english

GCSE English Language

Qualification: 
GCSE
Duration: 
1 year
Level: 
2
Curriculum Manager: 
Stephanie Richardson

What is English Language GCSE?

The GCSE is changing

From September 2016 Alton College will be offering the new GCSE in English Language with the grading system 9-1. The first examination will be in June in 2017. 

English Language GCSE is a qualification that proves you have achieved a certain standard in speaking, reading and writing the English language.  A grade 4 (formerly grade C) or above is required for most advanced or higher level courses in all subjects and many jobs. 

Is English GCSE suitable for me?

The course involves close study of both fiction and non-fiction texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st century. There will also be opportunities for creative and non-fiction writing, as well as group discussions. 

Students are expected to take complete responsibility for the production of their own work. This does not mean however that your tutors simply set work and abandon you until the exam date. You will be expected to work closely with your tutor, seeking individual help when necessary. The aim is to help you reach your potential and no effort will be spared to achieve this.

How will I learn?

In lessons you will read and discuss media, non-fiction and literary texts. You will develop your skills of comprehension, analysis and comparison.  You will produce pieces of creative writing such as descriptions and stories. You will also practise practical writing tasks in various forms such as essays, articles, letters and reports. You will be encouraged to identify any errors in your technique and helped to correct them. There will be many opportunities to develop oral skills in a variety of class situations, including plenty of discussion work in small or larger groups. Overall, the lessons will prepare you for the two examinations in the summer and you will also receive an additional qualification in spoken language. Everything you learn will not only prepare you for getting the qualification but also be transferable – you will be learning life-long skills for use in the real world. 

How will I be assessed?

The qualification has two exams which will be in June 2017. In addition, there is a “spoken language” component which is assessed separately and given the markers: pass, merit, distinction. Although this part of the qualification does not count towards your GCSE it does appear on the final certificate and the preparation for it will be a useful life skill. 

Progression

A high percentage of our students over the last few years have successfully gained their grade 4 or above and gone on to A levels, vocational A levels, Further and Higher Education. It has helped others to gain training places and employment.

Students have enjoyed the confidence gained from improving their English language skills. Please note, this not an ESOL course as it tests different skills. A sound grasp of English would be an advantage. 

“Studying English GCSE has been fun and I now have a lot more confidence in my written English and my reading.”

“The English GCSE course has been most enjoyable. At first, I was very apprehensive as I had not done English since being at school 21 years ago. The teacher was very supportive and made me feel at ease with the subject.”

Entry requirements

To qualify for this course, you will normally have achieved a Grade 2 or 3 in English GCSE.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own texts and stationery (where appropriate). Other course materials will be provided by the teacher. 

There are no additional costs.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

Course Code

Edexcel - 1ENO 1 and 2

English Literature

Qualification: 
A Level
Duration: 
2 years
Level: 
3
Curriculum Manager: 
Stephanie Richardson

What is A Level English Literature?

If you love reading, and you enjoy talking and writing about drama, poetry and novels, this is the course for you. We enable you to become an informed, more independent reader, able to explore a range of opinions and clearly express your own ideas and interpretations of literary texts. You will develop analytical skills so that you can understand and explain how language, structure and form shape meaning.

Over the two years you will study a wide range of stimulating and exciting poetry, drama and prose, from the classic to the post-modern. You will begin by studying poetry written since 2000, as well as 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde and a postmodern novel.  You will also study a play by Tennessee Williams in your first year. In the second year you will study two novels for coursework, classic poetry and Shakespeare.  All eight texts are assessed at the end of the second year for the A level qualification.

Is English Literature suitable for me?

If you enjoy developing and expressing your own opinion, then English Literature is a good choice since all points of view are welcomed when proved with evidence from the text. Consequently lessons are academic yet lively; each year we have a very high proportion of students who continue their study of English Literature on to degree level. You must be someone who enjoys reading, will prepare for lessons and will work hard on finding the best way of expressing your opinion on paper. You are likely to be most successful if you contribute to discussions in class and use these discussions to work towards your own considered opinion.

One student commented: “I have loved English Literature this year. Lessons have been brilliant, really varied and interesting and my teachers have been very supportive.”

How will I learn?

Lesson activities are wide ranging: from debates to drama-based interpretations to detailed analysis and feedback; to student-based presentations on extracts and context, through to creative responses like painting, collage, writing an additional scene or episode to a studied text, or "found-poetry‟. We also organise a huge range of trips to see performances and to develop understanding of context.

How will I be assessed?

Coursework: 20% overall taken in the second year.

Examinations: Three exam papers and coursework 

Progression

English Literature is a highly prized qualification and the skills you acquire will not only enable you to read with increased pleasure for the rest of your life, they will also enable you to express yourself precisely and logically, supporting your views with evidence. You may find yourself inspired to study English Literature at university, at the very least you should find yourself referring back to English Literature study for years to come.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. You must have achieved at least a Grade 5 in GCSE English.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own copies of the studied texts, stationery, and memory sticks.

Essential: You will need to buy you own texts. This means you can annotate your text and make it your own – a big advantage when revising. Books cost between £1.99 and £9.00 each. You will need to buy four texts in the first year at a total cost of around £25.

Optional: A number of trips run during the year, and we ask you to pay for your ticket and for travel. Theatre trips cost approximately £20.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

 

English Language and Literature

Qualification: 
A Level
Duration: 
2 years
Level: 
3
Curriculum Manager: 
Stephanie Richardson

What is English Language and Literature?

The course will allow you to discover the ways in which writers use language to inform, persuade, entertain and create meaning, before giving you the opportunity to put this into practice in your own creative pieces.

You will study, analyse and compare a number of different texts for the course, such as broadcast interviews, sports commentaries, speeches and memoirs along with more traditional literary texts including modern playwrights, poets such as Philip Larkin, and novels such as The Great Gatsby. You will also complete a coursework assessment which will allow you to write both fiction and non-fiction.

You will learn how language works on different levels making connections in texts from all genres, some of these texts will be non-literary, and some will be spoken so you can explore how we convey ideas through speech as well as writing.

Is English Language and Literature suitable for me?

This course is suitable for you if you enjoy reading and analysing texts, ranging from historical literature to blogs. You will also have an interest in, and enjoy writing for various audiences and purposes as well as recreating different forms and styles of writing.

How will I learn?

Lessons will be varied but will primarily be centred on the core areas of analysis and creative writing.

Lesson content may include:

  • experimentation with different writing styles, ranging from short stories to newspaper articles and advertisements
  • comparing real spoken texts with the imitation of speech in literature
  • small group or whole group analysis of texts
  • the discussion of literary themes and ‘voices’
  • discovering and analysing the differences between speech and writing
  • transcribing spoken conversations, real and recorded

How will I be assessed?

Examination: 80% - exam questions totaling 6 hours. You will be asked to respond to unseen texts and texts from the genres of poetry, drama, prose and non-fiction texts which you have studied on the course.

Non-examination assessment: 20% this component includes your own creative writing.

Progression

English Language and Literature is a recognised and respected A Level qualification, which demonstrates clear understanding of different writing styles. It is, therefore, a useful and worthy qualification in terms of the progression to university and/or a career.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. You must have achieved at least a Grade 5 in GCSE English. 

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own stationery, memory cards/disks and the literary texts being studied. It is helpful to attend theatre trips, but these are not compulsory.

Essential: £15.00 for literary texts.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

 

English Language

Qualification: 
A Level
Duration: 
2 years
Level: 
3
Curriculum Manager: 
Stephanie Richardson

What is A Level English Language?

English Language is a fascinating academic course of study which invites us to explore the many different ways in which language operates. If you are someone who has always enjoyed English and who finds themselves thinking about language then this could be the course for you. Have you ever wondered why or whether males and females speak differently? Why have “ wicked” and “sick” changed their meanings so drastically? Why are humans the only members of the animal kingdom to develop such a sophisticated communication structure? Why do we no longer talk the way Shakespeare did? All these questions and more will be answered.

Is English Language suitable for me?

English Language is suitable for a wide variety of students. It gives you the opportunity both to precisely analyse language and to use language creatively. Perhaps the most frequent comment we hear quite early on from new students is, “It’s nothing like English at GCSE.” This is because we study entirely new topics like language and gender, language and identity and child language acquisition. Students who enjoy language but are less interested in studying novels, plays and poetry often thrive with this subject.

How will I learn?

  • Highly experienced teachers deliver the course content.
  • All resources are posted on Moodle and there is a wide range of material freely available for extra study
  • Booklets designed exclusively by Alton College support your learning
  • You are important. Your ideas and opinions about language are always included and any examlpes of language which you find interesting are incorporated into lessions.
  • you will look at all aspects of how texts are created and then apply what you have learned to your own writing
  • language is never neutral so debate and argument are frequently a part of our lessons
  • you will be encouraged to challenge theories and carry out your own research

How will I be assessed?

Under the new guidelines coursework now forms 20% of your final A level grade. The coursework is completed in year 2.

Over all the total exam time is 5 hours, split over various exams which are all set in year 2.

Progression

There is potential for those wishing to pursue careers or further studies in journalism and education, as well as in many areas of business and management.

More and more universities are offering degree courses in English Language, on its own and combined with other subjects including Linguistics, European or American Studies, most modern languages, English Literature and creative writing.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced, a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. You must have achieved at least a Grade 5 in GCSE English. 

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery and calculators (where applicable). Any further costs are outlined below:

Essential: £10-20 for booklets and course materials.
Optional: £20 for tapes and trips.

Students are advised of a small number of useful texts to purchase but this is optional.

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.

 

 

 

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