How to improve GCSE English Language in 2017

No matter how hard I try, no matter how often I shake off the  shackles, leg irons and make a dash for freedom, I always return.

Return to what I’ve done since 1987: teach.

Teaching English, GCSE English Language and English Literature.

It seems to be in my DNA.

I can’t break free.

Except I realised a couple of months ago, that I don’t really crave freedom from it.

I loved my long career.

It’s programmed in my brain: the school bells, teaching literature, improving coursework and raising attainment in coaching of exam techniques.

Okay I’m not doing that in a classroom any more – those workplace handcuffs have been binned.

I mean I produce resources online.

Let me expand – like my semi-retired waist does daily:

Your English department is stretched (I’ve been there and printed a whole batch of t shirts); the coursework or controlled assessments have been consigned to the stock room dustbin, along with 100 copies of “Of Mice and Men.” 

You are a member of staff down or several and you’re under pressure to improve results from 2016.

You feel relatively okay though as some texts are still familiar for GCSE English Literature.

“Macbeth” and “Romeo and Juliet” can be dusted down and reused; “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Frankenstein” can be resurrected. 

The exam board have also provided some lightness with “Blood Brothers” or “An Inspector Calls” and kindly provided some nice poems.

You’re stuck though.

It’s the fifth week of term and you feel half dead.

And have done since day 2.

This is where I come to help – not by bringing you a coffee, a gin and tonic, or cover for your lesson, but with exam papers.

Your two years of preparation with your students boils down to 4 exams and the exam board have kindly produced just one of each as a specimen.

You used it as a mock GCSE English Language and English Literature exam last December.

You know you need more.

You’re shattered.

You’ve been mock steded, learning stalked and had book scrutinies since September 3rd.

This is where Stuart Walton arrives, in fairly shiny armour.

You, as head of English, director of English, Literacy coordinator, Deputy Head, Assistant Vice Principal – whatever your title,  contact me.

I write brand new GCSE English Language and English Literature exam papers, mimicking the specimen papers of the board, and including mark schemes.

It’s unique to you, free to use again and again across your department or multi-academy trust and can be edited to break it down for differentiated support, as I send it in Word and PDF format.

It’s what English Advisors, heads of departments and exam board subject officers do, but with the need to raise results quickly, you may need a more personal, speedy and bespoke service.

The best bit is that instead of you and your frazzled team spending evenings and weekends writing these, you rely on me.

I have what is called “capacity”.

You tell me what you need, we agree a fixed price, I invoice the school, and I start work on these.

Do you want to know what else I can do?

I can mark them all too for a fixed fee per script. This includes a spreadsheet of marks, along with a 2 page report for the English team to use to tackle problem areas with classes, a small group of students or individuals.

I’ve taught English from 1987 to 2014 and am a GCSE examiner, freelance writer and all round good egg.

You want GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature exams creating?

Email me: [email protected]

I’m waiting to help you.

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