Writing Courses for Teachers


At THOUGHTTREE we firmly believe that teachers of Creative Writing should be writers themselves. So we have designed this course specifically for teachers, to help you develop confidence in yourself as a writer and to enhance your skills of literary analysis; using our workshop and discussion approach, we encourage you to focus more closely on writers’ technique and to try some new ideas for yourself.


Details of our courses appropriate for teachers are given below. All courses run over three days which includes 2 night’s accommodation at Gisborough Hall Hotel, North Yorkshire


Teaching Creative Writing at KS5/Advanced Level


This course is suitable for teachers who are new to, or who already teach Creative Writing at A level, A level Language and Literature and A level Literature


Price: £295 inc vat


This course will:


  • Develop confidence in yourself as writer and teacher of creative writing


  • Enhance your skills of literary analysis


  • Encourage independent thought and original responses from your students in their A level coursework, and so maximise their potential for high grades


Our current focus is the Gothic Tradition, where we take an in-depth look at writing skills in some of the Gothic Greats and explore Gothic elements in more contemporary writing.


  • Teachers of A level English Literature: delegates will explore Gothic Literature, focusing on works by writers such as Mary Shelley, Jane Austen and Edgar Allan Poe but will also explore Gothic elements in a variety of works by contemporary writers such as Brett Easton-Ellis and Angela Carter.


  • Teachers of the new Creative Writing A level; A level English Language; A level English Language/Literature combined: delegates will explore writing techniques in a variety of texts and develop their own skills and confidence as writers. This course offers teachers practical advice on helping students maximise their potential in coursework responses.


Time will be available for delegates to reflect on their own work as both teacher and writer, and prepare resources with support from individual tutors.


Why should English Teachers embrace the new A Level in Creative Writing?


Writer and Creative Writing tutor Deb Henderson shares her thoughts.


As an experienced school teacher- turned- writer, with several years’ creative writing study at university under my belt, it struck me that the school English curriculum was missing a trick by ignoring the invaluable skills taught on creative writing courses.


 I was always impressed, even humbled, by the imagination and sheer grit of my classroom students as they tackled the challenge to ‘write me a story.’ The younger, less inhibited lot loved it but my GCSE students groaned at the prospect, finding the task difficult – well, what self-conscious writer doesn’t? The least confident would invariably produce dull, chronological accounts of personal experience - a mawkish account of ‘the day my granny/dog/cat died’ or an incident report on ‘how I broke my arm/leg/ ankle’. You get the picture.


Just imagine what they could achieve if these budding young writers learned to recognise, and even play around with, an unreliable narrator, or experiment with third person free indirect speech? What if every English teacher was equipped to teach – and practice - the craft of writing, with its specific but highly transferable set of skills, far beyond the familiar necessities of good grammar and spelling?


Consider my excitement, then, when last year our local sixth form college offered the brand new AQA Creative Writing A Level to their students. Hurray for AQA! Hurray for Wyke College! Hurray for Michael Gove, who turned a blind eye whilst a non-vocational, arty qualification slipped quickly and quietly through the validation process!


I was keen to get my hands on a copy of the syllabus and, as a regular supply teacher at the college, I soon got the chance. I was already slipping some writer’s terminology into A Level English Language teaching, particularly to students preparing commentaries on their own writing. Now, at last, it is official: we all have the chance to open up a new and exciting box of tricks for our students, whilst introducing them to the mysteries of ‘reading as a writer’ and ‘show don’t tell’.


Undoubtedly, this new course should enrich and extend the skills and experiences of all students of English Language, Literature and Drama, not only those who want to become better writers. Let’s get English teachers on board and make it an enjoyable and creative success.