23rd September 2019

Dear Parent/Carer

I am writing to you as Head of English to keep you updated regarding what your son/daughter is doing in preparation for their GCSE English exams.

There are two separate English GCSEs:

English Language
English Literature 

English Language:

This involves two exam papers-each worth 80 marks. On both papers there are reading and writing sections with each section worth 40 marks on both papers. At this stage of the year the focus is on perfecting the writing section. On the 26th Sept during Period 2(75 minutes) we will assess the students on the writing section. This is an assessment created by the school to assess the writing section across both papers which makes up 50% of the overall Language grade.

What should the students be doing at the moment at home?

Students should be practising their writing after school and at home. The more they practise, the better they get and the more confident they become. I have attached a booklet of practise questions that students can independently use as part of their own revision.The students should spend 45 minutes on each question during practice. They should submit these questions to their teacher to mark and give feedback. I would advise completing at least one story and one viewpoint every week from now until the November PPE(Mock) exams.

There are two types of writing required:
A story/description- Students should perfect a story or description that they can adapt and use in their GCSE exam.
A viewpoint/argument- Students will be given an unseen statement  in their exam and asked to write a response in length to that statement. They will be asked to write in the form of a speech,a news article or a letter.

How will the students be formally assessed on these writing tasks this half term?

The first formal PPE(mock) is on Thursday the 26th September. Students will have to write a story and a viewpoint in exam conditions. Each student will be given a 1-9 grade for their performance in this assessment.


Literature involves two papers

Literature Paper 1: Romeo and Juliet, Jekyll and Hyde

Literature Paper 2: An Inspector Calls, Poetry

This half term the focus is on Literature paper 2 as this is the paper that is worth 60% so we want to ensure all students are confident with this paper. 

What should the students be doing at the moment at home?

If students are not confident with any of the Literature texts, they should re-read the texts at home.Knowing the texts well is the most obvious starting point and if your son or daughter says they are not confident with the storylines and plots of the texts, they need to respond-read the texts at home.

Students have been set assignments on GCSEPod( an online revision resource). The deadline for the first set of assignments to be completed is September 23rd. There then will be three more assignments set on GCSE Pod with a deadline of October 14th. The students who received the highest grades last year were regular users of GCSE Pod.

How will the students be formally assessed on Literature this half term?

On the week of the 14th October, students will be formally assessed on 'An Inspector Calls' and poetry. Each student will receive a 1-9 grade.

I will send regular updates from now until the summer when the GCSE exams commence. If you have any questions, please contact me either by email or you can phone me at school.

Kind regards,

Ray Gallagher,

Head of English