GCSE English Language

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Exam Board and Specification Code: Edexcel (4EA1)

The Course
The objectives of this course are to improve the student’s ability to read fluently and critically and write with clarity and confidence, using the correct terminology. 

Reading: The students are offered a range of fiction and non-fiction extracts, short stories and poems from, the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries which explore themes, ideas, experiences and information from many cultures around the world.  Students consider the ways in which various writers, with a specific purpose in mind, create effect and impact for readers through their use of language and structure.  Learning to evaluate, draw inference and identify bias are some of the skills students acquire through close, shared reading of challenging texts. They develop the ability to organise their insights into cohesive analysis, defending and supporting their views with relevant, appropriate evidence from the texts being studied.

Writing: Naturally, we also focus on producing increasingly confident and controlled prose employing an ever-widening range of vocabulary and punctuation.  As students’ perceptions into the ways in which writers strive to move and manipulate their audience sharpen, they begin to replicate these techniques in their own writing. We offer students opportunities to write for different audiences and purposes, to stretch their ability to select and organise facts, details and opinions deliberately and effectively.  The classroom ethos is centred on collaboration and the chance to read and write with peers has proven to be very helpful in showing young people how powerful and persuasive writers can be at any age.

What skills do I need?
The English Language is a core subject and achieving a GCSE qualification in this subject at grade 4 or above is generally a perquisite to continue your studies at a centre for further learning. The skills acquired will help students be successful in many other subjects, as well as prepare them to be clear communicators in the world of work.

How is the course assessed?
While written work will be assessed throughout the year, including several phases of mock exams, the qualification is awarded based on the student’s performance in two exam papers at the end of the academic year.  Paper One is presented in two parts, each worth 45 marks.  The first half concentrates on a non-fiction text the class will have read together, and moves from straightforward comprehension and summary tasks to more demanding analysis, including a comparison to an unseen text.  The second half invites candidates to produce a piece of writing intended to either inform or persuade on a topic often related to the one of the themes explored in the extract used in the first section of the exam.  Paper Two is two questions, each worth 30 marks, one an evaluative piece on a fiction extract with which the class will be familiar and the other an imaginative piece of writing.  Spelling, punctuation and grammar are assessed in the pieces of writing in which the students are writing creatively, but not in the analytical writing, where the students ability to share insights and support them are given a higher profile.


IGCSE English as a First Language:

Pearson Edexcel IGCSE (9-1) English Language A Student Book 2nd Edition:
David Grant (Pearson Education: ISBN-13: 978-1292440002)




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