What is GCSE English/ English Literature?

All students are required to study both subjects in Years 10 and 11.

You will follow an integrated course (AQA Syllabus) that includes speaking and listening, reading and writing.

The department not only wants to equip you with the language skills you will need throughout life but also to foster an understanding and enjoyment of literature in all its forms.

You will study prose, poetry and drama from a wide range of periods, including some Shakespeare. You will also study written media and film.

Some students will be offered an extra lesson of English a week to increase their chances of a C grade.

Coursework links across both subjects so there will be total of FIVE essays to be done at regular intervals throughout the course. It is vital that you organize your time effectively in order to meet deadlines.

At least a grade C in English is essential for Further Education and for most careers. English Literature, although not a requirement for Further Education, is an important GCSE which displays an educated and lively mind.

Candidates will take English in the November of Year 11 and English Literature in the summer of Year 11. (Anyone needing to push up their English grade will repeat it in the summer.)

Students deemed to be near the C/D boarder potentially will be allocated an extra period of “Study Plus” English to ensure they reach the desired C grade.

Key Stage 3 English


This is an online system that the current year 8 can use to become a STAR READER. All they have to do is:

  1. Read a book
  2. Logon
  3. Take a quiz

It's that simple. The computer program will then produce lots of useful information to help pupils, teachers and parents.


Every year the English department run a 6 week competition for year 8s on the gruesome play "Macbeth", culminating in an all expenses paid trip to the home of Shakespeare, Stratford-Upon-Avon for the winners. 20 pupils are given the opportunity to work with Shakespeare experts exploring the play. Next they visit the birthplace of Shakespeare and see live performances of various extracts from the different plays. Finally, there's a boat ride along the river Avon, taking in sights of the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre and the Church where Shakespeare was buried.

The pupils have 3 different teachers and study 3 of the following 5 areas:

  • Media
  • Poetry
  • ICT
  • Drama
  • Working English

They have to work independently keeping up their Shakespeare notebook with classwork, homework and independent study. At the end of the six weeks, and that, together with the notebooks, helps us select the 20 best pupils.


Due to the year 9 SATs being abolished, the English department have take the opportunity to get ahead. Year 9 pupils all do one of their written courseworks (Original Writing) and one of their speaking & listening courseworks (Individual Presentation).

This is ideal as it leaves so much more time in years 10 and 11 for vital exam preparation.

Revising for English Literature and English Language can often be difficult because students don’t always know where to  start, how to start, or even what they should be revising. Luckily, the Walkden High English Department has put together some quick 15-minute revision tasks to tackle everyday leading up to the exams. All of the tasks can be found in a single Powerpoint document with a countdown to the exams included.

You can find the link on the English Department’s Twitter: @WHS_TeamEnglish, or on our website: http://whsteamenglish.edublogs.org/  

If you're struggling to access the revision tasks, please speak to your English teacher.


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