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KS4 English

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” – Richard Steele

KS4 summary

English is a compulsory ‘core subject’ at GCSE and all students are entered for both the English Language and English Literature GCSE qualifications. Students currently study the AQA specification for both papers which tests their independent reading skills of unseen texts from 19th-20th Centuries, their ability to write within a given brief, and their understanding of a range of Literature texts from the 16th-21st Centuries. As with KS3, our primary aim at KS4 is to foster a love of English and a confidence within it for all of our students.

English Language

All students studythe AQA GCSE English Language qualification.  They will buiild on their time in KS3 by continuing to work on improving their technical and communication skills across the syllabus.  The course will involve looking closely at both their and others’ use of language in different styles of writing and exploring a wide range of texts.  They will be encouraged to engage in a wide range of reading from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries.  Speaking and listening is still a compulsory component, in the form of spoken language, but is now awarded as a separate endorsement from the GCSE qualification.  As this course is now linear, there is no coursework and students are assessed by two exams at the end of Year 11.


Course description/assessment:
Paper % of the grade Content
Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing 50% 4 reading questions on one unseen text from 20th or 21st  Century prose fiction


1 creative writing question from a choice of 2 questions

Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives 50% 4 reading questions on two unseen prose texts from the 19th Century and the 20th or 21st Century


1 writing question (no choice)

Spoken Language Assessment This is a separately-endorsed non-exam assessment awarded a Distinction/Merit/Pass/Fail.


NB: it is a compulsory element of GCSE English Language and students cannot be awarded their final grade if they fail to complete their Spoken Language Assessment

An individual presentation (usually on a subject matter of the student’s choice) in a formal context to an audience of their peers.

Following their presentation, candidates are assessed on their ability to answer questions during a ‘live Q&A session’.

English Literature

In addition to English Language, all GCSE students also embark upon the study of English Literature in Year 10.  They will study a range of texts including a 19th Century novel, a play by Shakespeare and a range of poetry from the last 300 years, giving thgem an insight into some of the skills required at AS and A Level.  Their creative ability will be developed through reading and writing and they will be encouraged to engage in wider reading in order to inspire them further.   As with English Language, this course is now linear so there is no coursework and students are assessed by two exams at the end of Year 11.


Course description/assessment:
Paper % of the grade Content
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel 50% 1 extended-essay question (close-book) on the Shakespeare play studied in class


1 extended-essay question (close-book) on the 19th Century novel studied in class


Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry 50% 1 extended-essay question (close-book) on the modern-text studied in class


1 extended comparative essay on the 15 poems studied (close-book)


1 analytical question on an unseen poem


1 shorter comparative question with a second unseen poem

Literature Paper 2 MARKSCHEME.pdf

Literature Paper 2.pdf

Literature Paper 1 MARKSCHEME.pdf

Literature Paper 1.pdf

Language Paper 2 MARKSCHEME.pdf

Language Paper 2.pdf

Language Paper 1 MARKSCHEME.pdf

Language Paper 1.pdf1273K

Language Paper 2 INSERT.pdf

KS4 English Curriculum Overview.pdf