Key Stage 4 - GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

Exam Board: AQA 8700/8702

Aims of the course

The  GCSE courses  continue  to  develop  the skills  that  have  already  been  fostered  in the first three years of the English course; that is to say, a mastery of language in the three skills  of  reading,  writing  and  spoken  language,  with  the  ability  to  adapt  to  the requirements  of  a  particular  task.  In addition, the course teaches an appreciation of literature as a personal experience, a means of recognising the finest use of language and ideas, and an insight into human behaviour. There is also a sizeable literature element within the English curriculum.

The GCSE syllabuses followed by the pupils in this school are AQA English Language and AQA English Literature. The breakdown of each GCSE is as follows.

Course content/structure

Lessons  will  involve  a  variety  of  teaching  and  learning  strategies  including  teacher-directed activities, open discussion, small group discussion, individual presentations and individual engagement with texts and issues.

Students are allocated 6 hours per fortnight of timetable time in Year 10 and 7 hours in year 11 for their English studies. The course content is divided into 6 themes over the two years. The skills required for each question in the terminal exams are taught holistically alongside the content of the set texts.   

Year 10

Term 1 - Sharing stories

During this term students will;

Term 2 - Responding to issues

During this term students will;

Term 3 - Creativity and analysis

During this term students will;

Year 11 

Term 1 - Connecting with the past

During this term students will;

Term 2 - The writer’s craft    

During this term students will;

Term 3 - Consolidation and exam preparation

During this term students will;

Assessment information

English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing - 1 hr 45 mins 80 marks 50% of the GCSE

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives - 1 hr 45 mins 80 marks 50% of the GCSE

Non – examination Assessment: Spoken Language: Teacher marked throughout the course

English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel - 1 hr 45 mins 64 marks 40% of the GCSE

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry - 2 hrs 15 mins 96 marks 60% of the GCSE

Non-examination Assessment Spoken Language

This assessment is set and marked by the teacher  throughout the course. It is a separate endorsement (0% weighting of GCSE).

Level of Entry

This qualification will be graded and certificated on a nine-grade scale from 9-1 using the total marks across Paper 1 and Paper 2 for the English Language GCSE and Paper 1 and 2 for the English Literature GCSE