KS4 English

At Cardinal Newman, we follow a three year GCSE curriculum from Years 9 to 11, in order to best prepare our students for their linear GCSE examinations in English Language and Literature.

All students are working towards the WJEC Eduqas GCSEs in English Literature and English Language. Both qualifications will provide the students with a GCSE grade 1-9 and will be assessed as 100% examination.

GCSE English Literature

English Literature at GCSE level is the study of literature from 1914 until the present day. Students will study a wide range of texts such as prose, plays and poetry, and are expected to read widely and independently outside of the curriculum. The skills required are:

  • Read, understand and respond to texts
  • Identity and interpret both explicit and implicit meaning
  • Analyse and explore how language and structure are used for effects
  • Identify subject terminology and use in responses to texts
  • Be critical and evaluative in responses to texts
  • Make connections between texts and the times in which they were written

Students will complete two linear examinations for their English Literature GCSE. Details of these examinations are as follows:

WJEC Eduqas English Literature

Exam

Content

Time

Weight

1.

A) Shakespeare (Macbeth)

Students will answer one extract-based question from a section of the play, and then a second open question on the play as a whole.

 

B) Poetry

Students will answer one question on a provided poem from the Eduqas Anthology, and then a second comparative question.

 

 

 

2 hours

 

 

 

20%

 

 

 

20%

 

 

(Overall 40%)

2.

A) Post 1914 Prose/Drama (In Inspector Calls)

Students will answer an extract-based question from a section of the text but will be expected to refer to the play as a whole in their response.

 

B) 19th Century Prose

Students will answer an extract-based question from a section of the text but will be expected to refer to the play as a whole in their response.

C) Unseen Poetry

Students will respond to two unseen poems. The first question will be on one poem, the second will require comparison between two poems.

 

 

 

 

 

2 hours, 30 mins

20%

 

 

 

20%

 

 

 

 

20%

 

(Overall 60%)

Dates for the 2017 examinations are TBC.

Set texts

With the new GCSE reforms, all examinations for the English Literature are closed book. This means that students will not be allowed copies of texts in the exams with them. Students are therefore required to take responsibility for purchasing and knowing the set texts and revising independently to ensure their success.

The expectation is that all students purchase the following texts:

  • An Inspector Calls (J.B. Priestley)
  • A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
  • Macbeth (William Shakespeare)

In addition, it is imperative that students have a copy of:

  • Eduqas Poetry Anthology

All students will be given an official Eduqas Anthology in Year 10; these must be kept safe in students’ English folders at all times. If any student misplaces their anthology at any point in KS4, they must see their English teacher immediately for a replacement.

Revision Guides and Resources

Due to the nature of the linear examinations, students will be more successful the earlier equipped they are with revision materials and resources.

The English Department will provide students with the following:

  • An Inspector Calls Revision Guide
  • A Christmas Carol Revision Guide
  • Macbeth Revision Guide
  • Eduqas Poetry Revision Guide
  • Unseen Poetry Revision Guide

Additionally, the following revision materials would further support with students’ learning and are available on Amazon or from any other main retailers such as Waterstones:

  • GCSE English Text Guide – An Inspector Calls (CPG Books 2015)
  • An Inspector Calls: York Notes for GCSE (9-1) 2015
  • Macbeth: York Notes for GCSE (9-1) 2015
  • GCSE English Text Guide: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (CPG Books 2015)
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: York Notes for GCSE 2015
  •  New GCSE English Literature WJEC Eduqas Anthology Poetry Guide – for the 9-1 course *available August 2016*
  •  

Some of these revision guides may be available from the English Department for a small cost. See Miss Kelly Grieve for further information.

 

Revision tips for English Literature

  1. Know the text/poem! Read, read, and read some more. The more times you have read a text, the better you will understand it and more critical your evaluation will be come. You should have read each text at least three times before your exam.
  2. Make mind-maps for each character in a text. Include everything you know about them, and short, key quotes from the text. Remember to include how the character is presented at the start of the text, during the middle, and at the end – if there are any changes in character, add these (with short phrase quotations!) to your mind-maps.
  3. Make posters for each theme evident in the texts. Include a definition of the theme and an overall comment about how the theme is displayed in the text. Include the main characters who link to that particular theme, with short phrase quotations to support your ideas.
  4. Create a list of possible essay questions. Think character, theme and changes in the text – what essay questions could you come up with yourself? Create a list of all the possible questions you could be asked.
  5. Timed essay plans. Choose an essay question and practise planning an essay for the question. Remember to include an overview in response to the question, and then the key characters, with key quotations that you could talk about in the essay. Try to reduce your planning time each time you plan; aim to only spend five minutes planning.
  6. Essays! Choose a question (ideally one you think you would struggle with in the exam!), plan it, and then have a go at constructing your response. Try your best to NOT use your text – after all, you won’t have this with you in the exam. Try to reduce the time you spend on your essay responses. Ultimately, you should be using the exam timings to aid you in your responses.
  7. Podcasts. Have a search and see what Podcasts/Apps are available to help your revision. You’ll be surprised how much is out there! Listen to these at night time; it all will help.
  8. BBC Bitesize. This website is still a truly valuable resource – use it! Search the text you are studying and explore Bitesize. Make notes on each section on A4 paper, then reduce your notes to A5 and then try to reduce to one post-it note. See how much you can remember.

 

GCSE English Language

GCSE English Language is the study of how language is used from the 19th Century to the present day. Students will study and explore the use of language and structure in a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction texts. The skills required for English Language are:
 

Reading:

  • Read, understand and respond to texts
  • Identity and interpret both explicit and implicit meaning
  • Analyse and explore how language and structure are used for effects
  • Identify subject terminology and use in responses to texts
  • Be critical and evaluative in responses to texts

Writing

  • Communicate and organise ideas effectively
  • Accurate use of spelling, punctuation and grammar

Students will complete two linear GCSE examinations for the English Language. The details of the exams are as follows:

WJEC Eduqas English Language

Exam

Content

Time

Weight

1.

A) 20th Century Literature Reading

Students have one extract to read from the 20th Century and will answer five structured questions about the text.

 

B) Creative Prose Writing

Students will choose one out of four possible titles to write about.

 

 

 

1 hour, 45 mins

 

 

 

20%

 

 

 

20%

 

(Overall 40%)

 

2.

A) 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading

Students have two extracts to read; one from the 19th Century, one from the 20th, both linked by theme. They will answer six structured questions: two on each text and two comparison questions.

 

B) Transactional/ Persuasive Writing

Students will respond to two transactional (persuasive) writing task titles.

 

 

 

2 hours

30%

 

 

 

30%

 

(Overall 60%)

 

 

 

Revision Guides and Resources

Due to the nature of the linear examinations, students will be more successful the earlier equipped they are with revision materials and resources.

The following revision materials would support with students’ learning and are available on Amazon or from any other main retailers such as Waterstones:

  • Revise WJEC Eduqas in English Language Revision Guide (2015)
  • WJEC Eduqas GCSE English Language: Student book 1: Developing the skills for Component 1 and Component 2 (2015)
  • WJEC Eduqas GCSE English Language: Student book 2: Developing the skills for Component 1 and Component 2 (2015)

 

Revision tips for English Language

 

Paper 1 (20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Prose Writing)

  1. Learn and know language devices (both literary and linguistic). You will need to identify these in Section A of Paper 1, and be able to use these in your own writing in Section B of Paper 1. The better you know them, the easier this will be! Try the following:
  • Get a full list of devices from your teacher
  • Make your own glossary with your own definitions and examples
  • Make flash cards, with the definition on one side and the device on the other side – get a friend or family member to test you and see how many you can remember!

 

  1. Read widely. Research and read as many texts as you can from the 20th Century. The more you read, the more likely you will have read the text that comes up! Try a few listed below:
  • The Great Gatsby by Scott Fitzgerald
  • Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  • To Kill a Mockinbird by Harper Lee
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

 

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/6

 

  1. Make a list of possible ‘titles’ that could be given for your creative writing. These should be open to interpretation. Ideas could include:
  • The Last Time
  • Justice
  • A Strange Place

 

  1. Write response to example titles, keeping in mind your writing Success Critieria. Pass these to your teacher to have a look at and to offer some feedback for improvement. Remember to stick to the exam timings! You should spend approximately ten minutes planning, and fifty minutes writing.

 

Paper 2 (19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional Writing)

1.Learn and know persuasive/AFOREST devices. You will need to identify these in Section A of Paper 1, and be able to use these in your own writing in Section B of Paper 1. The better you know them, the easier this will be! Try the following:

  • Get a full list of devices from your teacher
  • Make your own glossary with your own definitions and examples
  • Make flash cards, with the definition on one side and the device on the other side – get a friend or family member to test you and see how many you can remember!

 

2.Read widely. Use the internet to research non-fiction texts from both the 19th and 21st Centuries. You will be surprised how much is out there.

 

3.Know text types and conventions. Research the different types of non-fiction texts that you could be asked to write. These could include: letters, journals/diaries, magazine articles, newspaper articles, emails, speeches and so on. Make sure you are aware of the following for each:
- the typical formality of the text
- the typical layout/structure of the text
- language devices to include

 

4.Know different audiences and purposes. Make a list or mind-map of all of the different purposes that you could be asked to write for. Make sure you are aware of how these differ from each other and how they might affect the types of language you will use. Do the same with audiences. How many different audiences can you come up with? Consider how the different type of audience will affect the formality of your writing, and thus how this will affect the language you use.

 

5.Come up with titles and practise! Think about different themes that may link your texts for Section A (nature, gender, environment, politics, young people, education etc), and for each, come up with example task titles that you could be asked to respond to. Remember that these should differ in their purpose (why you are writing), audience (to whom you are writing) and form (the type of text you are writing). Have a go and pass these to your teacher to review and give you some feedback for improvement.

 

KS4 Wider Reading

 

There is no doubt that students who are well read, are more successful in their examinations in both English Language and Literature. By reading, students are not only experiencing a range of texts, or allowing themselves to be engaged by writing, but they are also exposing themselves to different writing styles, new vocabulary, and imaginative ideas that they may not have otherwise known.

 

With this in mind, we strongly encourage students in KS4 to read widely outside of the curriculum. Not only will this support them in their GCSEs, but it will also equip them for Post 16 and Higher Education.

 

Below is a list of suggested titles:

 

 

The Color Purple -  Alice Walker

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

To Kill a Mocking Bird - Harper Lee

Oranges are not the only fruit - Jeanette Winterson

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath

Brave New World  - Aldous Huxley

Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

Brick Lane – Monica Ali

The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks

Death in Venice – Thomas Mann

Beloved – Toni Morrison

Fingersmith - Sarah Waters

I know why the caged bird sings - Maya Angelou

Giovanni's Room - James Baldwin

 

 

Disgrace – J.M Coetzee

The Graduate – Charles Webb

The Inheritors – William Golding

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronté

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

1984 – George Orwell

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

Rebecca – Daphne de Maurier

Another Country - James Baldwin

 

 

 

For any further enquiries, please contact Miss Kelly Grieve, Head of English Faculty.

Please select the appropriate link for you below.
English Language

Component 1

Sample Paper 1

 

Sample Paper 2


 

Sample Paper 3

 

Sample Paper 4

 

Sample Paper 5

 

Sample Paper 6

 

Section A Reading - Revision Guide

 

Section B Writing - Creative Writing Booklet

 
Component 2

Component 2 - Sample papers

 

Section A Reading - Revision Guide

 

Section B Writing - Sample tasks

 

English Literature 

Component 1

Section A: Shakespeare 

Macbeth Revision Guide

 

Section B: Poetry Anthology 

FULL Poetry Anthology Revision

 

Poetry Anthology Revision Guide

 

Component 2 

An Inspector Calls

AIC Full Play

 

AIC REVISION GUIDE

 

Exam steps and planning grid

 

SAMPLE QUESTIONS


A Christmas Carol
 
ACC Essay Plan revision
 

ACC Exam steps and planning grid

 

ACC Possible Exam Questions

 

ACC Revision Guide


 
Unseen Poetry

REVISION GUIDE - sample papers

 

 

 

In this section: