What is the course about?
The focus of the GCSE English Language course is to develop the skills of analysing, evaluating and comparing the use of language and structure across a range of English texts in order to deepen your understanding of how language is used to inform, persuade, entertain and provoke reflection. If you are considering taking this course in September, you are recommended to get reading now! Novels, newspaper articles, blogs…all genres will be valuable.
There will be two examinations at the end of the year-long course. You must be able to attend both of these dates (which will be given to you at the start of the course, so employers etc can be notified and the time booked off work etc).
The first examination will ask you to demonstrate your ability to analyse and evaluate a previously unseen 19th century text. You will also have to write a piece of imaginative writing. The second examination will ask you to demonstrate all the above skills when reading two previously unseen texts, and then to write a piece of transactional writing. Your spelling, grammar and punctuation will be assessed, but please be aware this course is not an ESOL course.
Is a pre-enrolment interview or assessment required for this course?
Yes, please contact our customer services before enrolling.
What level is the course and do I require particular skills, experience or prior qualifications?
"This is a level 2 course. Before you can enrol, you will need to have an initial assessment and an interview to ensure the course is the correct level for you. For students whose English is a second language a Level 2 ESOL qualification is required or an ESOL initial assessment to show that you are working at Level 2. A full assessment of English Language will be conducted before enrolment."
We interview every applicant to ensure they have chosen the correct course for their learning needs and interests, and to discuss the requirements of the course. Key questions we ask, and you will need to be able to answer are:
• Why are you applying for a GCSE course? (For example, for access to higher education; because it is an employment requirement; for personal interest and development.)
• Can you commit to the three hour lesson every week AND an extra three hours of study outside the classroom every week?
• Can you buy or enable access to the key textbooks to support your studies throughout the year?
What topics does the course cover?
There are three strands to the assessment.
1. Paper 1 examination will be in May or June (set nationally). The focus is reading extracts from 19th Century fiction (for example, Charles Dickens, Mary Shelley, George Elliot and Fyodor Dostoevsky) and you will complete an imaginative piece of writing.
2. Paper 2 examination in June (set nationally). The focus is on reading extracts from 20th and 21st Century non-fiction texts and writing transactional text such as writing letters, articles, speeches, reviews.
3. You be assessed at the centre during Term 2 on speaking and listening and will be required to produce a 6-7 minute presentation on a topic of your choice. This will NOT form part of the final GCSE grade, but will be on your certificate with a grade: Pass, Merit or Distinction.
How will I be taught and assessed?
You will attend lessons at the college where you will participate in pair and small group work as well as whole class teaching. You will read a number of extracts from 19th, 20th and 21st century texts to practise and improve the required skills over the year.
Homework tasks will be set to allow for specific feedback and you will use Century, an online educational platform, where you can follow a personalised learning pathway to support your learning int the classroom.
Mock exams will take place at the end of Term 1 and Term 2 so grades can be predicted for the final exam, and relevant targets can be set for you to ensure progress is made towards the grade you need to achieve. One-to-one meetings during the year will offer you the chance to talk to your tutor about your progress.
Are there any other costs or equipment I need to get?
You will be required to buy specific text books which will be used throughout the course. A reading list, including the names of the required text books, will be sent out once your enrolment is complete. You will be expected to organise all course notes and resources you are given to enable efficient revision for the examinations, so you are asked to bring your own notebooks, folders and highlighter pens to support this.
By the end of the course what should I be able to do?
Your reading and writing skills will have developed very well and you should be able to follow a level 3 vocational programme of study confidently and competently.
What are the progression opportunities following this course?
The GCSE is a stand-alone qualification that many people want to achieve because they didn't have a chance to complete it at school. The GCSE qualification is also a useful Level 2 certificate recognised by employers and further and higher education providers.