and authentic interest is infectious. You also feel like she has listened and learned from you as much as you have learned from her. That’s empowering and motivating. I keep thinking and developing long after the event itself.
First-class briefing: sharp and focused, delivered with passion tempered by pragmatism. I like the format of receiving a concentration of contextualized information filtered through an expert who has saved me a lot of time by already thinking about the issues and possible solutions. The differentiation of the presentation into information, interpretation and advice was very clear and very helpful. Leah herself is personable and charming. The level of audience interaction was just right, e.g. the poetry exercise. We have come to be briefed by an expert, not get into groups to bemoan our lot! Very helpful INSET.
The presentation was a great blend of fact and pithy opinion, which I loved – all delivered with your trademark enthusiasm. I thought you really struck the balance of warning about the perils without being alarming and I left feeling purposeful rather than just plain terrified.
The presentation was very informative and has excited me about the prospect of focussing on teaching and learning and not on assessing the students’ every movement. Thank you for your infectious enthusiasm.