Date & time

Fri, 22 Nov 2024
10:45 - 15:15


Emmanuel Centre, London
9 - 23 Marsham Street
London, SW1P 3DW

Ticket price

£19.50 + VAT @20%* *Plus one complimentary staff ticket per ten students

About this day

Welcome to GCSE English in Action!

This autumn sees the return of our stimulating, information-packed GCSE English in Action programme, featuring a fascinating line-up of presentations guaranteed to enthuse and inspire. During the day, students will hear from a range of expert and engaging speakers who will explore ways to enhance their creativity, improve writing skills, prepare for the non-fiction paper and tackle unseen poetry, giving them the motivation to exceed all expectations in the examination.  This exciting event will provide a comprehensive balance of sessions addressing key components of both the language and literature papers.

We are delighted to announce that the day will end on an unforgettable note with a reading from leading poet Grace Nichols, who will read and answer questions from the audience. This event will give students a fantastic opportunity to be immersed in a whole day of poetry and creative writing whilst also honing their examination skills. Students are guaranteed to leave inspired and brimming with confidence!

Watch this space for our final speaker announcement!

Programme & speakers

Poetry reading with Grace Nichols Grace Nichols, Poet

Award-winning poet Grace Nichols will introduce and read selected works from her collections of poetry. She will discuss the meaning and inspiration behind the words and answer questions from the audience.

Grace Nichols

About Grace Nichols

Grace Nichols is an award-winning Guyanese poet, writer and editor of children’s books and poetry anthologies.  Her poems have been studied as part of the English GCSE curriculum for decades and are known for being warm and witty, thought-provoking and rhythmic. in 2022 she was awarded the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. (Image credit: Suki Dhanda)

Shakespeare - context, characters and themes Nick Hutchison, Actor, Director and Lecturer

In an interactive session, Nick Hutchison will focus on scenes from Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, examining how Shakespeare’s language and stagecraft inform our understanding of character and how individual moments and themes in a scene resonate throughout the whole play. He will discuss the playing conditions of Shakespeare’s time, and consider how a theatrical approach to the plays illuminates our understanding of them as texts.

Nick Hutchison

About Nick Hutchison

Nick Hutchison is an actor, director and lecturer who has directed Shakespeare’s plays across the globe. He lectures for Shakespeare’s Globe, LAMDA, RADA and universities worldwide on Elizabethan and Jacobean Theatre, specialising in theatre performance derived from close textual analysis. As an actor he has worked in film, TV, theatre and radio, including for the Royal Shakespeare Company and in films including About A Boy, Miss Potter, 102 Dalmatians, Fierce Creatures, The Bounty and Restoration.

Writing about unseen poetry Graham Elsdon, Teacher, author, examiner

Senior examiner Graham Elsdon offers advice on how to write about unseen poetry in exam conditions, including dealing with comparative responses. The session will include practical tips on developing key skills and use a range of exemplar material to explain how students are assessed.  New practice material will also be supplied for further practice and revision purposes.

Graham Elsdon

About Graham Elsdon

Graham Elsdon has extensive senior experience with leading national and international exam boards and has co-designed some of the current English literature and GCSE specifications. Graham has authored several English textbooks for OUP and CUP, including GCSE guides on Macbeth, poetry collections and the bestselling Cambridge University Press lower secondary series for international students. For 24 years, he was an English leader in a state school in England.

Exploring non-fiction texts Cathi Allison, Examiner, teacher and Head of Department

Cathi Allison will discuss and explore non-fiction texts, using examples from the nineteenth century alongside some more modern pieces.  She will consider the comparative analysis of texts from different time periods. This session supports the assessment of reading non-fiction texts.

Cathi Allison

About Cathi Allison

Cathi has been teaching and examining GCSE English Literature and Language, as well as A-level English Literature for over 30 years. She has also examined and taught Media Studies and Theatre Studies. She is currently Head of English, teaching both GCSE and A-level students.