Search this Site:

GCSE English & English Literature

GCSE English & English Literature

Head of Department: MR D Fenrych-Fahy

The English department at St Edmund’s is fortunate to have a team of highly experienced, well-qualified teachers able to inspire and motivate students at all levels. The study and appreciation of literature lies at the heart of our schemes of work, but media-based texts are also studied in order to cultivate a variety of English skills. We aim to instil in our students a love of literature and reading and to give them the facility to express themselves confidently, fluently and accurately, in both analytical and original writing.

All students are taught the need for technical accuracy, attractive presentation and a clear exposition of an argument. Some with special needs such as dyslexia receive additional, individual assistance in conjunction with the Teaching Assistants and the LDD department. Extra curricular events and activities such as visiting authors, specialist speakers, reading competitions, inter-house drama and theatre trips supplement and enhance the work in the classroom.

We believe that the study of English fosters a student’s personal, moral and intellectual development. Our aim is to produce sensitive, confident, cultured individuals who are able to discriminate effectively, identify key qualities and values then express their judgements cogently in both written form and orally. Above all we believe that English should be innovative and challenging; a subject that students look forward to and enjoy.

Course Summary for IGCSE First Language English – Syllabus Code 0990 (9-1)

Most students will sit both English Language and English Literature IGCSE.

Designed for students for whom English is their mother tongue, IGCSE First Language English develops the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in their writing. Students learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed. Students are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. IGCSE First Language English also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.

Paper 1: Reading Passages (Extended)

(Examination, 2 hrs, 50% of the total marks)

  • Candidates answer three questions on two passages of 600-700 words each, linked by a common theme.

Plus either:

Paper 2: Directed Writing and Composition

(Examination, 2 hrs, 50% of the total marks)


Paper 3, Component 4: Coursework Portfolio

(Three assignments, each of 500-800 words, 50% of total marks)

  • Assignment 1: informative, analytical and/or argumentative.
  • Assignment 2: imaginative, descriptive and/or narrative.
  • Assignment 3: a response to a text or texts chosen by the Centre. The text(s) should contain facts, opinions and arguments. Candidates respond to the text(s) by selecting, analysing and evaluating points from the material (reading objectives R1 – R3). They may write in any appropriate form they wish. Different candidates in the same teaching set may choose to respond in different forms.

For Assignment 3 only, an additional 10 marks are available for reading objectives R1–R3.

The Coursework Portfolio tests the following writing objectives (40 marks):

W1 Articulate experience and express what is thought, felt and imagined.

W2 Order and present facts, ideas and opinions.

W3 Understand and use a range of appropriate vocabulary.

W4 Use language and register appropriate to audience and context.

W5 Make accurate and effective use of paragraphs, grammatical structures, sentences, punctuation and spelling.


Course Summary for IGCSE English Literature (Syllabus Code 0992)(9-1)

The syllabus enables students to read, interpret and evaluate texts through the study of literature in English. They develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. Through their studies, students learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and will be able to present an informed, personal response to the material they have studied. The syllabus also encourages the exploration of wider and universal issues, promoting students’ better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.

Paper 1: Set Texts   (Examination, total time 2 hrs 15 mins)       75%

Three sections – drama, prose and poetry with a mix of passage-based and essay questions.

There is a choice of questions on each set text.

Candidates answer one question from each section.

Paper 2: Coursework Portfolio  (Two assignments, each of 800-1200 words)    25%

Candidates submit a portfolio of two assignments.

  • The assignments must be on different texts.
  • One of the assignments (but not two) may be on a text prepared for Paper 1, (There is no requirement to include work on a Paper 1 text).


View all Tweets