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English Language GCSE

We offer a highly supportive and well-resourced one year course which is suitable for those students who have previously gained a Grade 3 in GCSE English Language and who would like to achieve grade 4 or higher in this subject.

Our one year course is an intensive programme designed to inspire and motivate all students, whilst providing appropriate stretch and challenge and career related skills and links. Importantly, the GCSE English Language is an essential qualification for progression onto A Level and many other Level 3 courses. It is also frequently required for university entry in the UK.

This is a linear 9-1 GCSE qualification. Students should be able to demonstrate that they have the commitment and motivation to complete the course and a grade D/3 in English GCSE or Functional Skills Level 2. A linear qualification means that students must sit all their exams at the end of the course in June. There are no tiers of entry for GCSE English; all students will sit the same exam papers.

Qualifications & Assessments

Exam Board AQA
Level Level 2
Qualification GCSE
Assessment Method Examination & Presentation
Entry Requirements Entry Requirements

Students must complete two examination papers for the AQA English Language GCSE. Each paper consists of two components, each worth 50% of the each paper: Section A (reading and analysing language) and Section B (an extended writing question) to be completed in 1 hour 45 minutes.

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

The focus of Language Paper 1, is to engage you in a piece of fiction and invite you to write creatively yourself by:

  • Reading a literature fiction text in Section A to explore how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage readers
  • Composing your own creative text in Section B, to demonstrate your narrative and descriptive skills in response to a written prompt, scenario or visual image.

Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

The focus of Language Paper 2, is to explore how writers show particular viewpoints and perspectives on issues or themes that link to the world around us.  It will invite you to demonstrate your skills by:

  • Reading two linked sources from different time from either 19th, 20th or 21st century non-fiction texts of varying genres, in order to consider how each presents a perspective or viewpoint to influence the reader
  • Composing your own piece to engage a specified audience, purpose and form in which you give your own perspective on the theme that has been introduced to you earlier in the paper

Non-Exam Assessment

GCSE English courses include a Spoken Language assessment, which takes the form of a presentation in class and responding to questions and feedback. This compulsory component is not part of the final weighting of the GCSE grade, however.

Whether you have decided your career path or are keeping your options open, achieving your GCSE English Language qualification will positively influence your further education and future career plans: for most jobs,a minimum of grade 4 is essential to access those opportunities.

Essentially, this qualification will enhance your CV and improve your employability prospects in a broad spectrum of areas.

Employers maintain that one of the most fundamental skills they look for in their employees is good communication skills and this means confident writing and presentation as well as speaking. Developing practical skills such as being able to write a strong covering letter, discussing ideas in a group or delivering engaging presentations can be essential in preparing for your dream career.

Essentially, this qualification will enhance your CV and improve your employability prospects in a broad spectrum of areas.

The English department run several trips throughout the year, including visits to the theatre and universities..

@aquinasEnglish English department on twitter

News & Blog

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