Course status
Closed on 15 Aug 2022
14 years old - 16 years old

GCSE English Language Exam Preparation – Descriptive & Creative Writing

Course outline:

GCSE English Language Exam Preparation Course is designed to develop and enhance students writing skills in order to stretch them as creative writers and to ultimately allow them to succeed in writing a narrative story in preparation for all major UK exam board's English Language exams, including AQA and Edexcel.  This is the first module of the exam preparation and it offers scrutiny of key elements of a good story, such as compelling plots, believable characters, strong imagery and a good pace, amongst others. It also focuses on appropriate punctuation which acts as a set of 'road signs' to guide the reader through the ideas expressed in students' stories. 

The course is delivered through the use of different online platforms including  Nearpod, Padlet and/or Google Slides which allow students to maximise their learning experience.

Date:  21 February -28 March 2022 (6 weeks) 
Day & Time: 
Monday, 6:30 -7:30 pm.
Age: 14-16 
Min/max number of students: 3-6

Lesson 1 – Understanding the importance of planning & using stimuli to generate ideas.

It is important to structure writing carefully so that a reader can follow the ideas. Also, a strong structure will help keep the reader engaged. After this class students will know what’s the purpose of narratives; how to structure a linear narrative writing effectively using ‘The 3 Acts Method’, and how to use paragraphing, amongst others. We will also use a spider diagram and plan a response to a picture using the important ‘W’ questions.

Lesson 2 – How to keep a reader engaged by writing creative openings

First impressions count! The opening lines of a story need to engage the reader so that they keep reading. In this class, students will look at 4 examples of interesting story openings and discuss different techniques used. They will also create their own story openings thinking of how to hook a reader.  

Lesson 3 – Developing interesting settings and atmosphere, as well as introducing characters to our stories.

The setting of a text includes the location and time when events take place. Setting can play a crucial part in establishing atmosphere and reflecting themes and character within a text.
The writer may use specific techniques to create a particular effect. For example, they could use pathetic fallacy to give emphasis to a character’s emotions. In this class, we will explore and experiment with how to introduce an imaginary character to our stories, for instance by the description as well as slow reveal.

Lesson 4 - Use of figurative language

Figurative language allows the writer to appeal to the reader’s senses, imagination and sense of humour. It paints a picture in the reader’s mind to better describe parts of their story to make it more interesting to read. This class will familiarise students with the following literary techniques: similie, metaphor and personification. We will use these in different tasks, for example finishing sentences with appropriate literary techniques, or transforming ordinary and boring descriptions into thrilling pieces of text to enhance emotions.

Lesson 5 – Using various sentence structures and creative vocabulary to generate a particular effect.

Writing a narrative involves coming up with creative and original ideas to develop an interesting piece of writing. Using a variety of sentences (e.g., simple, complex, compound and adjective clauses) can help students create pace and tension in their writing. Experimenting with different sentence lengths and types also help to build atmosphere, mood and suspense. Moreover, vocabulary can be used to change the way a reader feels about a scene. By changing just a few keywords a setting can be made much more interesting to read.

Lesson 6 –The positive effect of different types of punctuation influencing our writing. 

Using punctuation effectively means that our readers can make sense of our writing. It can also help create a particular effect to give our writing depth. We will look at the use of commas, colons, semi-colons, ellipsis, dashes/hyphens amongst others. Students will practice these using various tasks, for instance, multiple-choice tasks, or correcting punctuation mistakes in different narratives.


Students will be required to complete homework after each class. It will build on the work done in the lesson, and it will ensure a deeper understanding and retention of studied concepts.