Tuesday 5 May 2020 (4pm) – 1 hour

Excellent achievement in both the creative and descriptive writing in Paper One and the persuasive and transactional writing in Paper Two.


An opportunity to really develop exam techniques and skills that will ensure progression to the higher levels of the mark scheme for the writing elements of the English Language GCSE. A particular focus will be given to how to plan the response effectively and the techniques to use in the response. Also there will be a focus on how to write with impact alongside the importance of technical accuracy with the use of exemplars from previous sessions.


During the hour you will:

  • Gain exceptional understanding of how to approach the writing tasks in the exam
  • Obtain top level strategies for producing excellent answers for both Paper One and Paper Two
  • Focus on what makes an excellent writing response in both papers – and pitfalls to avoid
  • Best practice revision tips and guidance from an AQA expert
  • Discover how to reach the top mark band in all of your answers
  • This course includes a set of course notes which will be sent in advance of the course and which you will be able to use


  • All students of AQA GCSE English Language


4.00 pm Welcome and introductions

4.05 pm Dealing with Paper 1 – Section B

  • Key messages from the examiners about good and excellent answers
  • Dealing with the stimulus

4.10 pm Section B Question 5: the big challenge

  • Top tips for producing an outstanding answer on the 40 mark question
  • Narrative or Descriptive Writing: planning a response
  • How to be original without writing waffle
  • Activity – analyse the answer: how could it be improved?

4.30 pm Paper 2: Writing to present a viewpoint

  • How to answer Section B Question 5 to get the best marks
  • Covering the content to meet examiner expectations – the most important do’s and don’ts
  • Ensuing success with Technical Accuracy: why those 16 marks really matter and what to do about it

4.55 pm Question and answer session with the examiner

  • Any questions


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.

View all courses led by Paul Dodd >

AQA GCSE English Language