English skills & high grades

Poor high-grade pass rates and low value-added scores are not issues, but symptoms. A common root cause of these symptoms is learners’ lack of distinction-level thinking. This is manifest in learners’ written work, their ability to evaluate their own written and practical work, and their answers to questions in lessons. If ever you have observed a learner giving a noncommittal, monosyllabic answer in class then you’ll be well aware of the problem.

Many teachers struggle to embed the development of English skills in their lessons. As this is an Ofsted ‘red flag’, teachers can feel weighed down with ‘initiative overload’ from their managers. There is, however, a relatively easy solution that can change everyone’s perceptions. At its simplest, you need only rename this provision with a title that accurately describes these sought-after skills. Instead of ‘Level 2 English Language GCSE’, for instance, it should be thought of as ‘Level 3 Expert Learning Skills’. The nine English assessment objectives set out by Ofqual are used to develop two vital learning skills: verbal and written communication. To do this, learners study the writing of others, and practise their own. The specific skills learners need to develop include: the synthesising of information from a variety of sources, critical evaluation, the use of vocational vocabulary, and to write and speak to influence others. When teachers of any subject understand intrinsically that embedding English is not a ‘bolt-on’ or simply checking spelling, but the very essence of expert learning, they can begin to write learning outcomes that fundamentally change their view of lesson planning.

GCSE English: Avoiding Ofsted nightmares  

Supercharged Evaluation Skills

The GCSE English session focuses on opening up a whole avenue of thinking around embedding English skill development. Supercharged Evaluation, however, is a wholly practical exploration of specific scaffolding strategies that enable learners to speak and write distinction-level answers: rich, coherent, evidence-based and impact- focused. These sessions are for teachers from any subject area.

  • ‘Child in a sweetshop’
  • ‘Full-colour vocabulary – awesome’
  • ‘I felt like a student again!! Feeling open to learning and working hard’
  • ‘Practical, effective and applicable’
  • ‘Comprehensive and entertaining’
  • ‘Changed my perception of differentiation’
  • ‘The session has helped the fog to lift after a long summer break’
  • ‘Wonderful inspiring input’
  • ‘The most productive training event attended in a long while’
  • ‘Highly stimulating!’
  • ‘Will change the way I do things’


To discuss your requirements in detail, please phone or drop us a line.