GCSE English Language and Literature
These courses will build on the skills developed at KS3. As a core subject, all students will be required to study for both qualifications.
GCSE English Language
The qualification is made up of two externally-assessed examination components and one internally assessed non-examination component. The internally-assessed non-examination component tests spoken language skills. Achievement in Spoken Language will be reported as part of the qualification, but it will not form part of the final GCSE mark and grade.
Component 1: 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Writing, 1 hour 45 minutes (40%)
Section A (20%) Reading
You will read a piece of unseen 20th century fiction (the extract will be approximately 60-100 words long) and answer a series of questions about it
Section B (20%) Prose Writing
You will complete one piece of creative writing – narration or recount - from a choice of four titles.
You will be assessed on how well you can communicate your ideas to suit the purpose and audience, use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures, and spelling and punctuation accuracy.
Component 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading, 2 hours (60%)
Section A (30%) Reading
Comparison of two unseen texts from the 19th and 21st century. The extracts will be approximately 900-1200 words.
Some questions will ask you to focus on close reading of the texts; others will ask you to compare the two texts.
Section B (30%) Transactional/Persuasive Writing
Two compulsory transactional/persuasive writing tasks. You will be assessed on how well you can communicate your ideas to suit the purpose and audience, use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures, and spelling and punctuation accuracy.
Component 3: Spoken Language
This will be a presentation on a topic of your choice to an audience. You will answer questions at the end of your presentation. It will be recorded and sent to the exam board. You will be given a pass, merit or distinction – this will appear on your GCSE certificate but does not form part of your GCSE/grade.
GCSE English Literature
The qualification is made up of two externally-assessed components: Component 1 and Component 2. Both components allow learners to show their depth and breadth of knowledge through varied assessments.
Component 1: Shakespeare and Poetry, 1 hour and 45 minutes (40%)
Section A (20%) Shakespeare and Poetry
Shakespeare – Macbeth
You will be required to answer two questions, one based on an extract from the play and one about the play as a whole. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are also assessed in this question and are worth 5 marks.
Section B (20%) Poetry from 1789 to the present day
You will answer two questions based on poems from the WJEC poetry anthology, one of which involves comparison. One poem will be printed in the examination paper but you will need to refer to at least one other poem from the anthology, which will not be available to you in the exam
Component 2: Post-1914 Prose/Drama, 2 hours and 30 minutes (60%)
Section A (20%) Post 1914 Prose/Drama
You will study An Inspector Calls and answer one question, based on both an extract and your knowledge of the whole text. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are also assessed in this question and are worth 5 marks.
Section B (20%) 19th Century Prose
You will study The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or The War of the Worlds and answer one question based on both an extract and your understanding of the whole text.
Section C (20%) Unseen Poetry
Two contemporary unseen poems will be printed for you in the exam paper. You will compare the two poems, looking at language, structure and themes.