English (KS4)


Examination Board: AQA

English Language – Specification

English Literature – Specification 


Courses Description

English Language and English Literature are two GCSE courses which must be taken together. These courses will be examined at the end of Year 11 in the summer of 2018.  There is no coursework element.  There are also no tiers – all students take the same examinations.

During the courses, students will develop their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills.  They will read a number of texts, including a Shakespeare play, modern prose or drama, poetry, 19th century fiction and nonfiction. Students will be externally examined.  It is very important that students continue to develop their reading skills by reading for pleasure as well.  Students will write for a range of audiences and purposes.   They will also complete a number of speaking and listening assessments.

All students study both courses whichever groups they are in and all grades up to the new Grade 9 can be obtained in all groups.  Students will be expected to be active participants and contribute their ideas; students will also be expected to work independently at home.  Students will continue to work in pairs and groups on a regular basis.



Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Written exam: I hour 45 minutes    50% of GCSE

 Section A : Reading

  • One literature fiction text

Section B: Writing

  • Descriptive or narrative writing

Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives

Written exam : 1 hour 45 minutes 50% of GCSE

Section A: Reading

  • One nonfiction text and one literary nonfiction text

Section B : Writing

  • Writing to present a viewpoint


English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th– century novel

Written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes  40% of GCSE

 Section A: Shakespeare

Section B: The 19th – century novel.


Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

Written exam : 2 hours 15 minutes      60% of GCSE

 Section A: Modern prose or drama text

Section B: Poetry from an anthology

Section C: Unseen poetry


 Why study English Language and Literature?

 English is a core subject that employers and institutions of further education will look for, however it offers much more.

By studying English you are learning to develop your communication skills, to become critical receivers of information and to engage with the wider world around you. Studying Literature in particular, will help to enhance your understanding of cultural heritage, but will also allow you the opportunity to learn about and experience other ways of living, improving your empathetic skills and broadening your horizons.

By studying English, “you develop the insight of an artist, the analytical precision of a scientist and the persuasiveness of a lawyer.” Prof. Maureen Moran, Brunel University.


Further information about the courses can be obtained from Mrs A. Bull (KS4 Co-ordinator) or Mrs K. Hersh (Head of English faculty)