Key Stage 4

Key Stage Four - Year 10 and Year 11 English

Year 10 is the start of the full GCSE courses, where students study content which will be examined at the end of Year 11. All students will sit two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. Both exams follow the new AQA specification, which is 100% examination at the end of the course and closed book for Literature.

English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

Section A: Reading - One unseen literature fiction text. Four questions.

Section B: Writing - Descriptive or narrative writing. One question.

1 hour 45 minutes      80 marks         50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Section A: Reading – Two unseen non-fiction texts. Four questions.

Section B: Non-Fiction writing. One question

1 hour 45 minutes      80 marks         50% of GCSE

 

 

English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

Section A: Shakespeare – Macbeth

Section B: 19th Century Novel – A Christmas Carol OR Frankenstein

1 hour 45 minutes      64 marks      40% of GCSE      Closed text

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry

Section A: Modern Text- Lord of the Flies OR An Inspector Calls

Section B: Poetry: Power and Conflict Anthology

Section C: Unseen Poetry

2 hours 15 minutes      96 marks      60% of GCSE      Closed text

 

Texts for English Literature

All Literature exams are closed text, so students will need to learn relevant quotations. Students are expected to provide their own copies of the Literature texts we are studying, so that they can make notes and revise from the text. Letters will be sent out from the English department advising them when to buy each text and students should make sure they have the correct edition of the texts, which can be found below. Some of these texts will be available to buy through Wisepay.

Macbeth:

Students will write an essay linking a given extract to the rest of the play. They will not have a choice of question. They will need to use quotations from the rest of the play, even though this is a closed book exam. They will also need to make links to the social and historical context of the novel. Students should spend 50 minutes on this question.

Frankenstein OR A Christmas Carol: 

Students will write an essay linking a given extract to the rest of the novel. They will not have a choice of question. They will need to use quotations from the rest of the novel, even though this is a closed book exam. They will also need to make links to the social and historical context of the novel. Students should spend 50 minutes on this question.

Lord of the Flies OR An Inspector Calls: 

Students will write an essay in response to a given question about a character, theme or symbol in the novel. They will have a choice of question and will need to use quotations in their answer, even though this is a closed book exam. They will also need to make links to the social and historical context of the text. Students should spend 45 minutes on this question.

Power and Conflict Anthology Poetry:

Students will write an essay comparing two poems that they have studied from the AQA anthology. They will need to use comparative connectives and use quotations from both poems, even though this is a closed book exam. They will also need to make links to the social and historical context of the poems. This anthology is provided by the exam board. Students should spend 45 minutes on this question.

Unseen Poetry:

Students will answer two unseen poetry questions. Firstly, they write an essay analysing a poem they have never seen before; they will then need to write a second essay, comparing the first unseen poem to another unseen poem. Students should spend 45 minutes on this section.

English Language Paper 1:

Students read one fiction extract and then answer 4 short questions testing their comprehension, inference and analytical skills. They will need to be able to analyse language and structure in a text, and find quotations from the text to support their analysis. They will then need to write a short story/description based on a photograph or written prompt.

English Language Paper 2:

Students read two non-fiction extracts and then answer 4 short questions testing their comprehension, inference, analytical and comparison skills. They will need to be able to summarise the two texts, analyse language in one of the texts, find quotations from the texts to support their ideas and comparison between texts. They will then need to write a letter/newspaper article/speech/leaflet giving their opinion on a statement.

Speaking and Listening Certificate:

Speaking and Listening is a compulsory part of the new English Language GCSE, which will be assessed as Pass, Merit, Distinction or Not Classified. It will not contribute to the overall result of the GCSE English Language qualification, but will be certificated separately. Candidates must undertake a prepared spoken presentation on a specific topic, and respond to questions on it.