Updated for 2022, this is a fully interactive student conference, providing students with practical, engaging and motivating revision for the AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1 exam. Students will explore quality exam responses and learn new techniques and strategies to help them become confident grade 7-9 candidates. Students will gain an understanding of how to improve their grade through a comprehensive breakdown of the different questions that feature in AQA English Language Paper 1.



  • Broaden your perspective with enriching and stimulating sessions from leading experts
  • Gain first hand advice and examples for improving your grade, direct from an examiner
  • Understand more about how to achieve the highest level
  • Explore the demands of the questions in relation to the grades 7-9 requirements.
  • Look in detail at the skills assessed in Paper 1 and how to demonstrate them ‘perceptively’ and ‘in detail’
  • Receive a student-friendly workbook to complete on the day and full conference presentations/follow on materials as electronic resources post-conference
  • Take away a comprehensive set of notes which can be used as part of your revision
  • Enjoy a memorable, varied, informative learning experience


10.30 – 11.00am: Succeeding with Q1

  • Understanding the mark scheme and identifying the key skills for top level students
  • What do ‘detailed’ and ‘perceptive’ mean?
  • Reading approaches: finding the overarching ideas.
  • Strategies for Q1: simple, focused and explicit

11.00 – 11.45am: Securing skills for Q2 Language

  • What is the ‘effect’ of language?
  • Key skills in the mark scheme at Level 4
  • Extending comments using detail and the overarching ideas.
  • Exemplar responses- two routes to the top level- identifying features of perceptive and detailed responses
  • Revision activity- developing top grade language comments

Morning Break: 11.45 – 12.00pm

12.00 – 12.45pm: Writing about structure – developing skills for Q3

  • What is structure?
  • TV in your head: a visual approach to structure
  • Beyond chronology: it’s not just about the order of events
  • Exemplar responses
  • Revision activity- perceptive and detailed structural comments

Lunch: 12.45 – 1.15pm

GCSE Question Box: 1.15 – 1.30pm

1.30 – 2.15pm: Evaluating texts – combining skills for Q4

  • What is evaluation?
  • Key skills in the mark scheme at Level 4
  • Broadening methods: the writer at work
  • Using big ideas as a framework
  • Exemplar responses
  • Revision activity- developing detailed evaluation

2.15 – 3.15pm: Creative writing – expanding skills for Q5

  • Exploring typical features of Level 4 writing
  • Creating mood
  • Crafting language and extending metaphor
  • Making sentences work for you- top level sentencing for effect
  • Exemplar responses
  • Revision activity- writing convincingly

15.15pm: END

Helen Backhouse is a teacher, trainer and examiner, who has been involved in English education and assessment for 25 years. She is a senior examiner for GCSE English Language, writing exam papers and training thousands of examiners. She has authored a number of textbooks, supporting students’ progress in English Language and Literature at KS3 and KS4.

Lance Hanson is an experienced teacher of English, school leader, teacher trainer and blogger. He currently works as the strategic lead for teaching, learning and curriculum for a multi-academy Trust. He has also examined GCSE English Language for almost two decades, written materials for exam board training, and has recently completed his PhD.

Students £25+VAT

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