English is who we are and what we do.
The English Language is all around is. It lives in every word we speak, every text we send and in every box set we binge-watch. It breathes through every news report that shocks us, every movie that makes us cry and every Tweet which reduces us to fits of laughter. An ability to use language and to understand how it used by those around is one of life’s most critical skills and your studies in GCSE English Language and English Literature will seek to equip you with all that you need to succeed into adult life.
What will you do?
You will study two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. You will receive a separate grade for each.
English Language is divided into three areas of study:
speaking and listening (which will not form part of your overall grade).
You will build on your skills from Years 7 and 8 to become:
- a critical and analytical reader;
- a confident writer;
- an effective speaker.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed by 100% examinations, which will be externally marked. All exams will be un-tiered.
You will receive separate grades 1-9 for Language and Literature.
You will be assessed, from 2017, through:
- two exams – worth 100% of your grade:
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (50%)
- You will be required to answer a series of stepped questions on an unseen piece of fiction writing (25%);
- You will be required to write a piece of narrative or descriptive writing (25%).
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (50%)
- You will be required to answer a series of stepped questions on two unseen non-fiction texts leading to a detailed comparison of both texts, one of which will be from the Nineteenth Century (25%);
- You will be required to write a piece of non-fiction writing, for example a letter or an article (25%).
- A separate ‘Speaking and Listening’ endorsement, which will not form part of your overall grade and will be marked as either ‘pass’ or ‘fail’.
What skills will I learn?
- work independently;
- develop time management skills e.g. when meeting essay deadlines;
- plan and research written work;
- accurately present knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories;
- lead and participate in discussions and have confidence in your own opinions;
- work with others when presenting ideas and information;
- effectively convey arguments and opinions and encourage independent and creative thought;
- work towards a solution using negotiation skills;
- use judgement when weighing up different options and alternative perspectives;
- develop skills in critical reasoning and analysis;
- convey meaning precisely and pick out the essential points from texts;
- have a broad range of vocabulary and critical terminology.
Studying English also gives you skills in:
- information technology;
- organisational understanding;
- commercial awareness.
How can English help me in the future?
There are various careers in English. Here are some examples:
- public relations;
- Public Sector:
- local government;
- health service.
GCSE English provides you with a suitable foundation for the continued study of English at a more advanced level e.g.
- A Level English Language;
- A Level English Literature;
- A Level English Language & Literature.
How do I find out more?
Ask your English teacher for more information and guidance.
The English Language specification is available via AQA’s website at www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse