A reader lives a thousand lives before they die . . . People who never read live only one.”

George R.R. Martin

English Vision

English Intent Statement

To provide an English curriculum that is rich in knowledge, skills and diversity to enable students to be curious, reflective and tolerant and that prepares them for all future learning and beyond to the world of employment.

How: An English curriculum which is sequenced to develop an acquisition of knowledge (from the English Canon to modern texts) and skills. Students will have access to a wide range of thought provoking, diverse and challenging fiction and non-fiction texts which will give opportunities to address cultural capital. With a focus on reading, and raising reading ages where necessary, we will ensure all students can access the curriculum across the whole school and leave at their chronological reading age or above.

Revision Provisions

  • http://www.chompchomp.com/

  • http://www.dailygrammar.com/archive.html

  • http://www.creativewritingprompts.com/#

  • https://www.randomlists.com/random-adjectives

  • https://descriptionary.wordpress.com/

  • https://www.descriptionari.com/

  • BBCbitesize – good to revise SPAG and writing skills.

What is English Language?

This is taught in Year 10 and 11 and assessed at the end of Year 11.

Who might enjoy this course?

English is a core subject that all students take.


What about exams? What will I study?

The two papers are made up as follows:

Paper 1

Section A: Unseen 19th Century Fiction

  • An extract from a 19th century fiction text of approx. 650 words.

  • Students will be required to answer short comprehension style questions which focus on close reading of the text and longer response questions to show their understanding of the whole text.

Section B: Imaginative Writing

  • Students will have a choice of two tasks linked to the theme of the text in Section A.

  • One of these tasks will include images as an optional stimulus for students.

  • Assessed for writing for audience, purpose, tone and style as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Spoken Language Endorsement:

  • Presenting, listening to questions and responding and the use of standard English.

  • Teacher set and assessed.

  • Separate endorsement reported as a separate line on the certificate. Not

  • included in the GCSE grade.

Paper 2

Section A: Comparison of two unseen texts from the 20th and 21st century

  • The two extracts will be non-fiction texts.

  • Extracts will be up to 1,000 words in total.

  • Shorter response questions will focus on the close reading of the individual texts; a longer response question will ask students to compare the writers’ use of language.

Section B: Transactional Writing

  • Choice of two writing tasks linked to the theme of Section A.

  • Choice of newspaper article, letter etc.

  • Assessed for writing for audience, purpose, tone and style as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar.

What could I do next with GCSE English?

English is a vital GCSE to have; it is a passport to further education and in all aspects of the world of work. Potential careers include English as a Foreign Language Teacher, Secondary/Primary Teaching, Copywriter, Proof-reader, Lexicographer, Media researcher, Advertising, Editor, Editorial assistant, Web content manager.

What is English Literature?

English Literature focuses on the study of a variety of literary texts.

Who might enjoy this course?

English Literature is studied by all pupils as it complements the English Language course and many of the skills overlap. There is a high success level in examinations.


You will develop the ability to work independently, plan and research written work, articulate knowledge and understanding of texts plus hone analytical skills, time management and organisational skills.

What about exams? What will I study?

Paper 1

Section A:

Shakespeare – Macbeth

  • Two questions – one based on an extract of approx. 30 lines and one essay on the whole play.

Section B:

  • Post-1914 British drama – An Inspector Calls

  • Students study the play and have a choice of essay questions.

  • Vocabulary, sentence structures, spelling, punctuation and grammar are assessed.

Paper 2

Section A:

  • 19th Century Fiction – A Christmas Carol

  • Two questions – one based on an extract of approx. 400 words and one an essay based on the whole novel.

Section B:

  • Poetry Anthology (provided by Edexcel)

  • One question comparing one named poem from the Anthology and another poem from the same

  • collection of the student’s choice.

  • One question asking students to compare two unseen modern poems.

What could I do next with GCSE English Literature?

Progress to study a combined English Language / Literature A Level or individual Language or Literature courses, with a view to accessing further education to study syllabi such as English and Media. Potential careers include Librarian, Teaching, Digital copywriter, English as a Foreign Language Teacher, journalism (including sports, fashion etc.) Lexicographer, Proof-reader.

Steps to Success

English Literature

  • Re-read your GCSE set texts – A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls and Macbeth. You can also find the audio for all of the texts on YouTube if you would rather listen as you read.

  • Start revising now in small ‘chunks’ to take the pressure off later in the school year.

  • Learn your key quotes from your Key Quote Book. Test yourself or get someone to test you. Transfer them by theme or character onto revision cards and place them around your room / house so you see them often.

  • Create flash cards – put a question on one side and bullet point spaced answers on the other.

  • ‘Explode’ quotations – these are modelled in your Key Quote Books.

  • Use grids to analyse themes and characters – the English department have these for every text.

  • Remember that context needs to be revised for Macbeth and An Inspector Calls.

  • Revision guides are available for all of your set texts.

English Language

  • Read! Read! Read! You will have three unseen texts and need to be able to access C19th fiction and challenging modern non-fiction.

  • Research has shown that in order to comprehend a text we need to know an estimated 95% of its vocabulary.

  • You need to develop a daily reading habit and learn new vocabulary. If you read for twenty minutes a day, you’ll encounter an estimated 1,800,000 words over the course of a year whereas reading for only one minute a day will result in only 8,000 words.

  • For free online C19th Literature use: http://www.gutenberg.org/ or if you have a kindle you can download classic literature for free.

  • Revise using the extract question booklets. Plan answers / annotate the text according to the questions.

  • Plan / brainstorm writing questions using the packs provided. Practise a few striking openings / endings.

  • Find a good extract and revise by devising paper 1 or 2 questions for it.

  • Use an answer that your teacher has already marked and use the feedback to rewrite and improve it.

  • For the writing tasks, memorise good techniques that you have used and use them in every task. You can also pinch ideas from writers by reading and recording / learning good techniques that you come across in your reading.