The AQA GCSE in English Literature requires substantial coverage of a range of skills to ensure the key grades of 4 and 5 are achieved. This NEW course will look at the most challenging aspects of the English Literature specification and how it can be taught effectively in the classroom to Grade 4 and 5 candidates with a series of practical examples to demonstrate how to improve results and ensure that students achieve their potential.


  • Develop resources and strategies for high quality teaching of the AQA GCSE English Literature specification to mid-range students
  • Gain greater understanding of the standards required for each of Grades 4 and 5 and how that impacts upon your teaching, with feedback from 2018
  • Increased 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 to Grade 4 and 5 level students
  • Enjoy an opportunity to share examples of good practice that work with mid-range students
COURSE DATES London Monday 18 March 2019
  • All teachers of AQA GCSE English Literature
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 – 10.45am: AQA GCSE English Literature for students at Grade 4/5

  • Understanding the content, the grading structure and the skills being assessed in the GCSE and the potential for overlap with English Language
  • Feedback from summer 2018: the specific issues around the 4/5 Grade students and how teachers can improve their results
  • Discussing the range of texts that need to be taught and resources available to teachers to maintain progress for students at Grades 4 and 5
  • Ensuring success through choosing the right texts for English Literature: how and when to teach them to maintain mid-range student progress?
  • Assessment for learning and tracking in the classroom

10.45 – 11.30am: Teaching Shakespeare effectively to Grade 4/5 candidates

  • Strategies for ensuring student understanding of Shakespeare at Grades 4 and 5
  • How to get students at this level to write effectively about the extract
  • Appropriate balance between the extract and the rest of the play

11.30 – 11.45am: Discussion: coffee break


11.45 – 12.45pm: Teaching the Nineteenth Century Prose text effectively to Grade 4/5 candidates

  • What AQA examiners are looking for from mid-ability students on this area
  • Effectively teaching fiction texts from this century, to ensure student progress
  • Dealing effectively with context, writer’s technique and personal viewpoint in analysing these texts – how to ensure understanding and success for mid-range students
  • Explore ideas and suggestions for teaching these texts effectively and ensuring student success in the exams

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch and informal discussion


1.45 – 2.45pm: Teaching the Poetry effectively to Grade 4/5 candidates

  • Dealing effectively with comparison, context and critical reading of the poetry texts
  • Effectively teaching the unseen poetry element: strategies to get mid-range students prepared for the exam
  • Teaching and learning suggestions that ensure progress and meet the AQA requirements

2.45 – 3.00pm: Discussion: afternoon tea


3.00 – 3.30pm: How to effectively incorporate Modern Drama and Prose into the AQA GCSE English Literature course to bring success to Grade 4/5 candidates

  • The importance of dramatic/writer technique and embedding that understanding
  • Developing resources and strategies for teaching these texts
  • Feedback from 2018 – how to improve student answers for 2019
  • Share examples of good practice in the classroom

3.30 – 4.00pm: Final tips to secure a Grade 4/5 in AQA English Literature

  • How to build a skills foundation at KS3 in English
  • Developing resources and strategies for structuring the GCSE English Literature course over two or three years
  • Monitoring and assessment to maintain student motivation and progress
  • Using the AQA specification to ensure student understanding and independent learning
  • Approaching linear assessments for less able learners, with Examiner Tips

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.

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