School Improvement & Development Conference 2023: Book your early-bird place

Developing English GDS through Classic Literature

It can be difficult to challenge strong readers at primary, because they often run out of age-appropriate material to read. A powerful solution can be to use children's literature from years gone by: it fulfils our 'cultural capital’ obligations, but it's also an exciting way to engender higher-level learning.

  • Develop a richer and more sophisticated understanding of vocabulary and grammar
  • Investigate and deepen knowledge in core and foundation subjects
  • Increase enthusiasm for higher-attaining children

About this course

How far does your school ‘literature spine’ go? The push for ‘reading for pleasure’ can sometimes result in a diet of entertaining but low-quality literature. C.S.Lewis suggested we ‘read an old one in between’ every 'new' book, and this approach can have a huge impact on school outcomes: children investigate and better understand the nuances of vocabulary, grammar and language; and the content provides them with a framework for exploring social and political attitudes, and developing foundation subject knowledge. This short course will:

  • Explore the meaning of ‘cultural capital'
  • Provide examples of classic literature that can be used for creative teaching and learning
  • Suggest how older literature can impact across the curriculum



This course is appropriate for primary schools.

  • Class Teachers (KS2)
  • English Coordinators and Curriculum Leads
  • Senior Leaders

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this INSET day, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please fill in the form below to send us a message. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch with us by email: