GCSE English Language

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel

Why should I choose this subject

This is a core subject and therefore compulsory.

What does the subject consist of?

This course explores the written word and develops pupils’ ability to write with precision, power and flair. Pupils read and analyse a range of fiction, poetry and nonfiction extracts as part of the course, whilst being encouraged to read widely of their own volition. English Language is vital for academic attainment across the curriculum, so honing functional writing skills is a key priority: pupils learn to write accurately with ambitious yet precise vocabulary, using coherent structures to present their ideas in the clearest possible way.

How is the subject assessed?

This subject is now 100% exam based.

  • 60% of the grade comprises an analysis and comparison of ten non-fiction extracts, alongside a transactional writing prompt.
    18 marks are available for spelling, punctuation and grammar, which are marked in the writing part of this exam.
  • 40% of the grade is allocated to a second paper with two pieces: an analytical essay based on two prose or poetry texts, and an imaginative writing composition.

Whom does the subject suit?

This subject comes to life in the hands of pupils who are interested in topical issues, real-life human stories and who are willing to pursue their own interests and curiosities. Great preparation for this GCSE is wider reading and listening, using all kinds of writing and broadcast media: written fiction and non-fiction, plus documentary-style radio or film.

What else should pupils consider before choosing this subject?

This is not an optional subject and pupils’ written expression will be under scrutiny. They will need to invest fully in every opportunity they are given to expand their vocabulary and improve spelling, punctuation and grammar. It will pay dividends in this exam.