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What will I be studying during the course?
All students follow a course in English. The vast majority of students will be entered for GCSE English Language and Literature, with a small proportion of students completing just the GCSE English Language course if this is deemed most appropriate by their teacher. They will study a Shakespeare play, poetry – seen and unseen, PLUS a 19th Century novel and either a Post 1914 prose OR drama text.
English Language and Literature are 100% terminal examination subjects.
Throughout Year 10 and 11, students will follow a carefully structured course designed to develop their writing skills in a creative and a persuasive response. They will be assessed on their ability to communicate effectively and their accuracy, in terms of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Students will be assessed on their inference, analytical and comparative skills when reading fiction and non-fiction texts from different times in history.
The English Literature examinations are essay based where students will analyse the characters, themes, context and language of a range of texts as outlined below:
The English Literature examinations are essay based and will cover the following topics:
Why study English or English Language & English Literature
English is an essential requirement for all careers and all forms of further and higher education. A GCSE in English informs an employer that you have reached a certain level of literacy and they will then know what they can expect you to be able to do in a way of communicating both orally and in writing. They will know what to expect of your level of understanding of written texts, and they will understand that they can rely on your ability to respond appropriately.
What will the examinations be like?
Both English Language and English Literature examinations will be carried out in the summer term of Y11. Throughout Y10 and Y11 there are formal assessments within the classroom to assess your progress, and show you which areas of your knowledge and skills require further development.
The English Language GCSE has two examination papers. Both papers last 1 hour 45 minutes and equate to 50% of your GCSE each
The English Literature GCSE has two examination papers. One paper lasts 1 hour 45 minutes and will focus on a Shakespeare play and a 19th century novel; this exam equates to 40% of the final GCSE. The second exam lasts 2 hours 15 minutes and will focus on the modern text, the poetry collection you have studied, and unseen poetry; this exam equates to 60% of the Literature GCSE.
Routes to employment
Studying English enables students to develop many transferable skills including critical thinking, using a broad vocabulary and effective written and spoken communication.
Students who have studied English go on to study courses at college, sixth forms and universities such as English Language, English Literature, Journalism, Media Studies, Law, Ethics and Philosophy.
Students who have studied English have access to a wide range of careers and employment opportunities such as publishing, teaching, journalism, human resources, law and project management.
Who do I need to see to find out more?
Talk to your English teacher or to Mrs M Bennett, the Head of English.