Online | Wednesday 23 June 2021

Code: 8390


The AQA GCSE in English Language requires a substantial coverage of a range of skills to ensure a Grade 4 OR 5 is achieved. This course will look at the most challenging aspects of the specification and how they can be taught effectively in the classroom with a series of practical examples to achieve these grades.

These courses will discuss new approaches to teaching the specification to get the best results and to improve upon previous grades and look at a range of short cuts to support the student looking to achieve a Grade 4 or 5.


  • Enhance your understanding of the grading structure and the standards required for Grade 4 and 5 and the relevant performance descriptors for GCSE (9-1)
  • Take away resources and strategies for planning schemes of work with a focus on improving the levels of Grade 4-5 students
  • Gain new approaches and methods on how to teach comparison, context, writer’s purpose and personal interpretation and a range of other skills more effectively.
  • Develop techniques to support lower ability students in the different styles of writing and to ensure writing with impact and originality and with reasonable degrees of accuracy
  • Increase your understanding of the different forms of assessment available in the classroom for the lower ability student and how to reinforce these skills
  • Take away ideas and suggestions for teaching effectively a range of non- fiction texts and literary texts from across the centuries
  • This course would benefit all experienced teachers of AQA GCSE English Language including Heads of Department, teachers of English, and teachers of SEN students. Senior leaders responsible for whole school English, raising whole school English levels and senior leaders responsible for Teaching and Learning would also benefit from this course. Teachers attending this course will be fully equipped to teach this course effectively.
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • You will receive a specially prepared file electronically containing detailed notes, and teaching materials and resources which will be of immediate practical benefit in the classroom.
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


1.30 – 2.00 pm: The challenges of AQA GCSE English Language for Grade 4/5 students

  • Understanding the content of the AQA GCSE English Language
  • Looking over the 2019 exam sessions and what can be learnt from these particularly in relation to the lower ability student and what is required for a Grade 4 or 5.
  • What areas of the examinations are particularly challenging to the lower ability students?
  • Discussing the range of texts that need to be taught and resources available to teachers
  • Increase your understanding of the different forms of assessment to use in the classroom and how these can be used effectively with the lower ability student.

2.00 – 2.45 pm: Teaching the unseen texts in Paper 1 and 2. Challenges for the lower ability student 

  • Effectively teaching non-fiction and fiction texts from a range of centuries
  • Take away ideas and suggestions for teaching these texts effectively to the lower ability student
  • Examining the short answer questions on both papers and how to teach these effectively

2.45 – 3.30 pm: The importance of Writer’s Technique, Comparison and Personal Interpretation across the two Language papers. How to teach these effectively to the lower ability students 

  • Effectively teaching writer’s technique- language and structure
  • Comparison of non- fiction texts and the secrets of success in terms of structure and content for the lower ability student
  • How to get your lower ability students to evaluate and interpret texts effectively for the crucial Question 4 in both Language papers
  • Sharing exemplar materials showing good practice

3.30 pm – 3.45pm: Break

3.45 – 4.15 pm: Teaching the writing skills effectively for Grade 4/5 students                       

  • Teaching Creative and Descriptive writing effectively- The importance of planning, time management and checking of responses.
  • Approaching persuasive and transactional writing in the classroom. How to support lower ability students in preparation for these tasks
  • The importance of SPaG and how to bring this into your teaching in an interesting and stimulating way.
  • What examiners are looking for in the writing tasks with exemplars to achieve a Grade 4 or 5. 

4.15 – 4.45 pm: Structuring the GCSE English Language course to achieve a Grade 4 or 5 

  • How to build a skills foundation at KS3 in English to support the lower ability student.
  • Developing resources and strategies for structuring the GCSE courses in AQA English Language over two or three years
  • Approaching the linear assessments to achieve the Grade 4 or 5 with Examiner Tips
  • Developing positive understanding of the assessment objectives to improve outcomes and independence of learning.
  • Varying commentary practice to stretch weaker students

4.45 – 5.00 pm: Plenary and questions

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.

As a consultant, he is widely involved in a range of activities, including the training of teachers and students in English specifications both in training courses and within individual schools. 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 the Chief Examiner for IB English Literature.