Link to OFSTED Report
English Language and English Literature GCSEs
Specification: AQA

All assessment is through external examinations at the end of the two year course. The examinations are closed book, which means that no copies of studied texts will be available during the examination.

ENGLISH LITERATURE: The Exams
There are two English Literature exam papers. Both are taken at the end of Year 11.

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (1 hour 45 minutes)
40% of GCSE

For this paper, pupils will read and work on a Shakespeare play (eg “Macbeth” or “The Tempest”) and a 19th Century Novel (eg “Jane Eyre” or “Pride and Prejudice”).

Section A: Shakespeare
Pupils will answer one question on the Shakespeare play they have been studying.

Section B: The 19th-century novel
Pupils will answer one question on the 19th century novel they have been studying.

Paper 2: Modern texts and Poetry (2 hour 15 minutes)
60% of GCSE

For this paper pupils will read and work on a modern text (the drama “An Inspector Calls”) and a section of a poetry anthology provided by AQA. Pupils will also be taught skills to write about poems that they will see for the first time in the examination.

Section A: Modern texts
Pupils will answer one essay question from a choice of two on “An Inspector Calls”.

Section B: Poetry
Pupils will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from the section of the anthology that they will have studied.

Section C: Unseen poetry
Pupils will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE: The Exams
There are two English Language examination papers. Both will be taken at the end of Year 11

All texts used in the examinations will be unseen, meaning that pupils will be taught the skills needed to analyse texts, rather than the texts themselves.

Paper 1: Explorations In Creative Reading and Writing (1 hour 45 minutes)
50% of GCSE

Section A: Reading
This will be based on one literature fiction text (eg an extract from a novel) and will test comprehension skills. Pupils will answer 4 questions: 1 multiple choice (4 marks), 2 longer form analytical questions (8 marks) and 1 extended question (20 marks) about the text.

Section B: Writing
Pupils will be asked to write an original piece of either descriptive or narrative writing (there will be 24 marks for content and 16 for accuracy and sentence structure)

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (1 hour 45 minutes)
50% of GCSE

Section A: Reading
This will be based on one non-fiction text (eg a news article) and one literary non-fiction text (eg an extract from an autobiography) that are linked by theme or subject. Pupils will answer 4 questions: 1 short question (4 marks), 2 longer questions (8 marks + 12 marks) and 1 extended question (16 marks). The extended question will require pupils to compare the two texts.

Section B: Writing
Pupils will be asked to write an original piece that presents a viewpoint (discuss/argue/persuade) (there will be 24 marks for content and 16 for technical accuracy)





Also see related pages: Curriculum and Prospectus