Revised in the light of the 2022 exams this NEW AQA English Literature Student Conference focuses keenly on the students who are aiming to get grades 4/5 at GCSE. The course will provide students with the skills they require to answer successfully the questions on Shakespeare, the 19th-centuary novel, Modern texts, Poetry and Unseen poetry.

The day is fully interactive, with a range of activities, quizzes, on-stage tasks and challenges for students throughout the day. Students will examine quality exam responses to help them perform to their full potential in the summer exams.


  • Gain first-hand guidance, advice and examples for improving your grade 4/5 candidates in AQA GCSE English Literature.
  • Each student receives a full workbook to complete on the day and full conference presentations / follow-on materials as electronic resources post-conference. These materials are student friendly terminology and templates for answers at grades 4/5
  • The demands of the questions will be dissected, analysed and discussed in relation to candidates on the 4/5 threshold
  • The course will look in to detail at the issues created by the content of papers for these students aiming at getting a passing grade.

10.30 – 10.40 am: Welcome and Introduction

10.40 – 11.15 am: Key messages for Grades 4/5

  • Detailed analysis of the questions- identifying the command words and linking them to the extract/whole play
  • Excellent guidance on revision and planning your answers: what are the examiners looking for?
  • Expert advice on how to utilise skills across the question types
  • Examiner perspective of the Assessment Objectives and why they are important

11.15 – 12pm: Paper 2: Modern Texts

  • Demonstrating the importance of dramatic/writer technique in responding to these texts
  • Looking closely at the question structure of your text. What words appear in the questions and what do they mean? How do you tackle these questions?
  • Look closely at a student exemplar- what are its strengths? What could be improved?
  • Marking exercise what works and what doesn’t

12- 12.20 Morning break

12.20- 1pm: Paper 2: Poetry Anthology

  • Revising for this question – top tips from the examiners, including practising linking poems to make the best selection in the exam
  • Examine how to address the theme effectively to reach the highest marks and learn lessons identified in recent Examiner Reports
  • Common pitfalls often found at grade 4/5 responses and below
  • Group exercise – given a poem and a question, students discuss which other poems would be appropriate to select and how to cover the question
  • Examiners discuss choices students made, highlighting strengths and weaknesses
  1. 1.30 pm: Lunch

1.30 – 1.40 pm: Question Box

Our examiners answer students’ questions

1.40 – 2.20 pm: Paper 2: Unseen Poetry: section 1

  • Approaching the unseen: our examiners take students through an unseen poem example, highlighting how to make the best use of their prior learning
  • See what differentiates responses – students examine model answers
  • Excellent advice on ways to revise and practise this part of the specification
  • Common pitfalls and advice on was to avoid these.

2.20 – 3 pm: Paper 2: Unseen Poetry: section 2- comparing poems

  • Planning methods to link unseen poems.
  • Advice on timing- how best to spend the limited amount of allocated time
  • Linking common themes- methods to compare and contrast.
  • Common pitfalls often found at 4/5 responses.

3 – 3.25 pm Final Top Tips

  • KEY POINTS: how to improve your final grade
  • What students can do after today to boost their exam chances
  • Top Ten Examiner Tips for success in English Literature

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.

Jo Fox

Jo Fox is an English Teacher with 20 years’ experience teaching GCSE English Language and Literature. As a senior leader she has led on developing and improving the quality of teaching and learning in a range of schools, supporting staff to develop both subject knowledge and pedagogical approaches most likely to lead to improved outcomes. As a Team Leader for English Literature GCSE, she has 5 years’ experience leading a group of examiners through the marking process for papers focussing on Shakespeare and Poetry – specifically Unseen Poetry.

Students £25+VAT

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