GCSE to A Level Transitional Skills Course


Students who have just finished their GCSEs and are planning to start A Levels in September.


Four, hour-long, cross-curricular sessions covering the key skills that students need to make a success of their A Levels.  Students will be provided with a range of resources to take away.

  1. How to read with purpose and analysis.

  2. How to think critically.

  3. How to take effective notes.

  4. How to plan and write an essay.

There will also be a Q&A session for parents at the end of the course.

The total cost of the course is £50 per student.


The course will run either weekly or in a single week.  The dates are as follows:


Mondays 28th June / 5th July /12th July / 19th July 1.30pm

Tuesdays 29th June / 6th July / 13th July / 20th July 7.30pm

Mondays 9th August / 16th August / 23rd August / 30th August 1.30pm


26th July 2021

9th August 2021

16th August 2021

(All at 3pm Mon-Thursday)


All courses are online via Zoom link and using additional programmes such as Miro.  Students can participate from anywhere in the world.


This year has been turbulent for everyone but for students who would normally have spent the last few months honing new skills in preparation for the move into Key Stage 5, it’s been a particular challenge.  This course is designed to build up students' confidence as they move towards the next stage of their learning.


English GCSE

Although my degree is in History, English Literature remains my first love. For many people though, English GCSE is merely a hoop that needs to be jumped through to satisfy employers and further education providers.  Not everyone loves words but everyone needs to be able to express themselves clearly and be able to analyse the meaning of the words of others.  I work with students who find words tricky, confusing or even boring and help them discover their uses and, occasionally, their beauty.  I have had particular success with students who consider themselves more inclined towards maths and sciences as well as autistic and dyslexic students.

English Literature A Level

It is an absolute privilege to be able to spend my days talking to young people who are just discovering their first taste of literature.  Most students can read and enjoy a text but making the link between story and message requires the ability to analyse, apply context and consider a variety of interpretations.  Often students can discuss this quite happily but require support to translate their ideas onto the page.  I teach techniques that allow students to consider their ideas in depth while simultaneously creating a wider hypothesis.  We learn how to plan while still allowing scope for ideas to form and develop while writing.  Most of all, we learn how to express our views confidently, coherently and with an appropriate amount of supporting evidence.

History GCSE

Having taught and marked for all the major exam boards, there’s little I don’t know about the expectations of a GCSE History question.  Success at GCSE requires the ability to recall content but also the ability to apply that content to a particular enquiry.  I encourage my students to develop active revision techniques which allow them to recall facts and events with confidence by building their chronological understanding.  We will learn the structures required for particular questions as well as the process for tackling sources and interpretations.

History A Level

While recall remains crucial, for A Level students, this becomes their responsibility.  My focus is on helping them understand the requirements of the questions they are asked and teaching them how to plan and draft a clear, flowing piece of writing which considers the focus of the question in new and interesting ways.  You will learn the importance of a chronological narrative in supporting a causation focused argument and how defining your terms can alter the whole direction of your argument.  You will also learn the importance of owning your research and expanding your knowledge with appropriate reading.