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English GCSE at West Kirby Grammar School

Course description

Qualification :General Certificate of Secondary Education
Exam Board :Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC)
Category :Languages, Literature and Culture of the British Isles - Languages, Literature and Culture

Course content

What does the course involve?

The aim of the English course is to equip you with the vital skills of communication that you need to operate effectively as an English speaker and writer both in and outside school.

The course has three elements.

Speaking and listening

In lessons a variety of speaking and listening activities are engaged in including some which are drama based. Discussion is an important aspect of lessons. You will participate in class discussions most lessons and sometimes discussions that are a response to a particular problem or task will be assessed. Some of these discussions will be planned beforehand, some will be spontaneous and some will result in a presentation to the class. You will also be enabled to develop your own skills of individual presentation.


You will read a variety of different texts including extracts from fiction: short stories, plays and poems, and a range of non-fiction such as autobiography, newspaper and magazine articles, leaflets and brochures. Some of these texts will have been written before the twentieth century and you will study a Shakespeare play as part of coursework. In lessons, we explore the meanings of texts and how they are written in a variety of ways, for example, through role play, discussion and analysis. We present our findings either in written form or orally. During the course, you will also develop your independent reading interests.


You will produce a range of writing types, focussing carefully on the needs of purpose and audience having first examined examples of the text that you are producing. You will be given the opportunity to develop your creative writing skills and also to explore some aspects of journalism by producing articles for newspapers and magazines. You will write quite formally as well and learn how to craft a letter in which you express your point of view. You will also write one formal essay that analyses two contemporary poems. Redrafting is important in order that you reach your highest standard, as this gives you an opportunity to think further about such matters as structure and effect on the audience.

Some of the writing activities will take place over a number of weeks, with much work being done at home; others will take place in class within a given time limit. Throughout the course you will extend your use of Information Technology, as appropriate, as well as your ability to think about language and its use.



During the course your teacher will assess work in accordance with criteria which are made clear to you. You will be given regular opportunity to reflect on your own performance.

English: 60% examination
20% written coursework (two pieces of writing, one essay on contemporary poetry, work on a Shakespeare play)
20% speaking and listening coursework

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact West Kirby Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Unknown