English Language GCSE

Length of course: 5 half-day or quarter-day sessions
Boards: Suitable for all boards

This course provides help with skills useful for GCSE English Language exams and is suitable for
Year 11 students sitting English Language GCSE with AQA, Edexcel, WJEC or OCR. These are
examinations that will be graded on the new 9-1 scale.

The course is split into 2 x 1.5 hours sessions per day: Responses to Reading and Writing.
Students may attend either session or both sessions. Students attending only one session are
charged at a pro rata rate.

Both sessions will draw on examples of exercises which will be taken from a variety of examination papers and explore different types of exam question, including an explanation of the different sections of the papers. There will also be a focus on exam technique and timing and what examiners are looking for in relationship to the different assessment objectives.

Specific content relating to each session is as follows:

Responses to Reading

Responding to different types of unseen texts:

  • Literary prose fiction (19th c and modern), eg extracts from novels and short stories
  • Non-fiction (19th c and modern), eg extracts from newspapers and magazines
  • Literary non-fiction (19th c and modern), eg speeches, autobiography, travel writing

Skills covered:

  • Information retrieval
  • Summarising ideas from one or more texts
  • Interpreting impressions and viewpoints
  • Explaining the writer’s attitude
  • Analysing the writer’s methods
  • Writing about language and structure
  • Writing about narrative technique
  • Comparing texts

The sessions aim to enable students to:

  • Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas. Select and synthesise evidence from different texts.
  • Explain, comment on and analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views.
  • Compare writers’ ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.
  • Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references.

Writing

Different types of writing covered:

  • Non-fiction or transactional writing
  • Personal or imaginative writing

Skills covered:

  • Planning writing responses
  • Interpreting writing questions: identifying audience, purpose and form
  • Different types of non-fiction writing (eg explain, inform, argue, persuade)
  • Different forms of non-fiction writing (eg letters, speeches, articles)
  • Narrative / recount writing
  • Writing to describe
  • Sentence structure and variety
  • Whole text structure and cohesion
  • Proofreading for spelling, punctuation and grammar

The sessions aim to enable students to:

  • Communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences.
  • Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts.
  • Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.