GCSE English

Why should I study English?

There are many reasons why English is compulsory, but the study of language and how to successfully use language to communicate ideas, debate and shape arguments are essential skills.

You will look at what makes great writing in a range of fiction and non-fiction contexts, and have opportunities to produce your own creative, persuasive, argumentative and analytical writing throughout the course. We will also read some fascinating works of English literature, using these texts to consider what they say about our place in the world and actions within it.

What texts will I study?

  • Macbeth
  • The Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • Lord of the Flies
  • The Power and Conflict Poetry Cluster from the AQA GCSE Poetry Anthology

PLEASE NOTE: We constantly review our curriculum and therefore these texts may change.

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Download Curriculum

Are there any field trips or enrichment opportunities?

As part of the course, we always try to see a suitable production of any text we study if possible, either in a theatre (which would be our preference) or a live stream.

How will I be assessed?

The exam board for English is AQA and in both qualifications assessment is 100% exam based at the end of the course, with two papers for each subject. In English Language, you will also have to prepare and perform on video a spoken language speech that is reported separately on your exam certificate as either a Distinction, Merit or Pass.

English Language Paper 1

  • Explorations in creative writing
  • Exam duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks – 50% of final GCSE grade

English Language Paper 2

  • Viewpoints and perspectives in non-fiction
  • Exam duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks – 50% of final GCSE grade

English Literature Paper 1

  • Shakespeare and the 19th century novel
  • Exam duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 64 marks – 40% of final GCSE grade

English Literature Paper 2

  • Modern texts and poetry
  • Exam duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes
  • 96 marks – 60% of final GCSE grade

Is there a higher and foundation tier?

No, there are no tiers of entry in English Language or Literature. Only one set of papers are produced each year for all pupils nationally, but these are written to ensure that grades 9 – 1 are accessible.

How much weighting is given to spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG)?

In English Language, 20% of all marks available across the two exam papers are based on SPAG. In English Literature, this is reduced to 4 marks on each exam paper.

What are the next steps?

English is a core subject but if you have any further questions about this course, please contact our Head of English, Mr Butler, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Founded in 1503, Bridgnorth Endowed School has a rich and long history in education.

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The school benefits from a thirty-acre campus and its own on-site leisure centre, with all the convenience of a town centre location.

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Northgate, Bridgnorth
Shropshire, WV16 4ER

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