GCSE English Language


Course Code

Edexcel - 1ENO 1 and 2

1 year

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. 

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.


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.”

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.