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English language and literature

This GCSE course allows students to demonstrate their ability in functional English, to investigate and analyse language, and to experiment using language creatively.

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English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
External Examination – 1 hr. 45 minutes  ( 50% of total GCSE )

Section A: Students are required to read a single source drawn from literature fiction in order to consider how established, modern and emerging writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to capture the interest of readers.  Students will answer four questions about the extract.

Section B:  Students will be given a choice of a written prompt and a visual image that is linked to the topic of the reading text in section A.  They will complete a creative task which focuses on narrative or descriptive writing skills.


Paper 2:  Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
External Examination – 1 hr. 45 minutes (50% of total GCSE )

Section A:  Students will develop insights into how writers have particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that are important to the way we think or live our lives.  Students will be given two linked sources from different time periods and genres, drawn from the 19th century and either the 20th or 21st centuries.  They will answer four questions about the extracts.

Section B:  Students will be required to produce a written text to a specified audience, purpose and form in which they give their own perspective on the theme that has been introduced to them in section A.


Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language (0% of total GCSE)

Students will be assessed on presenting, responding to questions and feedback and use of standard English.  The tasks will be teacher set throughout the course and marked by the teacher.  This is a separate endorsement.



AQA GCSE English Literature (Spec: 8702)

This course allows students to study how writers communicate their ideas about the world, and how readers might respond to these ideas.  It gives students the opportunity to explore a range of literature which displays recognisable literary qualities and, although shaped by particular contexts, transcends them and speaks about the universality of the human condition.


Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel
External Examination – 1 hour 45 minutes (40% of the total GCSE marks)

Section A Shakespeare:  Students will answer one question on Macbeth.  They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.

Section B The 19th-century novel:  Students will answer one question on A Christmas Carol.  They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.


Paper 2:  Modern Texts and Poetry
External Examination – 2 hours 15 minutes (60% of the total GCSE)

Section A Modern Texts: Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on ‘An Inspector Calls’ by JB Priestley

Section B Poetry:  Students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from the Power and Conflict cluster.

Section C Unseen Poetry:  Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem. 



 Texts for study:

 Macbeth by William Shakespeare

 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

  An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley

  Poetry Anthology – Power and Conflict cluster