A fully interactive student conference which provides students with practical, engaging and motivating revision for the AQA GCSE English examination.  Students will examine quality exam responses and learn new techniques and strategies to become a top grade 7-9 level candidate.  Student will gain an understanding of how to move their grade to the top level through a comprehensive breakdown of the different questions that feature in AQA English Language.


  • Gain first-hand guidance, advice and crucial insight from Senior Examiners and outstanding teachers in how to reach grades 7-9 at AQA GCSE English Language.
  • Participate and interact in a range of activities, quizzes, on-stage tasks and challenges throughout the day.
  • Opportunity to ask questions directly to the examiners and subject experts.
  • Each student receives a full workbook to complete on the day and to use for follow-up revision sessions in school.
  • Post-conference: Teachers receive follow-on materials
DATE & LOCATION London | Tuesday 16 March 2021
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference




10.20 – 10.30am
Welcome and Introduction: Mastering the Content of GCSE English Language Paper 1

  • What are the examiners looking for? What does a grade 7-9 student look like?
  • Examiners’ tips: what are the key skills to reach the top grades?
  • Winning the marathon: top tips on using your time effectively
  • Have a plan! Exam room strategies, using your reading time effectively
  • Nailing the tricky stuff

10.30 – 11.00am
Paper 1: Section A: Question 3 – Structure

  • EXAMINER MESSAGE: This isn’t a language question!
  • What is structure? A key list of terms you can use and look for
  • Structure is a construct. When analysing structure look at the whole of the piece, then break it down into its constituent parts
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: on-stage student activity. Why putting the right things in the right places will get you the grade.
  • EXEMPLAR RESPONSE: What is so good about it?

11.00 – 11.40am
Paper 1: Section A Question 4 – Evaluation

  • EXAMINER MESSAGE: Unpicking evaluative: What is it and how do you write it?
  • What to look for in the question- do’s and don’ts
  • How do you structure your evaluative response – the use of impactful language
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: choosing the right evidence for the right response
  • EXEMPLAR RESPONSE: Comparing the response to the assessment criteria

11.40 – 12.00pm
Morning break

Submit your questions for the question box

12.00– 12.30pm
Paper 1: Section B: Question 5 – Narrative or Descriptive Writing for the 40-mark question

  • The image is a springboard for you to write: do not become too formulaic
  • EXAMINER MESSAGE: short cuts to excellent writing in the exam; and how to be original in your writing – grade 7-9 exemplar.
  • How to plan your response and how to start with impact. Which question do you choose?
  • What writing techniques are characteristic of an 8/9 answer?
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: How to move from a 7 to an 8 and a 9
  • EXEMPLAR RESPONSE: Analyse the answer – how could it be improved?

12.30 – 1.10 pm
Paper 2: Section A: Question 2 Summary

  • EXAMINER MESSAGE: Reducing and refining – Bringing it all together but knowing they are different
  • Structuring your arguments carefully and ensuring your paragraphs are clearly linked
  • What is synthesis? How do I turn this skill into an effective exam answer
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: making meaning clear in the least amount of words!
  • EXEMPLAR RESPONSE: Excellent responses – what can you learn from them?

1.10 – 1.45pm

1.45 – 2.00 pm
Question Box

Speakers will answer the questions given by students

2.00 – 2.15 pm
Punctuate to articulate:  The importance of accuracy in your SPG

  • Easy ways to raise your grade
  • The importance of accuracy in your SPG

2.15 – 2.45pm
Paper 2: Section A:  Question 4, the 16-mark Comparison question

  • When comparing non-fiction texts always look at the writer’s perspective and what they are trying to achieve
  • EXAMINER MESSAGE: Same, same but different.  Method not content.
  • How do 8/9 students compare effectively when answering this question – some tips
  • STUDENT ACTIVTY: Looking for the unobvious.
  • EXEMPLAR RESPONSE: Think like an examiner – what are they looking for?

2.45- 3.15pm
Paper 2: Section B: Question 5 – Writing to Present a Viewpoint

  • EXAMINER MESSAGE: what we want and how to do it! Sequencing your argument.
  • Planning for these questions – how to ensure success. What sort of discussions can I have which will prepare me for the exam?
  • How to start writing effectively – with some examples / students write their own.
  • STUDENT ACTIVITY: hitting the grade 7-9 standard; marking real examples of student responses.
  • EXEMPLAR RESPONSE: Discuss the exemplar response – what makes a grade 7-9 answer?

3.15 – 3.30pm
Final Messages

  • EXAMINERS’ FINAL MESSAGES: key points from each of the presenters – how to be the grade 7-9 student we are looking for!
  • 10 Examiners’ Tips to ensure that Grade 8/9

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.

Judith Dixon

Judith is an AQA examiner for GCSE and A Level English Literature. She has been Head of English at The Lakes School, Cumbria for seven years and has experience of preparing students for GCSE and A Level English Language and English Literature, as well as Media Studies and the Extended Project Qualification. She has delivered CPD on Progression in the English Classroom, Extended Writing, and Planning and Modelling for Extended Writing and Oracy across the Curriculum.

Students £25+VAT

One free teacher place for every 10 student places
Additional teachers £35+VAT
Individual teachers £80+VAT

English subject library