English Language & Literature, GCSE, AQA

All students in Years 10 and 11 follow both courses in English Language and English Literature (unless they are following an EAL syllabus). The courses are designed to link together, providing an integrated scheme with rich opportunities for exploring a range of texts and developing both critical and creative skills.

English Language

Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.

This specification will ensure that students can read fluently and write effectively. Students will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.

For GCSE English Language students should:

  • read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries
  • read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
  • summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
  • use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
  • use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively.

Students will sit two, equally weighted, 1 hour and 45 minute papers. They will be required to respond to literary unseen non-fiction texts and literary non-fiction texts. They will also be expected to write a descriptive or narrative piece and a transactional piece, presenting a point of view.

Speaking and Listening is compulsory and certificated separately. Students are expected to give a formal individual presentation as part of their assessment.

English Literature

The course is assessed through 2 examinations, both are ‘closed book.’

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel – 1 hour and 45 minutes (40%). Students will be required to answer essay questions in response to their studied novel and Shakespeare play.

Paper 2: Poetry and Modern Texts - 2 hours and 15 minutes, (60%). Students will complete essay questions on their studied modern text (either a novel or a play), poetry from the set anthology and from unseen poems.

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