English Language and English Literature GCSE
The aims of the course
The aims of the course are to provide students with the essential skills for life and for life-long learning. Students will experience a diverse range of reading material from several different genres to which they will learn how to respond personally and critically, and they will also engage in a variety of writing tasks that allow students to explore both their creative side and their opinionated side. Throughout the course, an emphasis is placed on developing an individual’s voice and confidence through reading, written and oracy-based topics.
The course structure
Students will embark upon an English Language and an English Literature GCSE. Both courses share a number of similar skills that will be developed through exam style tasks. Year 9 acts as a bridging year that allows students to make connections between the knowledge and skills they’ve developed throughout KS3 and the knowledge and skills they will need to demonstrate throughout KS4. This is giving students the tools they need to be successful in their final exams. Despite being two separate GCSEs, English Language and English Literature are fully co-teachable, and the development of skills and knowledge in one will help students make progress in the other.
In English Language students will learn how to:
- Write effectively and coherently for a variety of purposes and audiences
- Use grammar correctly and ensure written work features accurate spelling and punctuation
- Approach a range of texts from 19th, 20th and 21st centuries in preparation for exam units
- Become more familiar with non-fiction and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism
In English Literature students will study:
- Various texts from across time and place in Year 9. For GCSE, students will study a 19th century novel, a play by Shakespeare, a modern novel or play, and a selection of poetry from the Romantic period onwards
- How to analyse unseen poetry
Across both subjects, there will also be an emphasis on reading for pleasure and writing for enjoyment and self-expression
How the course is assessed
The course is assessed through single tier examinations (2 written papers for each GCSE course). This will allow students to gain access to the full range of potential grades. Spoken language skills in the form of an individual presentation will also form an essential part of student experience of English and these will be reported separately in the form of a certificate.
Resources and additional information
Many of the texts will be provided but there will also be the opportunity to purchase copies and use them for annotation. We will expect students to be able to use the internet and other types of evidence to support research into a topic or a historical context and many websites will be recommended throughout a student’s time in KS4.
Head of Subject Presentation – Louise Early