This NEW course focuses on preparing less able candidates for a GCSE in French, Spanish and German and offers a range of practical guidance to help them meet their target grades. Our expert presenter will examine key teaching approaches and materials which allow students to make real progress across their GCSE and which help them to really understand and succeed with the demands of the assessments.


  • Gain a clear understanding of the exam board requirements to achieve the Grade 4 threshold
  • Focus on the skills and the pedagogy needed to develop less able learners
  • Obtain best practice advice for teaching the required knowledge
  • Take away materials and ideas for immediate use to support less able students
  • Gain new different approaches to providing differentiated support
  • All teachers of GCSE languages
  • Heads of Languages
  • Classroom assistants working in Languages
  • School Language assistants
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 – 11.15am
What do Grades 3, 4 and 5 look like in terms of performance?

  • Structure of the GCSE Language exams and what this requires of students
  • Feedback and analysis on what students need to demonstrate to the Grade 4 threshold
  • Analysis of the mark schemes – what were the examiners looking for?
  • Identifying and working with less able students in the classroom
  • Key indicators of performance as a means of tracking progress

11.15 – 11.30am
Discussion: coffee break

11.30 – 1.00pm
Teaching Approaches for the less able in GCSE Languages in practice

  • The receptive skills needed for students to succeed
  • Teaching exactly what is needed for the speaking test
  • Writing skills and minimum grammar requirements for Grades 3 to 5
  • Creative approaches to learning, testing and revising vocabulary with the less able
  • Unseen translation: varying the nature of the challenge
  • Revision tips to ensure lower attaining students succeed in the exams

1.00 – 2.00pm
Lunch and informal discussion

2.00 – 2.45pm
Minimal gains in each skill that can lead to overall improved performance

  • The challenges for the lower attainers in the speaking test
  • New teaching strategies for preparing the speaking test with the less able
  • Teaching approaches for picking up extra marks in reading and listening
  • Lifting performance with the less able in writing and connecting it with speaking

2.45 – 3.00pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

3.00 – 3.45pm
Practical approaches to support and interventions over the GCSE course?

  • Vocabulary building and automatisation of grammatical structures
  • Tracking skills development and progress for early intervention
  • Encouraging motivation and resilience for less able Languages students

Final questions, plenary and departure

Tim Guilford

Tim is an experienced education professional who held the role of Deputy Head of a London School for a number of years until recently. He is currently working as a consultant and trainer providing professional development in teaching and learning for Modern Languages as well as leadership and management, coaching and mentoring, and revision skills workshops to students. Tim has significant experience as a senior examiner and as an Ofqual consultant for A Level, and is co-authoring the new Hodder IGCSE Spanish textbook.

View all courses led by Tim Guilford >

GCSE Languages