What will be studied?
Studying GCSE English Language allows students of all abilities to develop the analytical skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different fiction and non-fiction texts covering the 19th – 21st centuries. Students have the opportunity to develop high-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into interesting and challenging themes. Students use this knowledge and that gained from wider reading, to inform and improve their own writing. Creative writing is taught developing imagination, narratives and descriptions. Students also construct written viewpoints through articles, letters and transactional writing. Students progress in their ability to write clearly, effectively and accurately.
What will lead to success in this course?
Both exam papers are unseen and require students to be able to understand and comprehend a range of challenging texts. Newspapers, novels, short stories, letters and magazines all count. Students just need to start reading! Not only will this help develop literacy skills but also means they will be learning new vocabulary, understanding sentence types and their effects and appreciating the role of punctuation.
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How is the course assessed?
The assessment for this subject is based on three components:
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing: This involves reading an extract from a novel and exploring how language and structure are used. Students retrieve information, comment on language and how structure effects meaning and evaluate a given judgement on the piece. Students then write their own creative narrative or description.
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives: After reading two articles, (one from the C19th) students will demonstrate they can understand the writers’ ideas and perspectives. They will identify a range of true or false statements, summarise differences, comment on language use and explain how viewpoints are presented. In section B students will be asked to write a non-fiction text that presents their own arguments and views through the form of an article.
Speaking and Listening Endorsement: This non written component sees students planning, preparing and presenting a three minute presentation on a topic of their choice. This accreditation is separate to the GCSE.
What will this qualification lead to?
Every career pathway requires literacy and verbal communication skills so you will use English for the rest of your life. For students who want to learn more and build on the skills gained, A-level English language is offered. This is a gateway to: journalism, media industries, teaching, communications & HR amongst others.