Date & time

Tue, 5 Dec 2023
10:45 - 15:15


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

Bookings closed

Bookings are now closed for this past event.

About this day

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 award-winning poet John Agard, giving a fantastic opportunity for students to ask their own questions. Students are guaranteed to leave brimming with confidence and new ideas.


Programme & speakers

Poetry reading with John Agard John Agard, Poet

Multi-award-winning poet, children’s writer and playwright John Agard will introduce and read selected poems from his collections. He will discuss the meaning behind his words and answer questions from the audience.

John Agard

About John Agard

John Agard is one of the foremost poets and cross-cultural voices.  He is well known for his inspiring work with young people and adults, particularly his visits to schools, and his poems are featured in the English GCSE anthology.  Known for his mischievous satirical wit, Agard has toured around the world to give readings and in 2012 he was a recipient of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.  (Image credit: Sara Roque Peres)

Demystifying unseen poetry Cathi Allison, Examiner, teacher and Head of Department

Cathi Allison will explore a variety of methods to enable students to write effectively about unseen poetry. In an interactive session, she will offer advice on how to explore, analyse and evaluate poetry and offer ideas on how to write comparatively showing how to access the full range of marks and avoid simple explanation.

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.

Shakespeare session: Text into character, form into theatre Nick Hutchison, Actor, Director and Lecturer

Focusing specifically on one short passage of text and one scene from Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, and working outwards, Nick Hutchison will examine how Shakespeare’s language and stagecraft inform our understanding of character and how individual moments 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.

Moving from explanation to analysis in unseen prose Julia Geddes, Examiner, teacher, textbook author

Julia Geddes will offer approaches to exploring unseen prose fiction. In an interactive session she will offer ideas on how to move from basic explanation to a detailed analysis of authorial methods including structural narrative choices and how to comment on their effects.

Julia Geddes

About Julia Geddes

Julia Geddes is a Senior Examiner and Moderator and has been the author of several A-level study guides. She works at a highly successful sixth form college in the North of England and presents conferences for students, providing support for teachers working with A-level and GCSE specifications across the country.

Exploring non-fiction texts Becky Wood, Examiner and teacher

Becky Wood 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.

Becky Wood

About Becky Wood

Becky Wood is an examiner and a Lead Practitioner for English with KS4 responsibility. She runs @Team_English1, which supports over 25000 English teachers both online and through National Conferences and has spoken at several education conferences across the country.