GCSE English

Success in GCSE English Language and English Literature is the key to success in all subjects and all aspects of life. Having confident literacy skills allows our students to have options, opportunities and the ability to articulate themselves effectively in an increasingly competitive world. Students can explore other worlds past and present whilst they read and delve into their own creativity when they write.

“Acquiring literacy is an empowering process, enabling millions to enjoy access to knowledge and information which broadens horizons, increases opportunities and creates alternatives for building a better life.”
Kofi Annan

Description

The courses are taught concurrently but result in two GCSEs at the end of year 11.

  • Year 10 - Students will focus on both English Language and English Literature, completing a range of practice exams to prepare them for their GCSE exams. Students will study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts. The English Literature set texts include, Romeo and Juliet, The Sign of Four, and An Inspector Calls. Students will also complete a speaking and listening assessment.
  • Year 11 - Students will study the AQA poetry anthology and continue to read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts in preparation for their GCSE exams.

Most colleges, universities and employers regard English Language and English Literature as the most important qualifications that you can have.  For this reason, it is really important for students to get the best result they can in these subject areas.  Students will want at least a Grade 5 (current C grade) in English Language and English Literature if you intend to study at university and many further education establishments will ask you to achieve five grades at Grade 5 and above to include English Language and/or Literature and Maths before you can access their courses.  Many employers now regard these as essential qualifications too.

These courses lead perfectly onto A-Level English Language and A-Level English Literature or other creative and analytical subjects, such as History, Media Studies and Theatre Studies . The courses can therefore provide a strong foundation for careers in journalism, teaching and the legal profession as well as many others.

Exam board

  • AQA GCSE English Language and AQA English Literature

Course code

  • AQA GCSE English Language 8700
  • AQA English Literature 8702

Exam board website

Link to past papers

  • As these are new courses, there are currently no past papers.

Assessments

  • 100% of the marks are earned from final examinations in 2017. Students will be assessed each half term on exam practice responses for reading and writing in preparation for these exams. Students will also be awarded a separate spoken language endorsement.

GCSE English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (50% of GCSE)

Section A—reading (one literature fiction text)

  • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)
  • 2 longer form questions (2 x 8 marks)
  • 1 extended question (1 x 20 marks)

Section B—writing (descriptive or narrative writing)

  • 1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

 Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives (50% of GCSE)

 Section A— reading (one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text)

  • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)
  • 2 longer form questions (1 x 8, 1 x 12 marks)
  • 1 extended question (1 x 16 marks 

Section B—writing (writing to present a viewpoint)

  • 1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy

Non-examination assessment: spoken language

  • presenting
  • responding to questions and feedback
  • use of Standard English

 

GCSE English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel (40% of GCSE)

Section A—Shakespeare

  • Students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B— The 19th-century novel

  • Students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole

Paper 2:  Modern texts and poetry (60% of GCSE)

Section A— Modern texts

  • Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.

Section B—poetry

  • Students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.
  • Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

 Ways to help my child succeed

Ensure your child has access to a range of reading material, including novels, literary non-fiction,  newspapers and access to the internet. Read with your child and discuss your reactions to what you are reading, whether this is a response to issues and characters in fiction or real events and issues in the news. Ensure your child is regularly reading their set texts. Check your child’s homework is thorough and work together to correct and spelling, punctuation or grammar errors that occur.

Useful websites

 

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