This NEW AQA English Literature Student Conference will provide students with practical, engaging and motivating revision for the AQA GCSE English Literature examinations. 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 at GCSE English Literature.
  • Opportunity for students and teachers to ask questions directly to examiners and subject experts.
  • Participate and interact in a range of activities which will help improve the quality of students’ answers.
  • Each student receives a full workbook to complete on the day and to use for follow-up revision sessions in school.
  • Teachers receive full conference presentations / follow-on materials as electronic resources post-conference.
 DATE AND LOCATION  London | Monday 23 March 2020
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Conference


10.15 – 10.25am
Welcome and Introduction

10.25 – 11.00am
Mastering the content of AQA GCSE English Literature

  • 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;
  • Interactive student essay-planning exercise, using questions from previous exams – demonstrating the skills that move answers up the mark bands
  • A discussion of the Assessment Objectives and why they are important
  • How to learn and use quotation material effectively in the exam

11.00- 11.40am
Mastering the content of Paper 1: Shakespeare

  • Using Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, our examiner dissects an extract from Shakespeare. What is the balance between the extract and the rest of the play?
  • Consider in detail how to answer the question set to get the highest marks.
  • Moving up the levels – in groups, students compare answers to decide which is the best and why
  • Interactive session: common exam errors and pitfalls to avoid

11.40- 12.00noon
Morning break

12.00- 12.40pm
Paper 1: The 19th Century Novel

  • How to stand out –our examiners explain effective usage of historical context and the writers’ methods. The dangers of context. Learning from the Examiner’s report.
  • Using the extract to highlight themes – how to get sound marks
  • Activity: student marking exercise based on texts from either A Christmas Carol or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

12.40- 1.10pm

1.10 – 1.20pm
Question Box

Our examiners answer students’ questions

1.20 – 2.00 pm
Paper 2: Modern Texts

  • What sorts of texts are these? 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?

2.00- 2.40 pm
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
  • Group brainstorm 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

2.40 – 3.15 pm
Paper 2: Unseen Poetry

  • 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
  • Lessons to be learnt in the Examiner’s Report

3.15 – 3.25pm
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 GCSE 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. 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.

Students £25+VAT

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

AQA GCSE English