GCSE English Language

Subject: English Language
Qualification Type: GCSE
Exam Board: AQA
Subject Leader: Mrs Vivienne Buxton

Course Content

All students follow the AQA English Language and English Literature courses. These are counted as two separate GCSEs and are graded 9-1.

For the English Language course, students will be examined on the following course content:

  • Responding to unseen 20th/21st century fiction
  • Responding to unseen 19th/20th/21st century non-fiction
  • Creative and discursive writing skills
  • Spoken language

Assessment Format

The course is assessed by 100% examinations. This takes the form of two examinations. The spoken language element is compulsory to complete the course, but is marked separately so does not contribute to the 9-1 grading of the GCSE.

The breakdown of the assessed components is as follows:

  • 2 x externally marked examinations
    • 1 x Explorations into creative reading and writing
      • 50% (40 marks reading and 40 marks writing)
    • 1 x Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives
      • 50% (40 marks reading and 40 marks writing)
    • A spoken language presentation. This will be marked by teachers (Pass, Merit Distinction) and will be recorded in classrooms.

The KS3 content for English includes developing the majority of the skills needed for the English Language GCSE course. The relevant reading and writing skills taught at KS3 are: information retrieval, language analysis, summary and synthesis, comparison, creative writing and discursive writing. More high level skills will be introduced towards the end of Year 9 and throughout Years 10 and 11. These include: analysis of structure, critical evaluation and comparison of different viewpoints and perspectives.

The course content for English Language will be taught alongside the content for English Literature starting from the summer term of Year 9 to the end of Year 11.

Possible Progression (including careers and further education)

Students of English Language and Literature have moved onto careers as diverse as teaching, sales and marketing, advertising, journalism, law, banking and administration, nursing and healthcare, research and development, and even TV!

The next step after GCSE could be A-Level English Language or Literature, followed by a degree in English or a dual honours course together with Linguistics, History, Communications, Media and Film-making.


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