GCSE English Language
All students take both English and English Literature at GCSE. There is also a compulsory separate accreditation in Speaking and Listening.

The pass rate for both GCSE courses at A*-C is usually 99% with high proportions of A*/A grades. A*-B grades in both GCSE’s are consistently 85%.

GCSE English Language is taught in 4 lessons per week.

The New GCSE reforms have brought about new specifications for both GCSE English Language and English Literature. These will be assessed for the first time in 2017.

This subject is compulsory at GCSE.

2017 specification

GCSE English Language 8700

This is a new specification and is being delivered currently to both Year 10 and Year 11 students.

As part of the GCSE English Language course, students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus and engage with creative as well as real and relevant contexts.

This specification will ensure that students can read fluently and write effectively. Students will be able to demonstrate a confident control of standard English and write grammatically correct sentences, deploying figurative language and analysing texts.

In GCSE English Language lessons students will have the opportunity to:

  • Read a wide range of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including literature and literary non-fiction as well as other writing such as reviews and journalism
  • Read and evaluate texts critically and make comparisons between texts
  • Summarise and synthesise information or ideas from texts
  • Use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing
  • Write effectively and coherently using standard English appropriately
  • Use grammar correctly and punctuate and spell accurately
  • Acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Listen to and understand spoken language and use spoken standard English effectively.
gcse english language

How is This Subject Assessed?

GCSE English Language is assessed in two written exam papers at the end of the two year course.

2 x 1 hr 45 min exams

Paper 1: Reading 1 unseen literature text and Writing descriptive or narrative writing

Paper 2: Reading 1 unseen non fiction  and 1 literary none fiction text and Writing to present a view point

Each paper is equally weighted.

There is a compulsory but separate accreditation for Speaking and Listening. This is assessed in the form of a presentation in class.

The Speaking and Listening accreditation is awarded at the end of the two year course.

GCSE English Language cannot be awarded without the completion of the Speaking and Listening element.

english language gcse