GCSE English

Course Description

The subject of English aims to open the minds and creativity of every student, whether this be through the creation of imaginative texts, or through the analysis of characters in novels; every child has the potential to achieve their ultimate potential in English Language and Literature.


Every student will study both Language and Literature at GCSE in order to allow them to explore both aspects of English. The exam board studied is the Welsh Board (WJEC). All students will study this board for two years, beginning in September of Year 10 and all exams are taken in the summer term of Year 11.


Course Content


English Language

The skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening are of vital importance in many areas. Not only are they essential in many careers, they also underpin successful study at all levels, and a proficiency in them can also add immeasurably to an individual’s general quality of life. GCSE English Language require learners to write accurately and fluently, choosing content and adapting style and language to a wide range of forms, media, contexts, audiences and purposes. It also requires learners to become critical readers of a range of texts, including multimodal texts and at least one extended text.

English Literature

GCSE English Literature require that learners become critical readers of fiction and non-fiction prose, poetry and drama. They should experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations as found in literary texts and explore how texts from different cultures and traditions may reflect or influence values, assumptions and sense of identity. English Literature also requires learners to connect ideas, themes and issues, drawing on a range of texts from English, Welsh or Irish heritage and how these texts have been influential and significant over time and meaning today.



Component / Paper 1: 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Prose Writing

Written examination 1 hour and 45 minutes

40% of qualification


Section A (20%) Reading Understanding of one prose extract (about 60-100 lines) of literature from the 20th century assessed through a range of structured questions


Section B (20%) Prose Writing

One creative writing task selected from a choice of four titles


Component / Paper 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional / Persuasive Writing

Written examination: 2 hours

60% of qualification


Section A (30%) Reading Understanding of two extracts (about 900-1200 words in total) of high-quality non-fiction writing, one from the 19th century, the other from the 21st century, assessed through a range of structured questions


Section B (30%) Writing Two compulsory transactional/persuasive writing tasks

One presentation/speech, including responses to questions and feedback


Component 3: Spoken Language (non-assessed unit)

Achievement in Spoken Language will be reported as part of the qualification, but it will not form part of the final mark and grade.