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English - Key Stage 4

From September 2015 all Year 10 students will follow new GCSE specifications in English Language and Literature. These are separate qualifications which will be assessed through terminal examination only during the summer of Year 11.

All students will follow the AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature qualifications. The department is committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to study English Literature at Key Stage 4 level.

The examination content is as follows:

GCSE English Language

Paper 1 Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (50% of GCSE, 1 hour 45 minutes)

Section A: Reading (1 unseen extract from 20th or 21st Century literature text)
Section B: Writing (Descriptive or narrative writing)

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (50% of GCSE, 1 hour 45 minutes)

Section A: Reading (one non-fiction text and one literary non fiction text – one will be from the 19th Century)
Section B: Writing (Writing to present a viewpoint)

Spoken Language (non-examination assessment 0% weighting of GCSE)

GCSE English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (40% of GCSE, 1 hour 45 minutes)

Section A: Students to answer one question on Shakespeare play (Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth)
Section B: Students to answer one question on 19th Century novel (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (60% of GCSE, 2 hours 15 minutes)

Section A: One essay question on their modern text
Section B: One comparative essay question based on poems from the AQA provided poetry Anthology
Section C: One comparative essay on two unseen poems

Students enrolled on the new GCSE English Language and Literature courses will be awarded a grade 9-1 rather than A*-G. These grades will also be used in GCSE Mathematics. Broadly speaking, grades 4 and 5 will be equivalent to the standard of grade C. More information about changes to GCSE grading from 2015 can be found at Ofqual’s webpages https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/reform-of-gcse-qualifications-by-ofqual

Students in Year 11 at the start of September 2015 will complete the last year of the outgoing AQA English, English Language and English Literature specifications.