This course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades 7-9 in future Pearson GCSE English Literature examinations.  Led by our experienced expert presenter, the course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for both Paper 1 and Paper 2 which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills.

Using feedback from past examinations with the 9-1 specification, the course will explore what is expected of high ability students and outline ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Increase your ability to ‘teach to the top’ to enable your students to achieve the highest results
  • Develop confidence in understanding what ‘stretch and challenge’ looks like in the English classroom in relation to the Literature specification.
  • Take away teaching strategies and approaches that excite students and ensure success though the exploration of challenging concepts.
  • Gain insights into key elements of advanced subject knowledge in English Literature that can be applied in all key stages to help students achieve maximum progress and attain top grades
  • Develop understanding of advanced exam technique to ensure students maximise their potential
  • Apply advanced critical concepts and theories to your teaching and use these to empower students to reach the top grades.
  • Gain an in depth understanding of Key Issues students struggle with when trying to obtain grades 7-9 in Pearson GCSE English Literature examinations with advice from an experienced examiner
  • Heads of English looking to boost their centre’s results
  • English teachers who wish to improve their practice
DATE Online | Tuesday 16 November 2021

London | Friday 11 February 2022

IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • You will receive a specially prepared file electronically containing detailed notes, and teaching materials and resources which will be of immediate practical benefit in the classroom.
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

10.00- 10.50: Feedback from the recent exams

  • Key messages from recent exams- where to focus attention to maximise potential and make up for lost time.
  • Where did the top end excel and where did they fall off?
  • Key behaviors of Grade 7-9 students: what marks out a top GCSE Literature student?
  • How can we design schemes of work to encourage these?
  • Analysis of mark schemes and examiners’ reports: which questions/text choices differentiate the most?
  • Key challenges of obtaining grades 7-9 in Pearson GCSE English Literature Examinations.


10.50 – 11.10am: Break

11.10-12.10: Component 1 – Shakespeare and Post-1914 text

  • Creative approaches to learning, revising and testing students on key texts
  • Using the assessment objectives to support student understanding of the requirements of the tasks
  • Pushing beyond the GCSE literature syllabus: extension ideas for context, imagery and style.
  • Big ideas: how to stretch and challenge with conceptual questioning.
  • Layers of meaning- going beyond the literal and ‘safe’- how to avoid just translation but actually engage.
  • Subject specific vocabulary- not just a term but a method to the higher marks.
  • Discuss potential pitfalls for the most able

12.10- 1.10pm: Component 2 – 19th Century Novel

  • The value (and pitfalls) of context – using who?/what?/when?/why? questions to stimulate thinking
  • Reading set texts in nuanced ways – different approaches to discussing and writing about ‘style’
  • Activities to encourage personal responses to texts – provoking debates and structuring an effective response
  • Developing confidence to stretch and challenge the highest achievers when writing a response.
  • Equipping students with the confidence to aim for the highest grades
  • Top tips from the examiners- what WOWs and what grates?


1.10 – 2.10pm: Lunch

2.10-3.10pm: Component 2 – Anthology and Unseen Poetry

  • Detailed analysis of the different question styles
  • Focus on the essays: what does a grade 7-9 candidate need to do?
  • Activities for the classroom to stretch the most able
  • Creating opportunities for students to practice essay writing and improving
  • Key skills for comparison- ensuring the right perspective comparisons are made
  • Embedding retrieval practice

3.10 – 3.30pm: Revision- using metacognition to recall and recap

  • Engaging flipped learning and it’s place within the curriculum- how to pass over the responsibility to the students and use this from the outset
  • Knowledge organisers – how to utilise these for maximum effect and should this be the same for all students?
  • How to “over learn” the material- the need to practice, practice, practice and allowing appropriate time for this