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Event Details


9.30am - 3.00pm - Log on between 9.15am and 9.30am Victorian Time

Live Streamed Webinar

All Year 7 - 12 English Teachers

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Booking Conditions

No applications for this program will be accepted after all vacancies have been filled. Unsuccessful applicants will have their monies refunded in full. Cancellation prior to two weeks before the program date (cut-off date) will incur a 15% service charge per applicant. This program will be payable in full for cancellations made on or after the cut-off date or for failure to attend the program. All cancellations must be in writing and emailed to us. In the event of insufficient applications this program will not proceed and registration monies be fully refunded. In the event of this program being cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances registration monies only will be refunded as Critical Agendas will not accept liability for the payment of any other associated costs. Critical Agendas reserves the right to vary the advertised programs prior to commencement.

Attitudes, activities and assessments that move ‘Beyond the text response essay!’

Essay writing (whether under timed conditions or not) is prominent in English courses (7-12) across the nation, but too often teachers recognise that such essays/assessments

  • show that students don’t understand how to answer or explore the nuances in a question
  • highlight that students struggle to form a line of argument
  • demonstrate that students don’t fully understand the text
  • emphasise that students need to work on substantiating their claims with evidence
  • reveal that students need to work on their written expression and grammar.

 In this workshop we will explore the benefits of using a variety of formative and summative assessment tasks in English classes (7-12) that focus on student understanding, making connections, and fostering a sense of curiosity, creativity and imagination. We will explore how Visible Thinking Routines and other assessment tasks can help teachers gauge and assess student understanding, thinking and writing on texts before they complete a formal text response essay task.

Presented by Critical Agendas

Nathan Armstrong


With 15 years teaching experience, including VCE English, VCE Literature, IB Language A: Language and Literature and IB Theory of Knowledge, Nathan brings to his workshops and presentations a depth and breadth of experience that focuses on creating rich, robust and rewarding learning cultures and environments.

Nathan has worked extensively with Visible Thinking routines and ‘Cultures of Thinking’ frameworks from Harvard University’s Project Zero. Student work samples from his Year 7 English classes were published in the book ‘Making Thinking Visible How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and Independence for All Learners’. Nathan’s classroom culture and pedagogical approach were also featured in Ron Ritchhart’s book ‘Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces We Must Master to Truly Transform Our Schools.’

Nathan’s workshops have the student at the centre and focus on the way classrooms represent cultures of learning. At the core of his understanding and work with others is the firm belief that when all learners feel welcome, known, recognised and challenged then great relationships and understanding can be fostered and nurtured.

Critical Agendas Speaker

Hear from teachers who have attended a Critical Agendas Event

Just a big Thank you for giving us the opportunity to attend the Critical Agenda Workshop yesterday.  David presented a great program, lots of handy strategies and he was very engaging and supportive. Highly recommended.  I was very happy we did not have to do any Role play’s

It was also fantastic to catch up with Zlatica, Dani, Kate and Marg, lots of laughs

A big THANK YOU once again


Tan x

Tania The Geelong College

Inspirational Speakers –  the knowledge gained will be so beneficial in my classrooms

Libby Fullard.

I love the fantastic variety of workshops and conferences on offer. Always look forward to Critical Agendas PD’s.

Tim Livy

Loved the honesty in the sharing of information and strategies

Liberty Hatzidimitriou

Passionate &  Authentic Speakers – Meaningful Strategies

Tamara Rundle

Loved the passion of the Presenters

Ivana Ryan

Keep up the fantastic PD opportunities! Very  professional and well-researched workshops and conferences.

Paul Dillon

The best P.D. I have attended in living memory!” I loved every minute of this engaging, interesting and informative PD. And I have been teaching for 40+ years!

Susan Snooks

“It is the first P.L. in a long long time that I haven’t been checking in with my watch.”