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GCSE English

Awarding Body : AQA

Overview of Course

English Language

Throughout your study of English Language at GCSE you will read a range of texts including literature, non-fiction and journalism. You will learn to read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between them; write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately; use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately; listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken Standard English effectively.

Content and Assessment

You will be assessed by examination only. The first examination equates to 50% of your English Language GCSE. In Section A, you will respond to one literature text and in Section B, you will write a descriptive or narrative piece. The second examination also equates to 50% of your English Language GCSE. In Section A, you will respond to two non-fiction texts and in Section B, you will create a journalistic text defending a viewpoint. Both examinations last for 1 hour and 45 minutes. In addition, you will receive a separate endorsement for your Speaking and Listening skills which will be tested throughout the course. These tasks do not count towards your final GCSE English Language grade.

English Literature

In GCSE English Literature you will read and analyse a variety of literature texts from the 19th to 21st Century. You will develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, you will have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written. Studying GCSE English Literature encourages you to read widely for pleasure.

Content and Assessment

You will be assessed by examination only. The first examination equates to 40% of your English Literature GCSE. In Section A, you will respond to questions about a play by Shakespeare and in Section B, you will respond to questions about a 19th Century novel. This examination counts towards 40% of your GCSE English Literature and lasts for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The second examination equates to 60% of your English Literature GCSE and lasts for 2 hours and 15 minutes. In Section A, you will respond to a modern play or novel, in Section B, you will answer questions about poems you have studied and in Section C, you will respond to two unseen poems.

Career Links

The study of English at GCSE will develop your skills of reading, writing, analysis, synthesis and critical thinking, all of which are valued by employers. Each of these skills offer endless possibilities in your future career choice, for example, in law, media, advertising, journalism, government, publishing, managerial and professional roles, marketing and recruitment.