The English GCSE course aims to develop students’ skills as communicators in the modern world; the English Language GCSE enables them to be effective readers, writers, speakers and listeners. At the same time, in the English Literature GCSE students study key texts from the rich cultural heritage of English literature including poetry, plays (both Shakespeare and modern drama) and novels. Students will study both English Language and English Literature to gain two GCSEs.
The new GCSEs will be graded. Students will receive one of nine grades. The grades will be described using numbers (1-9) rather than letters. Grade 9 will represent the highest level of attainment.
Assessment of the course is 100% examination-based. Students will sit two examination papers which test both reading and writing skills.
Reading – Students will study a wide range of texts including:
- 19th Century literary fiction
- 20th and 21st Century literary non-fiction
- 20th and 21st Century non-fiction
They will practise and develop a range of reading skills including:
- information retrieval
- deduction and inference
- understanding writers’ viewpoints and ideas
- analysing writers’ techniques
- comparing texts.
Writing – Students will develop their ability to write with accuracy, fluency and at length. There will be a focus on building students’ knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. They will also develop the skills to:
- write creatively using narrative and descriptive skills
- write to express a viewpoint persuasively and effectively
- write for different audiences and purposes
- use a range of forms e.g. letter, speech, article.
Speaking and Listening
Students will be assessed on their ability to present their ideas effectively in a formal context, use Standard English and respond to questions. While this aspect of the course does not count towards the overall GCSE grade, it will be recorded on the exam certificate as a separate grade.