Key Stage Four: GCSEs in Years 10 and 11























English Literature GCSE (exam board: AQA)

English Literature creates, build and sustains a love of books: novels, plays and poetry. This GCSE develops students’ ability to analyse plot, characters, themes, language and structural devices, and context. They will study old and modern texts, make comparisons between literary works and develop their ability to identify effects on the reader.

Students will study a range of texts; these texts will be chosen from such works as Shakespeare’s Macbeth, William Golding’s novel The Lord of the Flies, Dennis Kelly’s play DNA, Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Sign of Four, and poetry from a ‘power and conflict’ anthology both past and present.


Assessment is 100% examination:

  • Exam one: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (40% of qualification)
  • Exam two: Modern Texts and Prose (60% of qualification)

English Language GCSE (exam board AQA)

English language focuses on developing core literacy skills: reading and writing. This GCSE develops students’ ability to use and explore language in different contexts, and for different purposes and audiences. It also includes some analysis of literary and media texts. Students will have opportunities to write creatively and demonstrate their discussion and formal presentations.

Students will sit two examinations which assess both their reading and writing skills. A range of unseen fiction and non-fiction texts from 19th, 20th and 21st centuries will be provided in the examinations. Students will need to show a range of reading skills including comprehension, deduction, summary, analysis and evaluation. In addition, students will be required to produce extended pieces of writing which will include imaginative texts such as a narrative or descriptive piece as well as transactional writing such as a letter of application or a newspaper article. In both the reading and writing sections of the examinations, students’ literacy (spelling, punctuation and grammar) will be assessed.


Assessment is 100% examination:

  • Exam one: Reading and writing skills (50% of qualification)
  • Exam two: Reading and writing skills (50% of qualification)