English Language GCSE

GCSE English Language is an essential qualification for progression onto A Level and many other Level 3 courses. It is also frequently required for university entry in the UK. We offer an intensive, one-year course that will develop your reading, writing and speaking skills.



Course Content

This is the linear 9-1 GCSE qualification. A linear qualification means that students must sit all their exams at the end of the course in June. There are no tiers of entry for GCSE English; all students will sit the same exam papers.

This is an intensive course requiring full commitment and attendance. The focus is on developing written skills and improving the quality of the English you use. You will also develop your ability to analyse the effect of language in different texts.

The course is assessed by two written exams each worth 50% of the final grade. In both exams the tests are unseen. In addition students are required to complete a speaking and listening assessment – although this is not part of the final weighting of the GCSE grade.

Entry Requirements

At Kingston College, all students aged 16 -18 years of age who have not achieved at least a grade C or a grade 4 in GCSE English, are required to study English as part of their programme of study. The decision of whether you study GCSE English or Level 1 English Functional Skills will depend on the following criteria

  • If you have achieved a Grade D / 3 in English you will do GCSE English. If you have achieved Grade E / 2 or below, you will be enrolled on Functional Skill Level 1

  • If you have passed Level 1 English Functional Skills – you will study GCSE English

  • If you have studied international qualifications, the decision on whether you study GCSE English or Level 1 English functional skills will depend on NARIC assessment and a diagnostic test

Duration and Delivery

1 year, four hours per week, as part of a full time programme of study.


This is an essential subject for progression to A Level, BTEC Level 3 and many other courses. Many universities and employers require that you have at least a C / 4 in this subject.

Additional Information

Exam Board: The exam board is AQA. The specification is English Language 8700

All course materials and set texts for this course are provided, but we expect you to maintain a reading habit outside of college so that you are improving your English and developing your written style.


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