Tuesday 28 April 2020 (4pm) – 1 hour


Join Paul for an opportunity to really develop exam techniques and skills that will ensure progression to the higher levels of the mark scheme for the poetry questions. A particular focus will be given to how to extend performance in the comparison of poems and the effective analysis of themes. Also there will be a focus on how to write effectively about poetic technique with the use of exemplars from previous sessions.


During the hour you will

  • Gain exceptional understanding of how to approach the poetry questions in the exam
  • Obtain top level strategies for producing excellent answers for both Section B and C
  • Focus on what makes an excellent poetry essay – 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 Literature


4.00 pm Welcome and Introductions

4.05 pm Answering successfully on the Poetry Anthology

  • Revising for this question – top tips from the examiners, including practising linking poems to make the best selection in the exam
  • Addressing the theme effectively to reach the highest marks
  • Lessons identified from the 2019 exams – and how to do better!
  • Examine example responses: what students need to do to score higher marks

4.30 pm Dealing with the unseen poetry

  • Where and why students struggle with this area
  • How students can practise effectively
  • Work through an unseen poetry example

4.55 pm Final questions and answers with the examiner


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 Paper 2