GCSE English Language and Literaure

Please note: Students in year 10 (September 2015) are now the new GCSE specification as outlined below and Year 11 (September 2015) will be following the legacy course outlined underneath

Exam Board – AQA

The Course

In English, students follow a two-year GCSE course, which involves reading, writing and spoken language. Students prepare to sit both two English Language and two English Literature examinations. At the end of the course each student will obtain two qualifications.

Throughout the course we aim to provide students with the opportunity to read an enriching and exciting range of texts and to develop a rich and wide-ranging set of communication skills that prepare them for both their exams and success in the wider world.

Year 10

September to December: A Christmas Carol and unseen fiction

Students study Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’, alongside a range of fiction extracts. They will learn to read for meaning, evaluate texts and explore how writers use language and structure to affect and influence readers.

January to February: Studying Non-Fiction (Water, Women, War and Welfare)

Students study a range of Non-Fiction extracts. They learn to interpret texts, analyse writers’ use of language and structure and compare texts. All of the non-fiction texts they read are linked to the context of the play “An Inspector Calls”

February to April: An Inspector Calls

Students read and study the play “An Inspector Calls”, by J.B. Priestley. They will learn to write critical essays, which explore language, form and structure and consider the context in which the play was written.

May to July: Power and Conflict Poetry and Writing Skills

Students study a range of poems linked by the theme of “Power and Conflict”. They learn to write about how poets use language and structure to affect readers. Alongside this, using the poetry for inspiration, they develop creative writing skills, focusing on both overall written composition and precision and accuracy.

Year 11

September to December: Macbeth and Writing Skills

Students study Shakespeare’s Macbeth and learn how to write critical essays focusing on how writers’ use language, form and structure. They use themes and ideas from the play as impetus to develop their formal writing skills.

January to May: Revision and Exam Technique

Students will develop their exam skills in preparation for the final GCSE exams

Assessment

All exams take place at the end of Year 11. There are four exams in total, two for English Language and two for English Literature.

English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing. (1hr 45mins – 50%)

Section A (Reading)

Students read one unseen extract from a piece of 20th or 21st century fiction and answer 4 questions on the skills of:

  • Retrieval
  • Language Analysis
  • Structure
  • Evaluation
Section B (Writing)

Students create a piece of creative writing, such as a description or a narrative piece.

Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives. (1hr 45mins – 50%)

Section A (Reading)

Students read two unseen non-fiction extracts, one from either the 20th or 21st century, and one form the 19th century. They then answer 4 questions:     

  • Comprehension
  • Summary & Comparison   
  • Language
  • Comparison (Writer’s attitudes)
Section B (Writing)

Students create a piece of non-fiction writing, such as a newspaper article, letter or feature article.

English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (1hr 45mins – 40%)

  • Section A (Macbeth) Students write a character study
  • Section B (A Christmas Carol) Students write a character study

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (2hr 15mins – 60%)

  • Section A (An Inspector Calls) Students write either a character study or thematic study
  • Section B (Power and Conflict Poetry) Students write a comparison of two studied poems
  • Section C (Unseen Poetry) Students write about two unseen poems

Spoken Language

As part of the GCSE course students will be assessed on their ability to communicate through spoken language. This part of the course does not count towards the overall GCSE grade but is certified separately and graded (with pass, merit or distinction). Each student must deliver a speech and will be assessed on their ability to present information, listen and respond to others and communicate through Standard English.

Please note: The following course is for current (Septermber 2015) Year 11 students only. 

Exam Board – AQA (Specification A)

The Course

In English, students follow a two-year GCSE course which involves reading, writing and oral work. We will be preparing for an English Language and English Literature examination course and at the end of the course each student will obtain two qualifications.

Year 10

  • Creative Writing (September-October)
  • Poetry (October-November)
  • Creative Writing 2 (December)
  • Shakespeare and Literary Heritage: A comparison of “Macbeth” and a poem from the Literary Heritage (January-February)
  • Poetry (March)
  • Spoken Language Study (April-May)
  • “Of Mice and Men” (A study of John Steinbeck’s novel) June-July

Year 11

  • Of Mice and Men (A study of John Steinbeck’s novel) September-October
  • English Language (Reading and Writing –students study a selection of non-fiction extracts and write about what they have read – they learn to apply the skills they have studied to their own writing) October - December
  • The Crucible (A study of Arthur Miller’s Play) January-February
  • Poetry (students will revise and revisit the poetry analysis skills they studied in year 10) and revision for Language and Literature exams. (February-May)

Assessment

Year 10

  • Creative Writing: Two Controlled Assessments, which are put together to make up 15% of the English Language GCSE.
  • Poetry:  Literature Unit  2 (35% of English Literature GCSE)
  • Shakespeare and Literary Heritage: Controlled Assessment worth 25% of the English Literature GCSE.
  • Spoken Language: One Controlled Assessment worth 10% of the English Language GCSE.
  • “Of Mice and Men”:
  • Half of Literature Unit 1 exam (20% of Literature GCSE)

Year 11

  • 1 Controlled Assessment (15% of English Language grade)
  • Half of Literature Unit 1 exam (20% of Literature grade)
  • English Language exam (worth 60% of the English Language GCSE grade
  • Half of Literature Unit 1 exam (20% of Literature grade)
  • Literature unit  2 (35% of literature grade)

Where it leads

TV, film and journalism