Thursday 27th May 2021

Code: 8397


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 for producing sophisticated responses to the unseen poetry section of Paper 2.

Advice will centre on effective analysis of the methods used by writers to communicate 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 explore an unseen text and use knowledge of language and structural features to support ideas.


  • Understanding what a high quality response looks like
  • Learning to structure effective essays
  • Insight into what the examiner is ‘looking for’
  • Strategies for time management – not missing out the comparison element


3:00-3:10pm Introduction and Assessment Objectives

  • Introduction and re-cap of the Assessment Objectives for Unseen poetry tasks – including the comparison with another text

3:10-3:40pm Planning an effective answer

  • How to approach Unseen Poetry
  • Planning your writing
  • Writing an effective personal response
  • Exploring themes and ideas and using evidence to support
  • Writing an effective comparison

3:30-3:50pm Examiner analysis and examiner tips

  • Looking at high quality examples
  • Time management in this section of the exam – how to avoid missing out the comparison section!

3:50-4:00pm 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.