Key Stage 4

English Language

An introduction to the course

During Years 10 and 11 students study GCSE English Language. The course builds on core knowledge and skills that have been developed at Key Stage 3. As with the course at Key Stage 3, throughout Key Stage 4 students will revisit and further develop their understanding and application of our threshold concepts. 

What the course involves

Throughout the course students hone their skills to become expert readers, writers and speakers. They study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, often concurrently with the Literature texts, in order to deepen their understanding of what they are reading. Throughout the course, students are provided with many opportunities to develop their writing skills- both for a narrative and transactional purpose. Our work with Voice 21 also helps us to place the development of oracy at the heart of learning at Key Stage 4- lessons will be structured to ensure there is opportunity to learn through a range of exploratory and presentation talk with the aim of producing skilled and confident orators. 

How is the course assessed

The course is assessed by two examinations. Paper 1 is worth 40% of the overall grade and tests students’ abilities to decode and analyse a 19th Century text and also to create a piece of narrative writing using a title as stimulus. Paper 2, worth 60%, asks candidates to analyse and compare two non-fiction texts and also write for a transactional purpose.

A separate mark is awarded for spoken language- this is in the form of an individual presentation performed to an audience. 

Career opportunities

Having a strong grade in GCSE English is something that all employers and further education institutions look for. The ability to communicate in written and spoken forms is vital for the working world, as is the ability to comprehend and decode information. 

Post-16 opportunities

A strong pass at GCSE English Language is vital for further study of the subject at A Level; equally, a strong English Language GCSE supports students who wish to study Law and Journalism at A Level.

Required resources/equipment for the course

The English department has created a range of revision resources to support the development of students' reading and writing skills; these are available from the ‘help yourself’ revision boards located in the department. These have been created by teachers within the department who are seasoned examiners. An official Edexcel revision guide and workbook are available for purchase through ParentPay.

For further information contact:

Mr Butler (Head of English)

 

 

English Literature

An introduction to the course

As with the English Language course, students will build on core knowledge and skills that have been developed throughout Key Stage 3. This includes the embedding and further development of the core threshold concepts at Key Stage 3. 

What the course involves

Throughout the two-year course, students study a wide range of literature, including a Shakespeare play ('Macbeth'), a post 1914 play (Journey's End'), a 19th century novel ('Frankenstein') and poetry. Supplementary to this, students will explore extracts and poems from other works to broaden and deepen their understanding of the literary canon, as well as confidence at analysing and interpreting a range of texts. 

As with Language, the department prides itself on its commitment to create expert readers, writers as speakers. As such, students will be guided in finding their analytical voice- ensuring that they are skilled at articulating their ideas and arguments through a variety of written and spoken mediums. Teachers encourage discussion and debate in order to strengthen understanding of the texts and build key disciplinary skills. 

How is the course assessed

In English Literature students are assessed through examination. There are two papers which both assess students' analytical skills, each paper is worth 50% of the overall grade. Paper One will assess close reading skills in the form of an extract from 'Macbeth', as well as an essay on the broader themes and ideas of the text. They will also be required to write an response about 'Journey's End'. This paper is worth 50%. Paper Two will assess students' abilities to analyse an extract from 'Frankenstein' and explore key themes across the novel. As well as this, they will be comparing how ideas are presented in the poems from the poetry anthology and also compare two unseen poems. 

Career opportunities

For any path students wish to take they will be expected by employers to have essential English skills. These will be demonstrated through your GCSE qualification. English Literature qualifications are particularly useful if you want a career in teaching, journalism or law.

Post-16 opportunities

A good grade in English Literature means opportunities for further study of Literature, Law and Media Studies at A Level.

Required resources/equipment for the course

Throughout the course you will be studying a range of poems, plays and novels. The texts studied are Frankenstein, Journey’s End, Macbeth and also Conflict poetry. You will be provided with copies of Frankenstein, Macbeth and the anthology of poems, however is would be advisable to purchase a copy of Journey’s End to record your own notes. We also have revision guides for all topics, which are available for purchase on ParentPay.

For further information contact:

Mr Butler (Head of English)