English Language

The GCSE course in English Language will involve you having to write stories, letters and newspaper articles as well as reading extracts from novels and journalism, some of which will be from the 1800's. We aim to make you more confident with your writing and discussing ideas in class. The Speaking and Listening element is marked separately and you can, if you want, just keep your score from your previous school. If you are having to re-take English, you may not feel happy about it. However, we really do our best to make it interesting by looking at exciting topics. Of course, we also help you to develop the core skills you need to pass this time.

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What will I study?

You will study short stories as well as articles from newspapers in addition to writing your own pieces.  We will approach this through looking at specific topics which we think will interest you such as Crime and Punishment, War and Childhood.  If you've done your Speaking and Listening before at school, you won't have to do it again. 

How will I learn?

There are two exams, both of which involve Reading and Writing.  The first one asks you to answer questions on a passage from a story as well as writing your own narrative.  The second one also has a set of questions but this time it is on two articles, one of which is from the past.  In addition, you have to complete two pieces of writing such as an email or letter.  In class, we are basically working on your skills to ensure you can do these four tasks really well.

Are there any specific entry requirements?


Careers Information

English Language graduates develop a wide range of skills that are valuable to graduate employers including: how to argue a point, how to think independently, to summarise and précis, to write and speak well, to write reports, to present information effectively and to work as part of a team.  For students progressing into Higher Education and most employment opportunities will require a minimum of a grade 4 in English.


Can I score higher than a grade 4?

You can, especially now the paper is not split into Higher and Foundation.  The sky (or, more accurately, 9) is the limit!.

What qualification do I need to get on the course?

If you have taken GCSE English before, we expect you to have a 3.  If you got an 2 or lower, you should do the Functional skills course initially where you should have a better chance of passing.  If you have not taken the course before, we will assess you at the start to find the right course for you.

Is there a lot of homework?

There is some but we try to get as much as your work done in class.  We have two 90 minute sessions per week so have plenty of time to get through the course.

Can I take English Literature at GCSE?

You can’t at the college.  We only offer English Language (although you do get to work on a play for part of the year).