The AQA GCSE in English Literature requires substantial coverage of a range of skills to ensure the top grades are achieved. This course will look at the most challenging aspects of the English Literature specification and how it can be taught effectively in the classroom with a series of practical examples to achieve the top grades. This course would benefit all teachers of GCSE English Literature and each specific exam board course will be tailored to that board. Teachers attending this course will be fully equipped to teach this course effectively.


  • Develop resources and strategies for planning schemes of work in the GCSE English Literature
  • Understand more the grading structure and the standards required for each of the new grades and performance descriptors for GCSE (9-1)
  • Increase your understanding of the different forms of assessment available in the classroom to reinforce Literature skills
  • Take away ideas and suggestions for teaching effectively a range of nineteenth century texts, modern texts, Shakespeare and anthology/unseen poetry from across the centuries
  • Enjoy an opportunity to share examples of good practice effectively in the classroom
COURSE DATE AND LOCATION Online | Monday 07 June 2021
  • All teachers of GCSE English Language and English Literature. Heads of English, English NQT and teachers of SEN students in English Literature.
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • You will receive a specially prepared file electronically containing detailed notes, and teaching materials and resources which will be of immediate practical benefit in the classroom.
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


10.00 – 11:15am: The challenges of GCSE English Literature specifically when looking at Shakespeare and the 19TH-century novel.

  • Explaining the grading structure and the skills being assessed when students are working on Shakespeare and the 19TH-century novel.
  • Looking at practical methods that allow students to achieve grades 7-9 in these specific sections.
  • Discussing the range of texts that need to be taught and resources available to teachers for Shakespeare and the 19TH-century novel, discussing which is the most effective to help students access the top grades

11:15 – 11:30am: Break

11:30 – 12.45pm: Teaching Shakespeare effectively

  • How to get students to write effectively about the extract
  • Appropriate balance between the extract and the rest of the play
  • Looking at what is needed for a 8/9 grade response with student extract examples

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch

1.45 – 3:00pm: Teaching the Nineteenth Century Prose text effectively

  • Effectively teaching fiction texts from the Nineteenth century
  • Dealing effectively with context, writer’s technique and personal viewpoint in analysing these texts
  • Take away ideas and suggestions for teaching these texts effectively at the top level

3.00-3.10pm: Afternoon Break

3:10 – 3.45pm: Final tips to secure a Grade 5 in English Literature

  • Varying commentary practice to stretch the most able
  • How to build a skills foundation at KS3 in English especially looking at texts such as Shakespeare and the 19TH-century novel which students may struggle to analyse in depth
  • Developing resources and strategies for structuring the GCSE English Literature course over two or three years
  • Approaching the linear assessments with Examiner Tips

3.45 – 4.00pm: Plenary and discussion


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.

As a consultant, he is widely involved in a range of activities, including the training of teachers and students in English specifications both in training courses and within individual schools. 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 the Chief Examiner for IB English Literature.