English Language and Literature

English staff

Sally Ingham, head of English
Julie Calvert, teacher of Foundation Groups Year 7 – 10
Rachel Davies, teacher of English
Malcolm Walker, teacher of English as well as history

All students follow the National Curriculum, with a range of modules created to ensure students have the opportunity to develop a range of skills throughout their 5 years at Settlebeck through KS3 and KS4:

Writing Skills:
1. Planning and drafting
2. Choosing vocabulary & devices carefully to suit
form, style, purpose and audience.
3. Organising and linking ideas so writing is logical & fluent
using paragraphs to aid meaning.
4. Constructing sentences well so they make sense
(are grammatically correct).
5. Punctuating accurately.
6. Spelling correctly.

Reading Skills:
1. Summarising texts – fiction and non-fiction.
2. Interpreting texts – understanding explicit and implicit meanings.
3. Analysing texts – commenting on how the words chosen and devices
used contribute to the meaning.
4. Evaluating texts – commenting on if and how they are effective.
5. Supporting points made with reference to texts and
being able use quotations.
6. Comparing texts.

Speaking and Listening Skills:
1. Presenting information and ideas in a formal setting.
2. Discussing issues.
3. Using standard English






GCSE English Language and Literature

Exam Board: Edexcel (Pearson)

The courses for English Language and Literature run over 3 years. All students generally study for both the GCSE English language and literature exams.
Exams are sat at the end of Year 11. Students can achieve a grade from 9 – 1; grade 9 is the highest grade and equivalent to an A**.

English skills are essential in the modern world, and a GCSE in English language is a particularly essential qualification for many post-16 courses and employment; a grade 4 or above gives access to the majority of post-16 courses and jobs.
As a result there is a strong focus on ensuring the students are prepared for exams
so they can achieve or exceed their target grades.

Functional and Entry Level English qualifications are also available for those who find the demands of GCSE too challenging.


Students are taught in groups broadly based on ability, determined by their
performance in assessments, although other factors also determine groupings such as group dynamics, students’ style of learning and the pace at which a student
works best.

The main aim of assessment is diagnostic to help the teacher and students be
aware of what students are competent in and what requires further teaching and
learning. Feedback on written work is constructive, acknowledging strengths as well
as providing clear and focused comments on how to improve, with follow up work to
help embed what is required to make further progress. Learning and progress is also
encouraged through drawing on a variety of resources and through group and one-
to-one support provided by both the students’ peers and the teacher.

The GCSE qualifications for English and Literature are based on 100% final
exams. There is no longer any form of coursework or controlled assessments which
contribute to the final results and students cannot take notes or copies of texts
studied into the exam. Students therefore need to be familiar with texts studied for the literature exams.


There are termly exam-style assessments requiring revision in order to prepare students for their final exams.

Students must also demonstrate speaking and listening skills. They must do a
presentation for GCSE which is assessed by the teachers and recordings of these are then submitted to the exam board. They are given a separate mark for this to the reading and writing exam. Speaking tasks must be undertaken and assessed to be awarded a GCSE English Language qualification, even though the mark does not contribute to the GCSE English Language grade.



English Language exams
Students sit two exam papers, with reading and writing sections;
50% marks are awarded for reading skills and 50% for writing skills.

English Paper 1: Fiction   1 hour 45 minutes
Section A : questions on one fiction text (not seen before)
involving retrieving information, analysing language and structure and evaluation
(worth 1/3 of the total reading marks)

Section B : a descriptive piece of writing
(worth 1/2 of the total writing marks)


English Paper 2: Non-fiction  2 hours 5 minutes
Section A: questions on two non-fiction texts (not seen before)
involving retrieving information, analysing language and structure,
evaluation and comparison
(worth 2/3 of the total reading marks)

Section B: transactional writing – informative and persuasive
(worth 1/2 of the total writing marks)

English Literature exams
The texts read for literature are chosen from the exam board’s prescribed lists.

Literature Paper 1  1 hour 45 mins  worth 40% of the final marks.
Section A : on a Shakespeare play: currently “Macbeth”.
The exam involves writing 2 short essays on in response to questions on
a) an extract   b) the whole text
(recommended time spent on this – 55 minutes)
Section B: on a 20th century text: currently the play, “An Inspector Calls” by Priestley.
The exam involves writing one essay chosen from two essay titles
(recommended time spent on this – 50 minutes).

Literature Paper 2 (2 hours and 15 minutes) worth 60% of the final marks.
Section A: on a 19th Century novel: currently Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
The exam involves writing 2 short essays on in response to questions on
a) an extract   b) the whole text
(recommended time spent on this – 55 minutes)
Section B:
a) An analysis and comparison of poems studied
Poetry studied: 15 poems from 1790 to today in the Edexcel anthology on
either Love and Relationships or Power and Conflict.
The exam requires students to compare a named poem from the anthology
with another of their choice.
(recommended time spent on this – 35 minutes)

b) An analysis and comparison of two unseen poems.
(recommended time spent on this – 45 minutes)