School‎ > ‎Curriculum‎ > ‎

GCSE English, English Language, English Literature and Digital Communication

What will students study in Years 10 and 11?


Cambridge iGCSE English Language:

Students will study traditional English skills, accessed through a number of international and multi-cultural texts. The units acknowledge the importance of literacy and communication in modern society, and places an emphasis on empathy, inference and summary skills, as well as writing for specific audiences and purposes and in a range of genres.

The course comprises the following units:

Component 2: Examination (40%)Component 4: Coursework (40%)Component 5: Speaking and Listening (20%)

Students will read two texts on a linked theme:

Question 1: Students will transform Text 1 into a different style of writing, suitable for a different audience and purpose, writing in their own words.  They are marked on being able to identify relevant points in the source text and on their ability to adapt writing to their own words, concentrating on voice, vocabulary and structure.

Question 2:  Students are required to identify effective language features in Text 1 and explain their meaning and their effect.

Question 3:  Students will read both texts and produce a short summary (no more than half a side of A4) of each, including a number of relevant points on the topic or steer.

Students will produce three pieces of coursework:

Assignment 1: Writing to persuade and advise or to inform and explain

Students will craft a non-fiction text for a specific audience and purpose, on a topic studied in lessons.  Examples include:

●      An article persuading teenagers to attend festivals

●      A speech advising parents on the safety of Social Networking sites

●      An account of their Work Experience week in Year 10

Assignment 2: Creative Writing

Students will construct a piece of creative writing on topic studied in lessons, focusing on their skills in description, imagination and narration.

Assignment 3:  Responding and commenting

Students will produce a piece of writing in response to a text studied in class. They will have to give their views on a topic, review the source material and, at times, advise the writers of the original text of their concerns. Examples include:

A letter to the editor of a newspaper in which they give their views on a current affairs editorial An article in response to a collection of letters in a local newspaper, based on an issue in the locality

Students will present on a chosen topic and engage in a question and answer session.

Section 1 (4 minutes):  Students will present on a topic of their choice.  They will be marked on their ability to sustain a lively, engaging and appropriate talk, and on their ability to read without cues or scripts.  Examples include:

●      Room 101 - 3 things which they would like to remove from our society

●      The life and times of a celebrity

●      A book/play/film that has affected them

●      A news or current affairs story

Section 2 (6 minutes):  Students will engage in a question and answer session/conversation with the examining teacher, who will require them to expand on points made previously, consider alternate viewpoints or use the original source topic as a springboard into other debates.   


Edexcel Certificate Literature:

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore their literary interests and encourages them to develop the ability to read, understand and respond critically drama, poetry and prose. All students will study pre 20th Century Poetry, contemporary prose and drama from British heritage. This unit is 100% examination based, and is tested as a terminal examination.


The course comprises the following units:

Paper 1: Drama and Prose (60%)Paper 2: Unseen Texts and Poetry (40%)

British Heritage Drama: Students will study one play from either An Inspector Calls or Romeo and Juliet

Contemporary Prose from Other Cultures: Students will study one prose text from other cultures, in this case, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

In both texts, students will focus on the representation of character or theme through the study of language, setting, staging and culture in which the text was set/written. They will practise analysis skills and construction of essays in preparation for further and higher education.

Unseen Texts: Students will practise analysis of an unseen poem, based on a steer set by the examination board. They will have to consider the poet’s descriptive skills, choice of language and use of form and structure. Examples of past unseen poems include:

  • An Old Woman by Arun Kolatkar
  • Blessing by Imtiaz Dharker
  • The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

Poetry Anthology: Students will study 16 poems. They will learn to analyse both Pre-20th Century and contemporary poems from a variety of cultures and poets. They will practise analysis skills and construction of essays, as well as developing comparison, empathy and inference skills.