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Key Stage 4

Students will be studying both English Language and English Literature with the AQA Examination Board at Holcombe Grammar School.  The English Language GCSE is 100% exam and 20 % of this is determined by the quality of a student’s spelling, punctuation and grammar. Therefore it is essential that pupils are perfecting their literacy skills and ensuring accuracy in their written work at all times. The other 80% of the course is separated into two sections: analysing a range of unseen texts and writing in a number of form, such as descriptive writing, narrative writing, reviews, magazine articles, formal and informal letters and advice leaflets, to name but a few.  Students will still be required to submit marks for the speaking and listening component of English Language GCSE and therefore will be required to complete a range of speaking and listening assessments throughout the 3 year course.  Though these will not go towards their final grades, pupils will be awarded a certificate reflecting their ability to communicate coherently and effectively to an audience; skills which have been shown to be an important factor in the workplace.  Without question, a Level 6 or above in this subject is indispensable to anyone who wishes to apply to a more popular university and/or pursue a career with a reputable employer and this will require creative thinking, persistence and the ability to take responsible risks.

GCSE English Literature is also an important GCSE for its ability to enable students to decode texts and to plan cogent essays in response. Such reading and writing skills can be transferred into any situation where demanding language needs to be understood such as legal and financial documents. The study of Literature also allows students to debate moral and philosophical issues. Such study contributes to their moral and emotional development.  The texts currently studied are Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’, Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s ‘A Sign for Four’ and the Conflict Poetry in the AQA Poetry Collection.