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Y9 Options- English


 Core Subject

Head of Department:

Mr R Denham

Examining Board:



What Will I Study?

All students take two separate GCSEs in English: English Language and English Literature.


English Literature

Students study English Literature explicitly at the end of year 9 through until year 11, with the GCSE exam taking place at the end of Year 11.

Students will read a range of texts, providing an awareness of the heritage of British writing and shape their wider skills of critical thinking and higher order reading.

Students must study texts from Shakespeare, the 19th century novel, poetry across the last 500 years including the Romantics and modern writing.


English Language

GCSE English Language will be taught during Year 10 and 11, with the exam taking place at the end of year 11.

Students will read and be assessed on high quality, challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The texts, across a range of genres and types, will then support students in developing their own writing by providing effective models. They will include literature and extended literary non-fiction, as well as other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism.


Spoken Language Element is a separate accreditation for which students will be awarded a pass, merit or distinction.


What Skills Will I Develop?

In English Literature students will further develop their ability to respond to texts and discuss how writers use language to shape meaning.

In English Language student will further develop their ability to write clearly accurately and creatively.

To analyse other writers’ creativity and style.

Spelling, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary.


How Will I Be Assessed?

These courses are assessed purely by exams; two exams for English Literature and two exams for English Language.

English Literature – Paper 1 is 1 hour 30 minutes and Paper 2 is 2 hours and 15 minutes  

English Language - each exam is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Each exam is 50% of the total marks

For spoken language students have to deliver a speech to the class that is filmed. The exam board will request a sample.

English Literature examinations are ‘closed text’, meaning students cannot take copies of the texts into the exam with them.

For English Language all texts examined are unseen.