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Theme of the week is: Celebration

English/English Literature (GCSE)

A new English Language course started in September 2013. This is the Cambridge International Exam (sometimes referred to as the IGCSE)


This exam is approved by Ofqual and is recognised by the Russell Group of universities.

  • There are two elements to the course: exam and coursework.
  • The exam consists of three questions: question 1 asks pupils to use information from a given text to write their own text in a different form, e.g. an account of an incident can be transformed into a letter; question 2 is a language analysis task on two given paragraphs from the same text; question 3 is a summarising question. Questions 1 and 3 are assessed for both understanding and writing, although the writing marks are few, being more rigorously assessed in the coursework component.
  • Written coursework consists of three pieces: informative, analytical and / or argumentative writing; imaginative, descriptive and / or narrative writing; writing in response to a stimulus text (not repeating a set of skills, such as argument, if this has been part of assignment 1).
  • Speaking and Listening is an exam. Pupils have to deliver a short presentation to an assessor (an English teacher from the Department). This should be 3-4 minutes in length. The assessor will then ask questions in response and the pupil will need to answer fully.


The English Literature exam remains the same: the AQA course.

 This consists of two exams and a controlled assessment.

  • Paper 1 is a prose paper. Pupils study a sustained text or a series of short stories from the English Literary Heritage and a text that addresses cultural issues.
  • Paper 2 is a poetry question. Pupils study poetry from across time and cultures; they also answer a question on an unseen poem.
  • The controlled assessment involves the study of a Shakespeare play and comparison with poetry, another sustained text or another Shakespeare play.

Currently, pupils will have to take exams in both Language and Literature.