This NEW student conference will provide students with practical, engaging and motivating revision and exam techniques for the GCSE English Language examinations. The day is fully interactive, with a range of activities and challenges for students throughout the day. Students will examine and assess real exam responses to help them perform to their full potential in the summer exams.


  • Gain first-hand guidance, advice and crucial insights from a Senior Examiner and outstanding teachers in reaching grades 4 and 5 at GCSE English Language
  • Opportunity for students and teachers to ask questions directly to the examiners and subject experts
  • Participate and interact in a range of activities which will help improve the quality of students’ answers
  • Each student receives a full workbook to complete on the day and to use for follow-up revision sessions in school and at home
 DATE AND LOCATION In-school only
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference



10.00 – 10.30am
Welcome and Introduction – Succeeding in GCSE English Language

  • Understanding the content, grading structure, skills being assessed in AQA GCSE English Language.
  • What is required for Grade 4 and 5 students for AQA – understanding the standard
  • Feedback from the 2019 AQA examinations and the specific issues for Grade 4/5 students to work on
  • Having a plan – Exam Room strategies – time management and question terminology.

10.30am– 11.15am
Mastering the content of Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing Section A

  • Reviewing the AQA short answer question: how to deal effectively with this in the exam room.
  • Dealing effectively with writer’s technique – Question 2 and 3 in Paper One, language and structure and how to ensure good marks with some exemplars.
  • How to deal effectively with Question 4 in Paper One – Personal Interpretation in the exam. What does evaluation mean and what do I have to do?
  • Keep looking for writer’s methods- what are they hoping to achieve?
  • You will never be asked to tell the examiner what is happening!

11.15- 11.30am
Morning break

11.30am – 12.00pm
Mastering the content of Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing Section B

  • The importance of planning, time management and checking of responses.
  • How to start your written response- the choices you have as a candidate- the image question or the response to the written question?
  • The importance of SPaG and ways that you can improve this.
  • Some student examples – what marks would these get? How would you improve them?

12.00- 12.40pm
Introduction to Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives: Section A

  • Tips on reading and preparing for the two unseen fiction extract questions
  • Planning is essential in all the writing tasks
  • How do you deal with the challenges of comparison – Question 2 and 4 in Paper Two with some exemplars
  • How do you structure a comparative response with some exemplars? Can you see the difference between a successful and unsuccessful response?
  • Explore strengths and weaknesses in Paper 2 responses from the previous year, to boost student chances in the exams

12.40- 1.15 pm

1.15 – 1.30pm
SPaG Task

  • Can you identify the levels of each of these four candidate examples in terms of quality of SPaG?
  • Which would get a Grade 4/5?

1.30 – 2.40pm
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives continued: Section B

  • Planning for these writing questions – how to ensure success.
  • What sort of discussions can I have which will prepare me for the exam?
  • How do I structure my response- what are the essentials here?
  • The examiner is looking for quality not quantity- do not write too much!
  • How to start writing effectively- with some examples and students write their own.

2.40 – 2.45pm
Afternoon break

2.45 – 3.00pm
Final Top Tips

  • KEY POINTS: how to improve your final grade
  • Common/likely exam mistakes that Grade 4-5 candidates make and how to avoid them. How to ensure that pass grade.
  • Final questions/comments.

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.

Students £25+VAT

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

English subject library