Key Stage 4

The courses studied by Year 11 pupils and Year 10 pupils will not be the same.  New GCSEs have been introduced and there are significant differences between the new ones being studied by Year 10 pupils and the previous ones being studied by Year 11.

There will only be one pathway for Year 10 pupils; everyone will study both English Language and English Literature.  The English GCSE which combined both Language and Literature will not exist after 2016.  Another significant change is that pupils will no longer have controlled assessments.  Instead of completing coursework throughout the year, all pupils will sit their examinations at the end of the two year course.  Year 11 pupils will still use the two pathways.  They are being entered for the AQA examinations in English or English Language and English Literature.  Year 10 pupils will be entered for the Edexcel examinations in English Language and English Literature. 

Pupils in Year 11 studying two GCSEs in English Language and English Literature will have three examinations at the end of the course; pupils studying the combined English GCSE will have one examination.  Pupils in Year 10 will all study two GCSEs and they will have four examinations at the end of the course: two will be for English Language, two for English Literature.

The change in the structure of the course means there will be a much greater focus on the retention of knowledge and the revision of key texts throughout the year.  The texts being studied will remain similar to those studied by Year 11 although there is a reduced emphasis on texts from other cultures so the familiar texts “Of Mice and Men” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” will no longer be on the KS4 curriculum.  There will be instead be more classic 19th century fiction with options ranging from Dickens, Stevenson and Shelley.  The English Language examination will not use transient texts such as internet blogs but instead will be based on literary non-fiction, published articles and extracts from works of fiction.  There will be a continued emphasis on the need for accuracy in writing.  Speaking and Listening will still be assessed but, as with Year 11, will not count towards the pupils’ final grade.