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Exmouth Community College

Exmouth Community CollegeAcademy Trust

Key Stage 4 English

What will my child be studying?

Students will be working towards two GCSEs:  GCSE English Language, and GCSE English Literature.  We follow the Eduqas exam specifications for both qualifications.  Both exams are 100% exam-based.

Eduqas GCSE English Language

Each component below forms one exam: the timings and weightings of each exam are given for you. Components 1 and 2 are each divided into two halves:  Reading (Section A) and Writing (Section B). Component 3 (Spoken Language) is unweighted and therefore will not contribute to your child’s final grade. However, a pass, merit or distinction will be recorded on your child's GCSE certificate.

English Language Assessment

Your child will be assessed on the following skills, which are divided into assessment objectives (AOs):

Reading:

·         AO1: Their skills at identifying and interpreting explicit and implicit information and ideas, and selecting and synthesising evidence from different texts.

·         AO2: Their skills at explaining, commenting on, and analysing how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their views.

·         AO3: Their skills at comparing writers' ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.

·         AO4: Their skills at critically evaluating texts and supporting this with appropriate textual references.

Writing:

·         AO5: Their skills at communicating clearly, effectively, and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences; and organising information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support their coherence and cohesion.

·         AO6: Their skills at using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation. This AO makes up 20% of your child’s English Language grade.

Eduqas GCSE English Literature

As with the English Language GCSE, each component below forms on exam: the timings and weightings of each exam are listed below. Both English Literature exams are closed book: your child cannot take copies of their texts into the exam room.

 

What Will My Child Be Assessed On?

Your child will be assessed on the following skills, which are divided into assessment objectives (AOs):

·         AO1: Their ability to read, understand and respond to texts. Students should be able to: maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response; and use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations.

·         AO2: Their ability to analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.

·         AO3: Their ability to show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.

·         AO4: Their ability to use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation. This constitutes 5% of marks in total.

 

Which Texts Will My Child Study?

Your child will texts from the following selection:

·         Component 1 Section A (20%): Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth or Othello

·         Component 1 Section B (20%): Anthology Poetry
An anthology of 18 poems from 1789 to the present day, including poems by Carol Ann Duffy, Wilfred Owen, William Blake and Ted Hughes.

·         Component 2 Section A (20%): Post 1914 Prose/Drama
An Inspector Calls (J. B. Priestley), Lord of the Flies (William Golding) or Blood Brothers (Willy Russell)

·         Component 2 Section B (20%): 19th Century Prose
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson) or A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)

 

How Can I Help My Child Revise for English Language?

Above all else, remember that it’s your child’s exam – not yours! It is their responsibility to be ready for the exams.

What will they need?

·         A quiet designated revision space (not their bed)

·         Time to revise: have they got a revision timetable? Have they got time to revise?

·         Resources: lined and plain paper, revision cards, coloured pens and pencils, highlighters and post-it notes (stationery suddenly becomes more exciting than ever before during revision!)

·         Their exercise books from years 10 and 11

·         Revision materials from their class teacher

·         Practice papers from their teacher

·         Access to a variety of non-fiction texts, such as magazines, newspapers and reviews (there’s a list of text types in the box on the right)

 

 

 

What do they need to cover?

·         Creative writing – planning and writing a short story

·         The purpose, possible audiences and format (features) of the following non-fiction forms:

o   Articles (newspaper and magazine)

o   Speech

o   Report

o   Letters (formal and informal)

o   Diary entry

o   Reviews

o   Leaflet

·         Reading 20th century fiction and 19th and 21st century non-fiction and:

o   Identifying explicit and implicit information

o   Analysing language and structure

o   Comparing texts (non-fiction only)

o   Evaluating texts (weighing up and providing an opinion or conclusion)

 

 

 

 

 

What strategies can they use on their own?

·         Brainstorming ideas for creative prose titles, mapping out the story mountain and coming up with the opening and closing lines.

·         Reading non-fiction texts and highlight and label the features

·         Skimming a text and summarising what it’s about

·         Creating revision cards with the features of each form of non-fiction writing

·         Reading a page of a book and writing their own exam-style questions

·         Reading an article and writing their own exam-style questions

 

What strategies can I help with?

·         Reading and discussing non-fiction texts, such as newspaper articles, magazine articles, political speeches and reviews.

·         Giving them a creative writing title (e.g. The Storm, Write about a time when you felt happy, Write a story that starts with the line, “I gasped. He...”) and get them to plan their story.

·         Read fiction with them and discuss the impact it has on you.

·         Work through SPAG activities with them.

 

How Can I Help My Child Revise For English Literature?

Above all else, remember that it’s your child’s exam – not yours! It is their responsibility to be ready.

What will they need?

·         A quiet designated revision space (not their bed)

·         Time to revise: have they got a revision timetable? Have they got time to revise?

·         Resources: lined and plain paper, revision cards, coloured pens and pencils, highlighters and post-it notes (stationery suddenly becomes more exciting than ever before during revision!)

·         Their exercise books from years 10 and 11

·         Their poetry anthology

·         Revision materials from their class teacher

·         Practice papers from their teacher

Optional:

·         Copies of the texts (talk to teachers about purchasing via the school)

·         Revision guides

·         Film and TV versions of the texts studied (worth checking their accuracy with the teacher)

 

What do they need to cover?

·         Plot and key events (or for poetry, what the poem is about)

·         Themes and Characters

o   Key events

o   Key quotations

o   Patterns and importance

o   Context (for poetry and 19th century prose)

·         Symbols

·         Key quotations for themes and characters

·         3 ideas and key quotations per poem, covering the language, structure and form.

·         Comparisons between poems

·         Social and historical context (for all poems and 19th century prose).

 

 

 

What strategies can they use on their own?

·         Re-read the texts

·         Storyboard the events of the texts and plays

·         Create a list of themes and (if appropriate) characters for each text or play

·         Mind map key quotations, events, patterns, ideas and context for each character and theme

·         Venn diagrams to compare anthology poems

·         Make quotation cards – see more below.

·         Record their ideas and listen to them back

·         Annotate quotations for language, form and structure

·         Planning answers to practice papers

·         Writing answers to practice papers

 

What strategies can I help with?

·         Get them used to working for 2 and a half hours without a break, music or their phone!

·         Re-read the texts

·         Watch adaptations of the texts of plays on film

·         Test them on revision cards and quotations

·         Let your child teach you about a topic or theme from one of their texts

·         Remind them to use their exercise book

·          

 

 

 

How on earth is my child going to learn so many quotations?

Your child will need to learn a fair few! Here are some tips and strategies that they may find useful:

«  Choose short, multipurpose quotations that cover more than one character and/or theme – it will save them from learning more in the long run.

«  Don’t try to remember too many at once – stick to 5 at a time.

«  Put them on post-it notes or cards and stick them around the house where you’ll see them (the back of the bathroom door is a good one...).

«  Draw cartoons, sketches or symbols to help them remember them – especially if they contain imagery.

«  Act them out

«  Read, cover, say and write. And repeat. It’s dull, but it works!

«  Analyse (annotate, explode or juice) each with inferences, and the effects of language and structure

«  Aim for little and often. 10 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day will drip feed them into their psyche...

«  Use them in practice essays – it will give them more meaning. Plus, that’s the whole point of learning them!

«  Repeat – once they’ve learned a quotation, they need to return to it so that they don’t forget it.

Useful Revision Resources

These are a selection of resources, both online and in hard copy that students and teachers have found useful.

Useful Online Resources (Language and Literature)

BBC Bitesize English Language 9-1 (choose Eduqas):

Course Hero: https://www.coursehero.com/lit/  - excellent revision notes and infographics for literature texts.

Sparknotes: http://www.sparknotes.com/ - online study guides for Literature texts, in addition to free online versions of No Fear Shakespeare (see below)

Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems - poems searchable by subject and theme, which would be excellent for practising approaching unseen poems

British Library Online: https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians- an excellent source of a range of 19th century texts to support English Language and the poetry anthology. Also excellent sources on Shakespeare.

National Archives: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/education/ - another good source for contextual information and non-fiction reading.

GCSEPod:https://www.gcsepod.com - the school has purchased a subscription for this service.  It has a wide range of revision podcasts suited for the Eduqas exam board and provides useful revision resources for both the Language and Literature courses.

Useful Revision Guides

« Writing Tasks Booklet – your child will be able to obtain this through their English teacher.  This booklet has a selection of practice tasks (both creative writing and non fiction) as well as tips on how to plan and proof read your work.  Your child’s teacher will mark any work completed.

«  Revision workbooks on the Literature texts again, these will have been made available in English lessons and have been set as regular homework tasks.

« CGP’s revision guides – look for those that are labelled 9-1. They offer guides that cover all English Language specifications, as well as ones that are specific to this exam board (you’ll need to look for WJEC Eduqas). They also have excellent revision guides for Literature texts (again, look for 9-1).

« York Notes (9-1) – again, excellent guides covering the key themes and characters of Literature texts.

« Globe Education Shakespeare for WJEC Eduqas (published by Hodder) – editions of plays that are specifically produced for our exam board; they contain directors’ notes and activities that address the assessment objectives from the exam. Available on Amazon.

« Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde: The Study Guide Edition by Francis Gilbert – note, not all students will be studying Jekyll and Hyde, but this is an excellent copy of the text with integrated glossary and revision tasks.

« No Fear Shakespeare editions – modernised language runs alongside the original: a handy edition to help understanding on a lesson by lesson basis.

 

 

How Can I Support My Child’s Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar?

There is an increased emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG) in the new English GCSEs: AO6 counts for 20% of marks in the English Language exam, and AO4 counts for 5% in English Literature. We know that some students (and parents!) find this quite intimidating. There’s also an emphasis on SPAG in extended answers in other GCSE subjects, including Science and History.

Here are our top tips for supporting your child’s SPAG: