There have been a number of significant changes to how pupils will study English Language and Literature at GCSE. Most notably, courses are now linear in nature meaning that the majority of external examinations will now be sat at the end of Year11 rather than staggered throughout years 10 and 11. Most pupils will follow both a Language and Literature pathway whereby pupils will be awarded with two separate GCSEs. A small number of pupils will follow a Language Only pathway.
Pupils who are following this pathway will already be aware of this. However, depending on a pupil’s progress on the Literature course over the course of the two years, it may become appropriate for further pupils to move to this pathway. We will ensure that the decisions made will maximise their chances to achieve the best possible outcome in English. Some pupils may also be entered for Entry Level / English Pathway, if the Language course appears to be too demanding for them. It is possible to be entered for English Language and Entry Level.
GCSE ENGLISH LANGUAGE*
From Sept 2015 the English Language pathway for pupils has changed significantly. All external examinations will take place in Summer 2017. A major change is that there are no longer any tiers for this course- all pupils will sit the same tier. There is also no written Controlled Assessment. Controlled Assessment will take the form of two Oracy tasks (20% of the grade) which will be internally assessed but which will be digitally recorded for use by the Exam Board. There will still be two English Language examinations (Unit 2 and Unit 3) which will make up 80% of the grade. It is important to note that these exams will look very different to the current papers on the WJEC website.
The papers consist of the traditional extended answer questions, but there will also be shorter literacy tasks that will involve proof reading and editing, multiple choice and comprehension questions. Significantly, all written tasks carry a 50% weighting allocated to the marking of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG), which highlights the importance of secure literacy skills at this level.
GCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE*
While the content of the English Literature course has not changed significantly, the structure of the course has. Students will sit the Unit 1 English Literature examination (Of Mice and Men and Unseen Poetry worth 35%) in January of Year 10. The other Literature examination (Unit 2A/B worth 40%) will take place in May/June 2017.
The Controlled Assessment task has also slightly changed; students still study Shakespeare and Poetry, but in two separate assignments (both making up 12.5% each), whereby previously it was one combined assignment. Both Higher (A*-E) and Foundation Tier (C-G) are available for this course and staff will advise pupils on the best option to enable pupils to fulfil their potential. It is important to note that in all essay tasks marks are awarded for accurate Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar indicating the importance of secure literacy skills at this level. A significant weighting is also given for a pupils' ability to appreciate the context in which a text was written. it is therefore advisable for pupils to read around their set text and about the era in which it was written.
Texts studied are at the discretion of the class teacher and it is feasible that not all pupils will be studying the same texts at the same time over the course of Year10. Please note that texts will not be issued to pupils but will be available for use in class. All pupils will also be provided with links and access to electronic versions of set texts for use at home. It is however advised that where possible pupils purchase their own copy of the set text in order to annotate it with their own ideas.
Possible texts: (please check which text your child is studying before purchasing any text)
Unit 1 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Unit 2A An Inspector Calls by JB Priestley, Heroes by Robert
Unit 2B Blood Brothers by Willy Russell, Lord of the Flies by William