This NEW course will explore how the most ambitious pupils can benefit from the coherence of this examination paper, as it takes them on a journey through analysis of language and structure, to evaluation and finally, their own creative writing. Led by our highly respected presenter Judith Dixon, the course will demonstrate new ideas for delivering the AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1 to pupils targeting grades 8 – 9. There will be exemplar materials and sample resources to take away. All materials will be closely linked to the AQA mark scheme.


  • This is an opportunity to view Paper 1 as a whole, and look closely at the requirements of each individual question.
  • The course will allow delegates to explore resources and ideas which will enable pupils to reach the highest grades throughout Paper 1.
  • Explore how pupils can develop ambition and skill in their writing to so that the creative writing question in Section B becomes something to look forward to.
  • Teachers of AQA GCSE English Language
  • Teachers of Key Stage 4 English
  • Heads of English
  • English Key Stage 4 Curriculum Managers
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00– 10.40am
Grades 8 – 9: what do they involve?

  • Structure of GCSE AQA English Language Paper 1 and what this demands of the best students
  • Feedback and grading analysis from the 2019 papers and what this tells us about the standards which top students are expected to meet
  • Analysis of the mark schemes: what are examiners looking for?
  • Grades 8 and 9 – what are the differences between the two?
  • Key attributes of Grades 8 – 9 students in the classroom

10.40 – 11.00 a.m.
Q2 –
Analysing Language: what does a Grade 8 – 9 answer Look Like?

  • Practical approaches and strategies to enable you to help the brightest students identify which authorial methods most enhance the reader’s understanding
  • Explore a range of teaching methods that enable pupils to examine and explain texts with precision
  • Strategies to equip pupils with the literary terminology to strengthen critical reading

11.00 – 11.20 a.m
Coffee break and informal discussion

11.20 a.m. – 12.30 p.m
Q3 – Analysing
Structure: pulling apart the construction of a text

  • New approaches that enable top pupils to step out of the text to consider the writer’s intentions
  • Take away a range of ideas to help pupils get the most out of structural analysis and terminology
  • Gain strategies to develop pupils’ ability to build sophisticated explanations of writers’ intentions
  • Judicious selection of structural features

12.30 – 1.30p.m
Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.10p.m
Q4 – Evaluation: Engage your highest achievers in an autonomous reading of the text.

  • “What do you think?” – Consider ways that you can help pupils critically appraise a text through the use of an informed and supported argument.
  • Explore ideas to enable your highest attaining pupils to gain strategies for developing their explanations and accessing deeper meanings within the text.
  • Take away a series of planning models that could be used by pupils to construct a coherent argument.

2.10 – 2.15p.m
Informal discussion and tea

2.15 – 3.10p.m
Section B – Creative Writing: Ensure your strongest writers are making an impact in Section B.

  • A recipe for success: Ideas to help you build sophisticated writers one step at a time.
  • Gain strategies that you can put into place to make confident readers into imaginative writers.
  • Consider ways that you can enable your pupils to deconstruct and manipulate their own texts to change and deepen meaning through experimentation with language, structure and form.

3.10 – 4.00pm
Examinations and Examination Techniques for Grades 8 and 9

  • Focus on questions, question types, how to support students in applying their knowledge to the exam question
  • Revision activities for the classroom to stretch the most able
  • Consider the best advice you can give regarding the timings within the exam.
  • Discuss ideas for building the knowledge and skills needed in this examination into the KS3 curriculum.

4.00pm  – 4.10pm
Plenary discussion and depart

Judith Dixon

Judith Dixon has been Head of English at The Lakes School, Cumbria for seven years and prior to that, she led Key Stage 3 English at Cockermouth School. She is an examiner for a leading exam board for GCSE English Literature and A Level English Literature. She has experience of preparing students for GCSE English and English Literature as well as A Level English Literature, English Language, Media Studies and the Extended Project Qualification. She has delivered CPD on Progression in the English Classroom, Extended Writing Across the Curriculum, Planning and Modelling for Extended Writing and Oracy across the Curriculum.

English subject library