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English - GCSE CORE Subject

Head of Department: Mrs S Wright 
Examining Board: AQA

What Will I Study?

All students take two separate GCSEs in English: English Language and English Literature and will build upon skills and knowledge from Key Stage 3.

English Literature

GCSE English Literature will be taught during Year 10 and 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 by Shakespeare, from the 19th century, poetry across the last 500 years including modern writing.

English Language

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

Students will read 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 and critical reading analysis. Texts will include fiction and non-fiction, such as essays, reviews and journalism.

The Spoken Language element is a separate accreditation for which students will be awarded a pass, merit or distinction. Students are required to plan and deliver a spoken presentation to an audience.

What Skills Will I Develop?

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

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

For both English Language and English Literature, students will develop their reading fluency, critical analysis skills and ability to craft a piece of writing. Students will understand and develop their technical accuracy with 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.

For the Spoken Language element, students have to deliver a speech to the class that is filmed.

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.

For more information please see the English Learning Journey and Curriculum Overview.