English is the means by which communication takes place in all walks of life. Across the world, English is a recognised and widely spoken language, and we want our students to be confident, accurate and expressive in their use of written and spoken English. English constantly changes and evolves, and the new specification GCSE courses reflect this, with a modern, vibrant approach. Among others, English is one subject which holds the key to succeeding in the future.
GCSE English Language
This will be assessed by means of two examinations where students will study both unseen literary and non-literary texts. In addition they will be required to write a descriptive or narrative piece and a piece of writing that presents a viewpoint.
This will also be assessed by means of two examinations where students will study both modern and pre-20th-century literature. This includes Shakespeare, a 19th century novel and a variety of poetry.
English Language 100% examination:
• English Language Paper 1 - 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of overall grade)
This paper will require students to read an extract of fiction from the 20th or 21st century. Students will answer questions about the text that require them to retrieve specific information, analyse language and structure and then evaluate a given statement about the text. Students will then demonstrate their own skills of writing to describe or narrate.
• English Language Paper 2 – 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of overall grade)
This paper will require students to read two non-fiction texts. Students will answer questions that use the skills of synthesis and inference, they will analyse language and they will compare the views and perspectives of the writers of the two texts. Students will then demonstrate their own ability to write to express a viewpoint.
English Literature 100% examination:
• English Literature Paper 1 - 1 hour 45 minutes (40% of overall grade)
This paper will require students to answers questions about ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’. Students will be given a section of each text and will have to analyse the extract and how it links to the rest of the play/novel, based on a specific theme or character.
• English Literature Paper 2- 2 hours 15 minutes (60% of overall grade)
This paper will require students to answer a question about the play ‘An Inspector Calls’. Again, they will be given an extract to analyse and explain its links to the rest of the play related to a specific theme or character. The next section of the exam focuses on poetry. Students will answer a question about a named poem from a pre-studied cluster and how it compares to another poem from the cluster. They will then answer two questions on previously unseen poems.
• The final element of the course is a speaking and listening assessment which requires students to give a speech about a given topic to an audience. This is accredited separately and does not contribute to the overall grade for English.
English is a compulsory course at Key Stage 4, and, as such, is able to offer a number of different routes through GCSE, based on individual student performance.
In addition, throughout the course, students will be offered opportunities to enhance their study of English by partaking in excursions to see live theatre performances, out of the Academy revision activities, and will be taught by enthusiastic staff, who are dedicated to students’ achievement. Throughout the course, students will be targeted for support and revision, suited to their individual needs.