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Dacorum Education Support Centre

Dacorum Education Support Centre


GCSE English Language

Study will follow the AQA exam board.  The GCSE course has been designed to cover a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20thand 21stcentury time periods. Students will be expected to explore viewpoints and attitudes through non-fiction reading, as well as be able to respond to a range of extracts exploring language, form and structure. In writing students will need to respond to a stimulus creating a narrative description and respond with a viewpoint either presenting an argument or persuading. Students will also complete a speaking and listening task. During the course of the year, students are encouraged to develop their reading and writing skills as well as developing a secure awareness of grammar. 

The exam consists of two equally balanced papers, relating reading sources to the topic and theme of writing tasks.

  • Paper 1: Explorations in Creative, Reading and Writing (50%)
  • Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (50%) 

GCSE English Literature

Study will follow the AQA exam board. Over the course of their study students will be expected to have knowledge of a whole Shakespeare text and respond in exam conditions by exploring Shakespeare’s intentions and his use of language form and structure. Students will also study a 20th century prose, again they will need to have knowledge of the whole novel for a closed book exam. Finally, students will also need to have knowledge of a modern play, exploring features of character and language for a closed book exam. As well as this, a range of poems from the AQA poetry anthology will be studied and preparation to approach unseen poetry. 

The exam consists of two papers.

  • Paper 1: Shakespeare play, 19thCentury novel. (40%)
  • Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry. (60%)

Functional Skills

The English Functional Skills course is designed to engage students to develop real-world, practical skills in the English language.  The freedom of the course allows the teacher to create schemes of work that suit the student’s interests, while also meeting the examination criteria. 

Initially, the course begins with analytical reading and comprehension of a wide variety of different texts.  Following on, the course leads the learner to think about types of audiences and then to begin writing for different purposes.  The course develops logically, balancing the needs of the learners to become comprehensive readers, creative writers, confident speakers and attentive listeners. 

Employers are great advocates of Functional Skills as it directly applies the practical uses of English to the real world and the work place.  

Step up to English

Step up to English helps Entry Level students build basic and relevant literacy skills and is suitable for students of all ages. The specification is fully co-teachable with GCSE English Language.

The specification encourages Entry Level students to develop the skills they need to read and understand a range of texts as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.

Students complete 2 components that link reading and writing. 

  • Component 1, Literacy Topics asks students to complete a number of reading and writing tasks based around a theme.
  • Component 2, Creative Reading and Writing asks students to respond to extracts from fiction and non-fiction texts and write creatively.