St John Plessington Catholic College


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Head of Department:

Miss E Stanley




GCSE in English Language  / GCSE in English Literature


English Language: Pupils will study skills in Reading and Writing, studying literary and non-literary texts from the 19th Century through to the 21st Century. They will be required to show that they can write for a variety of different audiences and purposes. Pupils will also be assessed orally through Speaking and Listening, exploring the features of Spoken Language. Pupils will be required to complete one formal presentation or speech. English Literature: pupils will study Shakespeare, pre-and-post 1914 prose and drama as well as a range of poetry from 1789 to the present day.


In Year 10, you will learn the key skills needed for your English Language examination as you begin to study some of your English Literature set texts. You will look at a range of 19th – 21st Century fiction and non-fiction texts and show that you can write with technical accuracy.

You will practise creative writing as well as transactional writing.

In Year 11, you will continue to develop your GCSE English Language skills but will also study the remaining English Literature set texts.

There are two main ways that pupils’ work is assessed:

  1. a) Externally – Both courses are linear and pupils sit all external examinations in both GCSE English and GCSE English Literature at the end of Year 11.
  2. b) Internally – English teachers feedback to pupils on progress made by marking homework, feeding back and offering supportive advice in preparation for trial and external examinations.

Staff also assess and mark a Speaking and Listening performance – although an external moderator may visit to check that our standards are of the highest order.


Clearly a good pass in GCSE English is a must for all pupils leaving school hoping to embark on a career in the world of work or apply for a place in our Sixth Form. An English GCSE, along with a Maths GCSE, is a crucial qualification for pupils making their way after Year 11. In our Sixth Form, a good pass in English and English Literature will enable you to apply to study A Levels in English Literature or English Combined.

Future career links and info for English are as follows: Through the study of English you will improve and gain skills in critical and evaluative thinking, self-management, excellent written communication and interpersonal skills, as well as research and analysis skills.

All of these skills would lend themselves effective to careers in Marketing, PR and Sales, Journalism and Broadcasting and Law.

A career in Marketing and PR will require the creativity that an English student possesses, devising strategies to promote an organisation through a variety of social platforms.

Journalism and Broadcasting requires the skill to tell a compelling story which will capture the attention of the media and the world.

The writing skills that you gain from English are vital in the field of Law showcasing your ability to carefully construct language when composing contracts, legal documents and courtroom arguments.