English at Key Stage 4

Key Stage Four students will leave Earl Mortimer College with two GCSE qualifications in English:  English Literature and English Language. Students will begin their GCSE English Literature course in the final term of Year Nine and will sit their Literature and Language exams at the end of Year 11. Students will be graded from 1-9 (for additional information see https://www.gov.uk/government/news/setting-standards-for-new-gcses-in-2017)

The Eduqas English Literature GCSE teaches tolerance and acceptance of others as the texts studied reflect the experiences of people from different ethnicities, religions and socio-economic groups. This course will help contribute to a student’s sense of cultural identity. Making the study of Literature engaging, enjoyable and relevant can inspire pupils to question particular assumptions and stereotypes regarding the society in which they inhabit. This can increase a student’s confidence and encourage them to become vocal and active members of society.

Students studying to achieve the Eduqas English Language GCSE will develop skills that will give them the ability to succeed in later life. Furthermore, the activities that these students will undertake will empower them to thrive in all areas of the curriculum.


Our current Year 10 students will be following and sitting the new EDUQAS English and English Literature exam qualification. Students will be required to sit both the English Language and Literature qualification. These qualifications are double weighted. Regulatory requirements set out by the Department for Education and Ofqual state all GCSE in English Language and Literature qualifications will:

  • be assessed by examination at the end of Year 11
  • have speaking skills assessed but this will not contribute to the overall grade. The assessment will be marked by teachers and reported separately, alongside the qualification grade on the certificate
  • include 20% of the marks for the written exams which will be allocated to accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • be untiered
  • be fully linear with assessments available in the summer series and resit opportunities in the November series.

English Language Component 1 20th Century Literature Reading Study and Creative Prose Writing

  • Section A (20%) – Reading (40 marks)This section will test through structured questions the reading of an unseen extract from one 20th century literary prose text (about 60-100 lines). This section assesses AO1, AO2 and AO4.
  • Section B (20%) – Prose Writing (40 marks) This section will test creative prose writing through one 40-mark task. Candidates will be offered a choice of four titles giving opportunities for writing to describe and narrate, and imaginative and creative use of language. This response should be a narrative / recount. Candidates who write purely descriptively, or use a form other than that specified, such as poetry or drama, will not be able to access the full mark range as shown in the assessment criteria. This section assesses AO5 and AO6.

English Language Component 2 19th and 21st Century Non Fiction Reading Study and
Transactional/Persuasive Writing

  • Section A (30%) – Reading (40 marks) This section will test through structured questions the reading of two high-quality unseen non-fiction texts (about 900-1200 words in total), one from the 19th century, the other from the 21st century. Non-fiction texts may include, but will not be limited to: letters, extracts from autobiographies or biographies, diaries, reports, articles and digital and multi-modal texts of various kinds from newspapers and magazines, and the internet. This section assesses AO1 (and 2), AO2, AO3 and AO4.
  • Section B (30%) – Writing (40 marks)This section will test transactional, persuasive and/or discursive writing through two equally weighted compulsory tasks (20 marks each). Across the two tasks candidates will be offered opportunities to write for a range of audiences and purposes, adapting style to form and to real-life contexts in, for example, letters, articles, reviews, speeches, etc. This section assesses AO5 and AO6.

English Language Component 3 Spoken Language (unweighted)

  • Candidates will be required to complete one formal presentation or speech. They will also be assessed on their responses to questions and feedback following the presentation or speech. Standard English should be a feature of all parts of the candidates’ work in this component. This component assesses AO7, AO8 and AO9. Achievement in Spoken Language will be reported as part of the qualification, but it will not form part of the final mark and grade.

English Literature Component 1 Shakespeare and Poetry

Written examination – 2 hours – 40% of qualification

  • Section A – (20%) Shakespeare
    Romeo and Juliet; OR Macbeth; OR Othello; OR Much Ado About Nothing; OR Henry V; OR The Merchant of Venice
    One extract question and one essay question based on the reading of a Shakespeare text from the above prescribed list. Learners are not permitted to take copies of the set texts into the examination.
  • Section B – (20%) Poetry from 1789 to present day
    Two questions based on poems from the WJEC Eduqas Poetry Anthology, one of which involves comparison.

English Literature Component 2 Post-1914 Prose/Drama, Century Prose and Unseen Poetry

Written examination – 2 hours and 30 minutes – 60% of qualification

  • Section A – (20%) Post-1914 prose/drama
    Lord of the Flies (Golding); OR Anita and Me (Syal); OR Never Let Me Go (Ishiguro); OR The Woman in Black (Hill); OR Oranges are not the Only Fruit (Winterson); OR The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (play script) (Stephens); OR A Taste of Honey (Delaney); OR An Inspector Calls (Priestley); OR The History Boys (Bennett); OR Blood Brothers (Russell)
    One source-based question on a post 1914 prose/drama text from the above prescribed list.
    Learners are not permitted to take copies of the set texts into the examination.
  • Section B – (20%) 19th century prose
    A Christmas Carol (Dickens); OR Silas Marner (Eliot); OR Pride and Prejudice (Austen); OR War of the Worlds (Wells); OR Jane Eyre (Brontë); OR The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Stevenson)
    One source-based question on a 19th century prose text from the above prescribed list.
    Learners are not permitted to take copies of the set texts into the examination.