English Language GCSE

English Language GCSE

Develop your ability to express ideas clearly, engage in discussion and to consider different points of view. Using the English language to communicate effectively is a vital life skill, no matter what your future career path!

Why St Mary's

Develop your English Language skills supported by dedicated teachers, who are passionate about their subject. This core GCSE subject uses a wide variety of texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. The course will inspire and motivate you to develop reading, comprehension, and analysis skills, and to write clearly, using a breadth of vocabulary and grammar.

Our enriched learning opportunities can include:

  • Theatre trips
  • Lectures on key set texts
  • Author visits and workshops (most recently Julia Golding, Alexander Gordon Smith, Louisa Reid and Robin Stevens)
  • Essay and writing competitions
  • Debating and Public Speaking Club
  • Online lectures from experts in literature
  • Teacher surgeries to support your progress

Course overview

This course will enable you to develop the skills required to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts, as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing looks at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers.

Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives looks at how different writers present a similar topic over time.

A separate non-examined speaking and listening assessment is included to enable you to develop your speaking and listening skills. This does not contribute to the final GCSE grading but is separately endorsed on the certificate.




This course is assessed by two written examinations. There is no coursework or controlled assessment assignments.

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing - written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of the total mark)
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives - written examination: 1 hour 45 minutes (50% of the total mark)


At a glance

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What our teachers say...

“English was always the subject I enjoyed the most. I was lucky to have an incredible English teacher who fired up my enthusiasm … his energy and enjoyment were infectious.

It was brilliant and taught me very early on that literature and the arts could be exciting, strange, provocative, beautiful and utterly absorbing.”