The Skipton Academy

KS4 English

Year 11

AQA English Language and English Literature

All Students are sitting 2 GCSE’s in English both English Language and English Literature.

The priority in the autumn term of Year 11 is completion of the English Literature GCSE Controlled Assessment which is titled ‘The significance of Shakespeare and the English Literary Heritage’. Here specifically at the Academy we are studying Romeo and Juliet with a wide selection of Literary Heritage poetry.

Focus thereafter shifts to refining examination skills for English Language and coverage of the prose and poetry necessary for the English Literature paper – we are studying ‘An Inspector Calls’ for the Literature exam and do encourage students to buy their own copies of this so that can make full and extensive notes.

All controlled assessments are first assessed by their teacher and subject to internal and external moderation. In English Language, Controlled Assessments account for 40% of the final grade and, in Literature, 25%. Speaking and Listening is assessed within the classroom and students will receive a separate award for this from AQA once marks have been verified.

For English Language, Students should expect continuous assessment of examination skills which will culminate in a mock exam within the first term of Year 11; a further mock before Easter and the final exams in the summer of Year 11. There is 1 exam paper which tests reading and writing skills. Likewise, for English Literature, students should expect timed essays in class and for homework throughout Year 11 as a key part of their preparation for the terminal exams. Your son/daughter will sit 2 papers: 1 poetry and 1 prose.


English Language – Examination 2017

The English Language GCSE specification will enable students of all abilities to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.

The English Language GCSE now has no Coursework or Controlled Assessment component and is solely examined at the end of Year 11.

Students are assessed using two equally-balanced papers, relating reading sources to the topic and theme of writing tasks. The reading sources act as stimulus for writing tasks, providing students with a clear route through each paper. Each paper has a distinct identity to better support high quality provision and engaging teaching and learning.

Paper 1, Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, looks at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers.

Paper 2, Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives, looks at how different writers present a similar topic over time.

Although Speaking and Listening is not formally used to add to a student’s GCSE overall grade our approach to this area will emphasise the importance of the wider benefits that speaking and listening skills have for students. Students will be given a separate grade for this element of English.

The specification offers a skills-based approach to the study of English Language in an untiered context; all students will sit the same exam. Questions are designed to take students on an assessment journey through lower tariff tasks to more extended responses.


English Literature – Examination June 2017

The English Literature GCSE specification has been developed to incorporate assessment strategies that support students’ achievement in an untiered, closed book context through the use of extract-based questions in the assessment of the 19th-century novel and the Shakespeare plays. Therefore all students will be being prepared for the same 2 exam papers and will be prepared to sit exams without copies of the texts in front of them. A wide choice of texts will be offered to students: An Inspector Calls, Macbeth, A Christmas Carol and a wide range of Literary Heritage poetry.

Paper 1, Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

Paper 2, Modern texts and Poetry

The specification takes a skills-based approach to the study of English literature that is consistent across the genres. As per English Language this GCSE is 100% tested through final examinations in Year 11.


GSCE Legacy Specification – Examination June 2016

English Language – Examination 2016

This is a combined course with elements of Language and Literature. Students will learn how to improve your writing skills developing their ability to structure ideas and to write effectively for different audiences and purposes. They will learn how to read a wide variety of texts with insight and develop their own responses. They will look closely at how language and presentational devices are used in newspapers, magazines, web pages and advertisements. They will also explore techniques used by other writers including writers of prose. Students will investigate spoken language in a variety of contexts; for example in the media and in text messaging. They will learn how to speak clearly in a manner that will grab the audience’s attention and develop speaking skills.


Understanding and producing non-fiction texts, (external examination). 60% of total GCSE marks. Speaking and listening is assessed separately and will be awarded a separate level. Understanding spoken and written texts and writing creatively (controlled assessment). 40% of total GCSE marks. Three tasks - one is response to extended reading; the second, two pieces of creative writing; and the third, a spoken language study task.


English Literature – Examination 2016

Students will develop an awareness of how contextual influences can impact on a text. They will read some classic texts from literary history and focus on how they were written to intrigue their audiences. They will learn to analyse the language used by writers and learn about how form and structure contributes to the meaning of a text. Students will read an anthology of modern and classic poems and analyse key themes such as violence, love, relationships and death. They will compare the attitudes of the poets towards these themes. They will study the significance of Shakespeare and other texts from our literary heritage.


Unit 1: Exploring modern texts, (external examination). 40% of total GCSE marks. Unit 2: Poetry across time, (external examination). 35% of total GCSE marks. A comparison of two poems from an anthology and a response to an unseen poem. Unit 3: The significance of Shakespeare and the English Literary Heritage (controlled assessment). A task which requires links to be made between a Shakespeare play and another text from the English Literary Heritage.

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