English GCSE


English GCSE

Why should I study this course?

GCSE English will increase your chances of gaining better employment in your future career and is essential for most professions and university courses.

If you haven’t already achieved a 4 (C) in English, this is your chance! GCSE English is compulsory for all students who have a grade 3 (D). It is the basic qualification that employers look for; it means you will have access to a wide range of qualifications and you will find it easier to cope with higher level reading and writing tasks. It will help you improve your basic literacy skills by studying a range of exciting texts and by taking part in speaking and listening exercises that are part of everyday life.

STAFF BIOS: Ray Rumkee and Carmina Ripolles

What will I study?

You will take part in speaking and listening exercises that are part of everyday life and will study a range of exciting texts.

Paper 1: 20th Century Literature Reading Study and Creative Prose Writing (40%) 1 hour 45 minutes.

Section A (20%) – Reading (40 marks). In this section you will be expected to read one fiction text and then answer a range of comprehension questions based on this text.

Section B (20%) – Prose writing (40 marks). This section will test creative prose writing through one 40-mark task. You will be offered a choice of four titles giving opportunities for writing to describe and narrate, and imaginative and creative use of language.

Paper 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading Study and Transactional/Persuasive Writing (60%) 2 hours.

Section A (30%) – Reading (40 marks). In this section you will be expected to read two high-quality unseen non-fiction texts (about 900-1200 words in total), one from the 19th century, and the other from the 21st century. Non-fiction texts may include letters, extracts from autobiographies or biographies, diaries, reports, articles and digital and multi-modal texts of various kinds from newspapers magazines, and the internet. You will then answer a range of comprehension questions on both of the texts.

Section B (30%) – Writing (40 marks). This section will test transactional, persuasive and/or discursive writing through two equally weighted compulsory tasks (20 marks each). Across the two tasks you will be offered opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes, adapting style to form and to real-life contexts in, for example, letters, articles, reviews, speeches, etc.

Speaking and Listening: You will demonstrate your own ability to use spoken language effectively in a “Speaking and Listening” activity in the form of a presentation. This is graded separately to the rest of the qualification.

Examination board


How is the course assessed?

The speaking and listening assessment is internally marked and externally moderated. The two examinations are externally marked by the board.

What will the course prepare me for?

Careers in any area of life require strong reading and writing skills.

Private study

As an approximate guideline, GCSE subjects require 2 hours of independent study.

What materials will I need to provide?

You are expected to purchase writing materials, such as pens and paper.

How will I be taught?

You will have one (or maybe two) teachers who will guide you through the texts using a combination of individual study, group work, quizzes, essays, discussions and presentations. What you have to say is as valuable as what we do; you will be encouraged to grow and step out of your comfort zone as you develop as an academic student and as a young person.

This course is for you if...

...you are keen to improve your basic literacy skills in order to succeed in any life career. You will gain an essential qualification, required for access to many career and university choices.

Your application starts here

What are the course requirements?

A minimum of a Grade 3 (D) in English Language is required for this course.

If you are interested in joining the College we will arrange a meeting with an experienced subject counsellor who will help you to choose courses that best suit your ambitions and achievements.

All entry requirement details are correct at the time of publication; however, the College may need to make some changes in light of student demand, staff availability and external factors beyond the College's control.

What skills do I need?

  • Basic reading and writing skills
  • A willingness to work independently, as well as part of a team
  • We will help you with the rest!