Wednesday 05 May 2021

Code: 8399


This course is aimed at students who are aiming to achieve grades 7 – 9 in the AQA English Literature GCSE course.

The session, led by Jo Fox, will focus on top tips, techniques and approaches for producing sophisticated responses to Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.

Advice will centre on effective analysis of the methods used by Shakespeare to communicate characters, themes and ideas effectively, time management and the overall structure of essays to ensure that all of the assessment objectives are met. It will particularly focus on ways to comment effectively on the historical and cultural context of the text.


  • Understanding what a high quality response looks like and how to achieve it
  • How to structure grade effective 7 – 9 essays
  • Insight into what the examiner is ‘looking for’ in a top level response
  • Strategies for time management.


3:00-3:05pm Introduction and Assessment Objectives

  • Introduction and re-cap of the Assessment Objectives for Shakespeare tasks (Macbeth) and Key Challenges of working with Macbeth.

3:05-3:40pm Effective analysis to maximise your grades

  • How to approach the extract
  • Planning your writing, ‘engaging’ with a text look like in essay form at the top level
  • Writing an effective personal response
  • Effective examples of high quality textual reference and analysis
  • Answering the question that is actually being asked

3:40-3:55pm Examining examples with the Examiner!

  • Looking at high quality examples, knowing what is needed to get the highest grades

3:55-4:00pm Plenary and Questions


As a Team Leader for English Literature GCSE with a major examination board, Jo has 5 years’ experience leading a group of examiners through the marking process for papers focussing on Shakespeare and Poetry. She is an English Teacher with 20 years’ experience teaching GCSE English Language and Literature.  As a senior leader she has led on developing and improving the quality of teaching and learning in a range of schools, supporting staff to develop both subject knowledge and pedagogical approaches most likely to lead to improved outcomes.