English Language & Literature GCSE

Prospectus-7Key Stage 4 Curriculum:  All students study GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

Our students study at least one Shakespeare play and a range of literary fiction and non-fiction texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. This includes poetry, drama and prose, both contemporary and from literary heritage. As well as developing their reading skills, the course also develops writing skills in a variety of genres of both fiction and non-fiction. In addition, speaking and listening skills are covered, including presenting, responding to questions and feedback and the use of Standard English.

Key Stage 4 texts include:

  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  • Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley
  • A range of poetry exploring the themes of ‘Power & Conflict’

GCSE English Language consists of two examinations, both assessing reading and writing skills in fiction and non-fiction. Spoken Language (in the form of presentations and discussions) will still be assessed but reported as a separate endorsement (0% weighting of GCSE). GCSE English Literature also consists of two examinations, covering the texts as above. All literature examinations are closed book, meaning students will not have copies of the text with them in the examination.

GCSE English Language

Through our GCSE English Language syllabus our students will:
• Read fluently, and with good understanding, a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and
• Read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
• Summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
• Use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
• Write effectively and coherently using standard English appropriately
• Use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
• Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, linguistic conventions for reading, and written and spoken language
• Listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken standard English effectively.

We follow the new AQA syllabus – find out more by clicking here.

GCSE English Literature

Through our GCSE English Literature syllabus our students will cover:

Modern texts
Students will study one from a choice of 12 set texts, which include post-1914 prose fiction and drama.

Students will study one cluster of poems taken from the AQA poetry anthology, Poems Past and
Present. There is a choice of two clusters, each containing 15 poems. The poems in each cluster are
thematically linked and were written between 1789 and the present day.

Unseen poetry
In preparing for the unseen poetry section of the examination students should experience a wide range.
of poetry in order to develop their ability to closely analyse unseen poems. They should be able to
analyse and compare key features such as their content, theme, structure and use of language.

In studying the set texts students should have the opportunity to develop the following skills.

  • Reading comprehension and reading critically.
  • Literal and inferential comprehension: understanding a word, phrase or sentence in context; exploring aspects of plot, characterisation, events and settings; distinguishing between what is stated explicitly and what is implied; explaining motivation, sequence of events, and the relationship between actions or events.
  • Critical reading: identifying the theme and distinguishing between themes; supporting a point of view by referring to evidence in the text; recognising the possibility of and evaluating different responses to a text; using understanding of writers’ social, historical and cultural contexts to inform evaluation; making an informed personal response that derives from analysis and evaluation of the text.
  • Evaluation of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, grammatical and structural features: analysing and evaluating how language, structure, form and presentation contribute to quality and impact; using linguistic and literary terminology for such evaluation.
  • Comparing texts:comparing and contrasting texts studied, referring where relevant to theme, characterisation, context (where known), style and literary quality; comparing two texts critically with respect to the above.


  • Producing clear and coherent text: writing effectively about literature for a range of purposes such
    as: to describe, explain, summarise, argue, analyse and evaluate; discussing and maintaining a point of view; selecting and emphasising key points; using relevant quotation and using detailed textual references.
  • Accurate Standard English: accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.

We follow the new AQA syllabus – find our more by clicking here.

The English Teaching Team: We are a highly skilled and experienced teaching team. We are passionate about our subject and aim to pass our enthusiasm on to our students. We constantly look forward and endeavour to embrace change and to use it to help our students continue to achieve great success. Assessment for Learning epitomises the team’s belief that every student should be aware of their strengths and should strive to develop their own, individual skills.

The Team:

  • Miss Beth Mason – Teacher of English, Teaching Team Leader for English
  • Miss Sophie Worledge – Teacher of English
  • Miss Nichola Knight – Teacher of English
  • Miss Megan Russell – Teacher of English
  • Mrs Holly Lockett – Teacher of English
  • Miss Angie Lavender – Teaching Practitioner for English.
  • Ms Mel Freckelton – Teaching Practitioner for English