SKE Lead

Zira Hanif

I began my secondary English teaching career, almost a decade ago, working within a secondary school that served a community with high levels of deprivation. Since then, I have used the love and passion for my subject to relentlessly raise the bar for all young people but especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. I firmly believe that teachers have the ability to change the future life chances of the young people they serve for the better. I have worked in various leadership positions in secondary schools across West Yorkshire and I am currently working as Assistant Principal at John Smeaton Academy part of the GORSE Academies Trust, Leeds. I am also the English Subject Lead as part of GORSE SCITT. John Smeaton Academy is on a journey of rapid transformation to improve the life chances of young people from the most disadvantaged areas in The United Kingdom.

Programme Structure

  • Exploration of the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for KS1-KS4
  • An introduction to phonics and how children learn how to read
  • Teaching of Shakespeare at KS3 and KS4
  • Reading strategies to support learners with reading deficits
  • Teaching of a set text – novel and play
  • Teaching of transactional writing and creative writing
  • Preparing to teach poetry at KS3 and KS4
  • Approaching unseen poetry
  • Oracy within the classroom
  • GCSE specifications, assessment objectives and examination rubric

Delivery and Assessment

Most of the learning is completed independently; you will be guided to create high quality resources by your subject lead. Subject leads are experts in their field and have an up to date working knowledge of both the National Curriculum and the exam rubric for GCSE and A-level examinations. Following each assessment you will receive high quality feedback identifying your areas of strength and the next steps that you can take to improve.

  • 1 hour weekly virtual tutorial
  • Independent study
  • Weekly assessed assessment (assessments range from: lesson planning, creating model answers, responding to exam-style questions and producing essay responses – the duration of each assessment will vary but clear time indicators will be provided for each assessment)

“ 100% of English SKE participants would strongly recommend the course to a friend. ”


Unit 1 – KS1-KS3 English National Curriculum

Unit 2 – Reading skills (non-fiction & fiction)

Unit 3 – Writing skills (transactional)

Unit 4 – Introduction to Shakespeare

Unit 5 – KS4 English National Curriculum

Unit 6 – The importance of oracy skills

Want to find out More?

Book an Information evening or taster day.

These virtual events will take place with our leadership team to give you an opportunity to find out more about the courses we offer, the support you will receive and your journey as a GORSE SCITT trainee.

Book an information Evening
Book a Taster Day