“Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them; one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry, or savour their songs” – Nelson Mandela

GCSE English Language and Literature are delivered concurrently across the two years of Key Stage 4. For English Language, students study a range of fiction, non-fiction and literary non fiction texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. They are thematically linked to the literature set texts, in order to deepen their understanding of them, whilst developing the key skills necessary to undertake the exams at the end of Year 11.

For English Literature, students study three whole literary texts and a cluster of thematically linked poems. Exams are terminal, assessed only at the end of Year 11 where students are required to write in detail about the printed extracts and the texts as a whole.

Course content

Extracts used for English Language will develop understanding of the set texts whilst preparing students for exams. Topics include: love and relationships; man and mind; power and politics, and conflict. Students will study a range of texts for English Literature:a Shakespeare play, a 19th Century novel, a modern drama and a cluster of thematically linked poetry from across time.

Skills developed

By the end of the two GCSE courses, students will have developed the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of texts. They will be able to infer and deduce meaning as well as being able to comment on how writers use language and structure to influence their readers.They will also have developed the skills they need to write clearly, imaginatively and effectively for a wide range of audiences and purposes, using language devices and technical accuracy to guide and manipulate the reader.


Description Length Percentage Comment
Written Exam 1 hour 45 mins 50 English Language Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
Written Exam 1 hour 45 mins 50 English Language Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives
Written Exam 1 hour 45 mins 40 English Literature Paper 1: Shakespeare and 19th Century Novel
Written Exam 2 hours 15 minutes 60 English Literature Paper 2: Modern Prose and Poetry


All careers and further education are linked to English.