The AQA GCE in English Literature requires substantial coverage of a range of skills to ensure the highest grades are achieved. This NEW course will look at how students can achieve the top grades, through excellent examination technique and teaching methods and strategies to ensure that they develop powerful learning skills, which will create excellent, independent learners. Feedback from the 2018 exams will be utilised to boost teacher understanding of the key issues nationally and demonstrate where high achieving students can further stand out and ensure that they succeed in the final examinations. The course will look at all elements of the AQA Specification A, but will also be relevant to teachers of Specification B.


  • Develop teaching resources and strategies for ensuring high achieving students succeed in AQA GCE English Literature A
  • Learn the key areas where student answers could be stronger, from the 2019 exams, with ways to ensure your students produce high quality answers
  • Develop techniques that make sure high achieving students answer the unseen extracts to the best possible standards
  • Gain an understanding of the Assessment Objectives for GCE English Literature and the relevant skills needed for each which students need to demonstrate to reach the top grades
  • Take away exemplar work which demonstrates the standard required and which will be of immediate practical benefit
  • All teachers of AQA A level English Literature A
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues



10.00 – 10.30am: The challenges of the AQA English Literature A Level

  • Understanding the content of the AQA Specification A GCE in English Literature – feedback from the 2019 exams to highlight key areas where high achieving students did well and lost marks
  • Defining the skills required in the assessment of the specification – Love through the Ages – meaning and development
  • Teaching ideas to ensure high level students maintain progress and see synoptic links throughout their A level

10.30 – 11.30am: How to teach high quality responses and ensure students produce them under pressure

  • Exploring Shakespeare – how to answer the text based questions effectively, with candidate exemplar work to demonstrate the standard required for top grades
  • The modern drama/prose text – how to write about writer’s technique effectively. Advice to ensure that students achieve high marks

11.30 – 11.45am: Discussion: coffee break


11.45 – 1.00pm: Comparing Texts effectively for high marks

  • Teaching the use of context and different interpretations well, so that students use it appropriately in examination situations
  • Teaching methods to ensure students use the skills of comparison, different interpretations and context across a range of genres effectively
  • Feedback from the 2019 examination: using a series of example questions and exemplar responses to illustrate good practice and highlight areas in which lost marks
  • Utilising exam board feedback to create stronger learners: ideas and methods for the department and for the students

1.00 – 2.00pm: Lunch and informal discussion


2.00 – 3.00pm: The challenges of the unseen poetry and unseen prose element of the specification

  • Teaching methods to ensure students deal effectively with the unseen element: how to prepare students and encourage independent practice
  • Review a range of example questions and exemplar responses that demonstrate the standard required for the highest mark bands
  • How to deal with context and comparison within the unseen element excellently: what students need to know to succeed

3.00 – 3.15pm: Discussion: afternoon tea


3.15 – 4.00pm: Ensuring successful understanding and revision

  • Key assessment messages to pass to students – during the course and about the exams
  • Effective introductions and conclusions: what can make a difference in the exams
  • Effective revision skills
  • Understanding common errors and pitfalls in the examination, using exemplar responses
  • Sharing knowledge of supporting resources which really work with high achievers and good practice

Paul Dodd

Paul is an experienced English expert who has worked as a teacher for over 20 years and within a major exam board before becoming an independent educational consultant. He was a teacher of English, a Head of Department and a Director of Studies for over twenty years, teaching at schools in the United Kingdom and abroad. He then became Head of English at one of the leading exam boards and was involved in the development of the last two sets of English GCSEs and A Levels with Ofqual and the Department of Education. He is also part of the accreditation panels for a Regulator in English. As a consultant he is widely involved in a range of activities, including the training of teachers in the new specifications both in training courses and with individual Departments. He has authored a whole series of teacher resources such as lesson plans and trial assessments at both GCSE and A Level. He has authored several works on A Level English literary texts ranging from Romantic Poetry to Modern Drama and he examines for two UK exam boards and one international board in A Level English Literature. He is also a Principal Examiner for GCSE English Literature and an Associate University Lecturer in English. At the present time he is heavily involved in supporting teachers in the new English qualifications leading to the first assessments in 2017.

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