EXAM BOARD: AQA
TITLE: AQA GCSE English Language
All students are entered for GCSE English Language. The course covers a wide variety of skills in writing and reading both fiction and non-fiction texts. Exam preparation includes language work, analysis of fiction and non-fiction texts, and students’ own writing including accuracy in spelling, grammar and punctuation. Students will also complete an assessment in spoken language which is endorsed as part of their GCSE requirement but which is assessed separately.
Students are assessed in two separate areas and the combined marks from each unit give them their final GCSE grade.
Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing. This is an examination unit and requires students to answer questions on an unseen fiction source from 19th, 20th or 21st century and then to complete a compulsory writing task. The exam is worth 50% of total marks.
Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives. This is also an examination unit and requires students to answer questions on two unseen non-fiction sources from 19th, 20th or 21st century and then to complete a compulsory writing task. The exam is worth 50% of total marks.
Spoken Language Endorsement:
Students will also have to complete a formal presentation which is assessed for their speaking and listening skills including their use of accurate standard English. This will be assessed as pass, merit or distinction and a recording of this presentation may be required by the exam board as part of the moderation process.
The course aims to give students opportunities to develop their skills in reading, understanding and responding to a wide range of literary and non-literary texts; to appreciate the ways in which authors create their texts, and to understand the ways in which language and structure are used in the creation of the texts. Students will also learn how to respond to unseen texts, applying analytical skill to texts which they have not previously encountered, requiring students to draw upon their own knowledge and insight.
Students may also wish to progress on to A’Level English Literature or English Language and Literature.
Routes for Progression:
The course aims to develop the students’ skills in reading, understanding, responding to and evaluating a wide range of texts including fiction and non-fiction from c19th, c20th and c21st centuries. The course also encourages students to develop their own ideas and communicate them using an effective, appropriate style in both writing tasks, while also teaching them to analyse and discuss structure and language features. Paper 2 also requires the development of synthesis and comparative skills. The assessment of spelling, punctuation and grammar is a substantial part of the assessment of writing.
These skills are applicable to all aspects of employment and future study. For A’Level study, employment and university study, a GCSE English Language grade of 6 or above is usually a requirement. Students may also wish to progress on to A’Level English Literature or English Language and Literature, both of which are offered for Sixth Form study by the department.