This NEW conference, is designed in the light of the 2018 examinations. The revamped conference will focus on challenging areas, how to boost grades and how to meet the demands of the questions for examination success in 2019.

This NEW student conference will provide students with practical, engaging and motivating revision for the 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 achieve their potential in the summer exams.


  • Gain first-hand guidance, advice and examples for reaching grade 5 in GCSE English Literature
  • Opportunity for students and teachers to ask questions directly to our expert examiners
  • Participate 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
CONFERENCE DATES Bring this in school

10.20 – 10.25am
Welcome and introduction

10.25 – 10.55am
Examiner Workshop: Getting key marks in the exams

  • Excellent guidance on revision skills and planning written answers: what are the examiners looking for?
  • Utilising skills across the question types: expert guidance for students on how to maximise their abilities in the exams
  • Interactive student essay-planning exercise, using questions from previous exams – demonstrating the skills that move answers up the mark bands

10.55 – 11.40am
Producing sound answers on Shakespeare

  • Using Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet, our examiner dissects an extract from Shakespeare, showing what to look for
  • Demonstration of how to answer the specific question set and get the highest marks
  • A demonstration of the skills that get the best marks in answers on Shakespeare
  • Moving up the levels – in groups, students compare answers to decide which is the best and why
  • Interactive student session: common exam errors and pitfalls to avoid
  • Opportunity for students to question the examiners on best exam practice

11.40 – 12.00pm

  • Students submit questions on the whole specification for our examiners

12.00 – 12.30pm
Success with the 19th Century novel

  • How to stand out – our examiners explain effective usage of historical context and writers’ methods
  • Using the extract to highlight themes – how to get crucial marks
  • Activity: student marking exercise to demonstrate how to pick up marginal marks

12.30 – 1.00pm

1.00 – 1.20pm
Examiners answer student questions from the morning, with a prize for the best

1.20 – 2.20pm
Paper 2 – Answering the Poetry Anthology questions effectively

  • 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
  • Group brainstorm exercise – given a poem and a question, students discuss which other poems would be appropriate to select in the exam and how to cover the question
  • Our examiners discuss choices the students made, highlighting strengths and weaknesses

2.20 – 2.50pm
Unseen Poetry exercise

  • 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 a model answer and learn how to produce their best work in the exam
  • Excellent advice on ways to revise and practise this part of the specification

2.50 – 3.00pm
Final top tips and summary

  • What students can do after today to boost their exam chances, including a discussion on modern prose/drama

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.

Joanna Kimbell

As a senior examiner and moderator for both Edexcel and AQA, Joanna has extensive knowledge and understanding of what is required for students to achieve at all levels across all key stages. Joanna’s expertise and experience of examining means she is able to aid departments in structuring challenging and interesting courses that will provide the appropriate stretch – and support – to enable candidates to access the demands of the new specifications.

Students £25+VAT

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