All students will study English Language and English Literature at GCSE throughout both Year 10 and Year 11. As of 2015 all external assessment will be in the form of examinations taken in the summer of Year 11. The course starting in 2015 will be from AQA for both Literature and Language and the outlines are below.

English Language at GCSE

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.
A real focus of these new GCSE specifications are that students will read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism.
The format of assessments will be:
Paper 1: 1hr 45 min - Explorations in Creative reading and writing 50% of GCSE
Paper 2: 1hr 45 min - Writers' viewpoints and perspectives 50% of GCSE

English Literature at GCSE

Throughout our teaching of English Literature in KS3 students have already being exposed to a wide range of challenging and varied English Literature texts from across centuries and authorial perspectives in order to prepare them for the modes of study at GCSE.
Our course encourages students to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written. Studying GCSE English Literature will encourage students to read widely for pleasure, and as a preparation for studying literature at a higher level.
Our specific course will encourage students to: read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading, read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas and appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage.

The formal of assessments will be:

Paper 1: 1hr 45 min - Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel, 40% of total GCSE
Paper 2: 1hr 45 min - Modern texts and Poetry, 60% of total GCSE

We will offer a wide range of texts to be studied across the course and these are likely to include: The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls, Blood Brothers, Animal Farm and Lord of the Flies to name just a few.

If students have any questions regarding either of the two subjects, they can discuss it with their English teacher of ask Mrs Machin, Head of English and Media studies, in B10.


If your child finds any aspect of the subject difficult, there are a range of potential support strategies:

  • In the first instance they should contact their English teacher.
  • Online learning - they should all have login information for SAM Learning There are also a range of useful websites that you can search for; sites like BBC Skillswise and BBC Bitesize are a good place to start.
  • The W drive, accessible through remote access on the website, has a vast range of past papers, revision guides and resources used in class which can be used for extra support at home. 
  • Mr Batty and other members of the English team are once again running the ‘Big Breakfast' revision sessions every Friday morning from 8am in B2O; this proved very popular last year with KS4 students and I know they very much valued the extra support and guidance that these session provided. Focussing Controlled assessment support, exam revision and other general help. If you have any queries about any aspect of your child's English studies this year, please make a note in the planner for your child's teacher.

Year 11 Additional Support

Thank you,
Mrs Machin and the English Department