English GCSE

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

The course provides help with skills useful for GCSE English exams and is suitable for Year 11 students sitting English GCSE with AQA, Edexcel or OCR.  A separate course is offered for students sitting International GCSE (IGCSE) English.

Examples of exercises will be taken from a variety of examination papers.  Sessions will include:

  • Writing to persuade, argue, advise
  • Writing to inform, explain, describe
  • Writing to explore, imagine, entertain
  • How to analyse media and non-fiction texts
  • Distinguishing fact and opinion
  • Identifying presentational features in a media text
  • Identifying poetic techniques
  • Structuring a poetry essay
  • Tips for writing under time pressure
  • Analysing, reviewing and commenting
  • Skimming and scanning skills
  • Identifying the main features of an argument
  • How to summarise a text

The following areas will be covered and will take into account the specific needs of the students within a particular group:

  • Different types of exam question: An explanation of the different sections of the papers
  • Exam technique/ Essay skills: Timing and structure
  • What examiners are looking for: The different assessment objectives will be explained
  • Writing from a stimulus: Short stories, novel extracts, biography/autobiography/speeches, newspaper/magazine articles, travel writing, diaries/letters, advertisements/leaflets/brochures, web pages
  • Revision tips: Preparing for the exam, advice for the final weeks of revision

The aims of the revision course are to:

  • Enable students to communicate accurately, appropriately and effectively in speech and writing
  • Enable students to understand and respond appropriately to what they hear, read and experience
  • Encourage students to enjoy and appreciate a variety of language
  • Complement students’ other areas of study by developing skills of a more general application (eg  analysis, synthesis, drawing of inferences)
  • Develop the ability to read, understand and respond to material from a variety of sources, and to recognise and appreciate themes and attitudes and the ways in which writers achieve their effects
  • Develop the ability to construct and convey meaning in written language, matching style to audience and purpose.
  • Organise ideas into sentences, paragraphs and whole texts using a variety of linguistic and structural features
  • Use a range of sentence structures effectively, with accurate punctuation and spelling 

Please note that although GCSE English includes the study of selected texts, the choice of texts varies from school to school. As a result, revision of texts will not be included in this course.  However, some texts may be used to teach skills-based work. Students requiring revision of specific texts should arrange 1:1 tuition via the Course Director.