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English GCSE at St Brendan's Sixth Form College

Course description

This is a one-year course which aims to help rebuild confidence in English and develop your skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

With the help of your course tutor you will make an Individual Learning Plan, identifying the areas you need to improve in order to get the grade you need.  Each half term you will review the progress you have made and set yourself new targets.  You will need to be realistic when assessing your strengths and weaknesses and be committed to making a real effort to improve within the short duration of the course.

You will be studying the Welsh Board (WJEC) English Language GCSE course in one year.

Controlled Assessment

  • Writing to describe and writing to narrate.
  • Reading a Shakespeare play
  • Study of spoken language

Speaking and listening coursework

  • Individual contribution
  • Drama-focused
  • Group discussion

Examination preparation

  • Response to media texts and non-fiction texts.
  • Writing non-fiction texts.

Course content

This course focuses very much on individual improvement in those areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening which are causing you problems.  You will be encouraged to make an individual learning plan, to review your progress regularly and to set yourself realistic targets.

Teaching will include a variety of methods and you will be expected to

  • Write: stories, essays, leaflets, letters, reviews, analysis, speeches
  • Read: Shakespeare, prose, poetry and media texts.
  • Take part in Speaking and Listening activities: presentations, role-play, debate and group discussions.

Assignments will be introduced through presentations and discussions, audio-visual resources and media texts.

Entry requirements

  • Minimum of 5 general qualifications, such as GCSEs, of which four must be at Grade D including GCSE English Language, or a Level 1 BTEC Certificate at Merit or above
  • Students with a Grade E or below at entry will be placed on an appropriate course of study in consultation with personal and support tutors.


You will do a variety of oral assessments throughout the course.  These may be formal or informal and can take place without notice. Your tutor may award marks for discussion or group work done in the course of an ordinary lesson, therefore you need to try to incorporate speaking and listening skills in your work throughout the course. You will be awarded an oral grade which will be reported separately from your final GCSE grade.

  • Written response to Shakespeare (Reading) (15%)
  • Creative Writing (15%)
  • A study of spoken language (10%)
  • Examination Paper 1 (30%)
  • Examination Paper 2 (30%)

Financial information

The books you study will be provided. There are no specific charges, but you are expected to provide yourself with pens, paper, a ring-binder and other items of stationery.  You will also need a suitable bag in which to carry notes and work on A4 paper without folding them.

Future opportunities

GCSE English is an important qualification for progression into a wide range of careers and Further and Higher Education courses.

The achievement of a Grade C or above is evidence of your ability to read fluently, communicate orally and in writing with confidence and effectiveness.

Further information

Not all students will be suitable for GCSE exam entry in the year of enrolment.  Some students, particularly those with an E or below at entry may be offered Functional Skills exam as an alternative.  This qualification is recognised by employers.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Brendan's Sixth Form College directly.

Last updated date: 24 October 2016

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