Date & time

Fri, 7 May 2021
9:45 - 15:00



Bookings closed

Bookings are now closed for this past event.

About this day

This spring 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 and writing skills, examine non-fiction texts across time, and tackle unseen poetry.  The day will end on an unforgettable note with presentations from not one, but TWO award-winning poets, who will read from and discuss their poetry before taking questions from the audience. Students are guaranteed to leave brimming with essential insights and ideas.

The day will be chaired by Julia Geddes.  Julia is an experienced Head of English, a Senior Examiner for a major examination board and a textbook author. She has published many study guides for both GCSE and A-level students.

Programme & speakers

Exploring non-fiction texts Graham Elsdon, Teacher, author, examiner

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

Graham Elsdon

About Graham Elsdon

Graham is an English leader, visiting lecturer, and author of several study guides and textbooks. Graham has co-designed current English specifications and is part of Ofqual’s Panel of English Experts.

Creative writing Jennifer Webb, Trinity Academy Cathedral, Wakefield

Jen will explore effective ways to make your writing stand out and how to develop descriptions to gain marks.  She will also tackle what to avoid when writing descriptively.

Jennifer Webb

About Jennifer Webb

Jennifer Webb is an English teacher and Assistant Principal. She is the author of ‘How to Teach English Literature: Overcoming Cultural Poverty’ (2019), regular conference speaker and teacher trainer.

Poetry reading Owen Sheers, Poet, Author and Playwright

Award-winning Welsh poet, author and playwright Owen Sheers will introduce and read selected works from his collections of poetry. He will discuss the meaning and inspiration behind the words and answer questions from the audience.

Owen Sheers

About Owen Sheers

Owen Sheers is a poet, author and scriptwriter, whose many awards include Somerset Maugham for Skirrid Hill and Blue Book, and Welsh Book of the Year for The Dust Diaries and Pink Mist.

Poetry reading John Agard, Poet

Winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (2012), the first CLPE Poetry Award for Under the Moon & Over the Sea (edited with Grace Nichols) in 2003 and the CLiPPA for The Young Inferno (also illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura) in 2009. His poetry is a regular feature on the GCSE curriculum.

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)