Keynote Educational


AQA GCSE English Higher Grade Attainment for Weaker Students

Course Code:


Moving grade 3 students up to obtain at least a grade 4/5. The course will provide practical approaches and techniques to motivate and boost the grades of lower-level ability students. The focus will be on how to support weaker students to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English, write grammatically correct sentences, deploy figurative language, and analyse texts. There will also be a focus on how to develop creative writing as many students among low ability often struggle to create original and imaginative accounts that meet the assessment outcome requirements.


  • Unpick AQA exam board requirements for reaching grade 4 or above.
  • Gain ideas, approaches in workshops to tweak & apply the following day in your classroom.
  • Focus on teaching strategies which will ‘turn on’ and motivate reluctant learners.
  • Increase student awareness of how writers convey meaning and make clear comments on the effects of language.
  • Find out successful ways to develop creative writing skills for lower ability students
  • Develop strategies to support lower ability students who struggle with communicating clearly and organising information and ideas.

What Does Gaining a Grade 4 or beyond involve?

10.00 – 10.30am
  • Key elements for achieving grade 4 or beyond.
  • Identifying and considering the main challenges when teaching the weaker student.
  • What are the ‘hurdles’ and how to overcome them
  • Reflect on how the assessment objectives can help these students secure marks to show competency.

Getting students started – Transactional Writing

10.30 – 11.15am
  • Inspirational ideas and approaches in a practical session to support weaker students from a given starting point in transactional writing, and to stick with an idea without jumping from one unrelated idea to the next. This session will encourage students to write more purposefully in the argue/persuade genres.


11.15 – 11.30am

Creative risks, motivation, and excitement through developing short stories

11.30 – 12.30pm
  • Responding to starting points effectively is key to exam success especially for weaker students. This session demonstrates ways to do this in practical terms using language imaginatively and creatively; using information provided by others to write in different forms; maintaining a clear point of view; sustaining coherence with a range of connected ideas.


12.30 – 1.30pm

Finding ‘the link’ annotation – empowering the weaker student

1.30 – 2.30pm
  • Practical workshop session – empower your weaker students by giving them specific strategies to identify linguistic techniques in any short story text. The workshop explores how to support students to find common themes, mood/tone and offers practical resources such as ‘two colour theory’ and ‘speed dating’.

Afternoon break

2.30 – 2.45pm

Vocabulary ideas for critical reading and comprehension

2.45 – 3.45pm
  • Weaker students often struggle with ‘how to’ explain clearly. This session looks at how to support students to clearly compare writers’ ideas and communicate using sentence starters. It removes the ‘fear’, helps those students with limited vocabulary of their own, puts both you and them in control of how it to comment on a range of literature whilst referring to evidence from the text. This is a crucial strategy for A02, A03 and A04.
  • Final Checks: Time management and technical accuracy.


3.45 – 4.00pm


London | Wednesday 29 June 2022

Please select your preferred date

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.


Donna Adams is Programme Manager for English at a large inner-city college in London. A significant number of students at the college begin their FE courses with a grade 3 in English. Donna is responsible for supporting staff to further develop learners’ skills to attain a grade 4 or above.  Often these students lack confidence and motivation. Prior to this she taught for 10 years in various English roles. Her favourite aspects of English are teaching creative and transactional writing. She also has a keen interest in helping students to read for pleasure.


  • Heads of Department
  • All teachers of AQA GCSE English Language


  • 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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