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Advanced Teaching of GCSE English Language

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This in-depth course explores high impact strategies that raise attainment and support students to access top marks in the GCSE English Language examinations. The course will share ideas and accompanying GCSE English Language materials that you can take-away and use immediately in the classroom. You will leave equipped with knowledge of the latest evidence-informed teaching, learning and assessment practice as well as feedback from the most recent English Language exams. In addition the course includes access to a range of resources and practical strategies that will enable you to meet the needs of your most able students and ultimately increase attainment at grades 8 and 9.


  • Increase awareness of what success looks like for the most able English Language students
  • Gain the latest evidence-informed practice that challenges grade 8/9 students
  • Develop greater understanding of what examiners are looking for in grade 8/9 responses
  • Challenge your students with problem solving, modelling and questioning to stretch pupils’ thinking processes
  • Take away a range of innovative teaching ideas and resources to impact your pupils’ learning of English Language immediately
  • Deepen your understanding of assessment criteria and mark schemes
  • Bring back concrete strategies and ideas to share with other English Language teachers
  • Explore how to maximise success levels for your students in the GCSE examinations
  • Learn how to develop resilience so that talented English students achieve their potential


The Assessment Demands In GCSE English Language

10.00 – 10.45am
  • Reflection on previous exams
  • Structure of the GCSE English Language qualification
  • What are the barriers to attaining high grades from the most recent exam?
  • What is required to achieve the Level 4 band and how do we get there?
  • The importance of planning – how can this be completed in the exam environment?


Morning Break

10.45 – 11.00am

Fresh And Innovative Strategies For Teaching Critical Evaluation (AO4)

11.00 – 12.30pm
  • Examples will be drawn from previous AQA question papers, but the session is applicable to those studying all boards
  • Teaching and learning strategies to improve analysis of language, form and structure
  • Responses to the task – practical strategies to develop students critical responses to a given statement: e.g. how much stock to place in ‘agreeing’? Can ‘50/50’ responses succeed?
  • In-depth approaches to helping students create a well structured argument: e.g. how to show a perceptive understanding of the question itself, and relate this to the unseen extract?
  • Exploring the methods writers uses to create meaning, and how to achieve Level 4
  • Evaluate critically, giving valid and relevant effects on the reader
  • Analysing grade 9 responses to increase opportunities for high grades



12.30 – 1.30pm

Fresh And Rigorous Approaches To Compare Writers’ Ideas And Perspectives (AO3)

1.30 – 2.30pm
  • Examples will be drawn from previous AQA question papers, but the session is applicable to those studying all boards
  • Comparing like for like; maintaining a coherent comparison when responding to ideas and perspectives in the texts
  • Strategies to promote insightful analysis of writers’ methods, supported by judicious use of subject terminology
  • Stretching your more able students to consider structure and to track character development throughout both extracts
  • Analysing grade 9 responses to increase opportunities for high grades


Afternoon Tea

2.30 – 2.40pm

Strategies To Promote High Level Vocabulary With Linguistic Devices

2.40 – 3.30pm
  • How to vary retrieval, interleaving and synoptic links
  • Utilising digital platforms such as Quizlet to take learning beyond the classroom
  • Signposting synoptic links between knowledge and skill acquisition digitally through Common Lit
  • Planning for interleaving, spacing and retrieval to stretch and challenge in the classroom

Exam Revision And Technique

3.30 – 3.45pm
  • Separating common content and skills mistakes
  • Applying simple but highly effective exam technique strategies to ensure high performance
  • Strategies to promote retrieval, spacing and interleaving


London | Friday 15 December 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Friday 15 December 2023

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Patrick Collins is Deputy Headteacher for Teaching & Learning at Forest Gate Community School in London. He has been part of the development of Forest Gate Community School into one of the highest performing schools in the country. Patrick has worked with the English department on its journey to becoming the TES ‘Best English department in England’ in 2020. He is a teacher of English Language and Literature, as well as a qualified SENDCo, and has worked within the CST as a Regional Director for Vulnerable Students. He has responsibility for the whole school CPD programme within FGCS, delivering high-impact, research driven developmental training to all teaching staff.


  • Teachers in their first 3 years of teaching GCSE English Language
  • Those with leadership responsibility in an English department (2ic, 3ic)


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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