GCSE English Language and Literature2018-04-06T11:13:10+00:00

English Language and Literature

English Language and English Literature (AQA)

The Course

All pupils study a two-year course for GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature, which will be examined at the end of Year 11.

The aims of the course are to develop pupils’ ability to:

  • Communicate effectively in both speech and writing.
  • Understand and respond perceptively to what is read, heard and experienced.
  • Enjoy and appreciate the reading of literature, learning to read in depth and understanding the context in which texts were written.

Assessment – English Language

The course is assessed in two ways.

Pupils will sit two exam papers as follows:

  • Paper 1 Creative Reading and Writing – An unseen literary extract focusing on pupils’ comprehension skills and understanding of writer techniques. This is followed by a creative writing task. 80 marks, 50% of GCSE English Language.
  • Paper 2 Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives – two unseen linked sources from different time periods and genres assessing pupils’ exploration of how each presents a perspective or viewpoint to influence the reader. There will also be a written task with a specific genre, audience and purpose for pupils to write on a topic related to the unseen source texts. 80 marks, 50% of GCSE English Language.

Spoken Language Presentation

  • A short individual presentation on any chosen topic followed by a question and answer session, recorded during Year 11. This is awarded a separate certificate and does not affect the GCSE grade for English Language.

Assessment – English Literature

Pupils will sit two exam papers as follows:

  • Paper 1 Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel – we will study either Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet, as well as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. 64 marks, 40% of GCSE English Literature.
  • Paper 2 Modern Texts and Poetry – this will test pupils’ knowledge of An Inspector Calls, the AQA Power and Conflict poetry anthology and skills of analysis of an unseen poem. 96 marks, 60% OF GCSE.

Why Study English?

Studying English Language and English Literature at GCSE prepares you for English at A Level. It gives you the confidence in writing needed for most degree courses. The GCSE course offers many other opportunities and challenges. We introduce you to new and more challenging texts. We study the texts in detail which allows a much richer comparative study of whole texts. We give you the opportunity to respond personally to the text and make critical judgements. Studying the subjects encourages you to take responsibility for meeting deadlines, helps you organise your note-taking but most of all encourages independent study.


As part of the course we go on theatre visits and see film versions of the text. We run debating and public speaking competitions to help develop the skills you need for the speaking and listening component of the course. We also offer opportunities to help you explore the media and worlds of publishing.