Central, we begin preparations for G.C.S.E English in Year 9. In Key Stage
Four, current Year 11 students follow the Eduqas G.C.S.E courses for English
Language and English Literature. Years 9 and 10 have moved to follow the
Edexcel specification for both courses, as we believe this will be more accessible
for our students and ultimately improve their chances of success in the years
to come. Our curriculum meets the needs of the new G.C.S.E requirements set out
in 2015. The key points of the new G.C.S.E courses are as follows:
New grading scale
new grading scale of 9 to 1 is now used, with 9 being the top grade, which is
reserved for the top 10% of students in the entire country. Last summer, we had
six individuals from the departing Year 11 who came out with the highest grade
in English – a phenomenal achievement considering the national uncertainty
surrounding the new G.C.S.E criteria. In the new system, a grade 4 is
recognised as a “pass”, whilst a grade 5 is recognised as a “good pass”.
Assessment entirely by exam
will be by external examination at the end of the course. Tiered papers have
been removed resulting in all students sitting the same examination papers.
Students will be required to sit a total of four examinations; two for English
Language and two for English Literature. To help students prepare, they will
complete two full sets of Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs or mocks) for English
Language in November and March and one full set of papers for English
Literature in January.
New and more demanding content
the G.C.S.E reforms, there is now more demanding content, which has been
developed by the government and the examination boards. As a result, students
must now study a nineteenth century novel, with top sets exploring Robert Louis
Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr.
Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and other sets reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. All sets study the same
Shakespeare play – Romeo & Juliet – but
content is again differentiated in terms of the modern play, with top sets
reading J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector
Calls and other classes studying Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers. Finally, students are expected to explore a wealth
of poetry, all of which is outlined in the Eduqas (current Year 11) and Edexcel
(Years 9 and 10) anthologies.