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  Chris Hawkes

AQA GCSE English Literature (2015-on)

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AQA's GCSE English Literature specification for teaching September 2015, with first examinations May/June 2017.

This is a skills-based specification - there is no tiering, and therefore questions are tailored to allow students of all abilities to respond appropriately. Within examinations, earlier questions will be easy access and low tariff, with later questions demanding a more extended response which will attract more marks.

The specification will enable students to develop their response to literature, including Shakespeare, post-1914 prose or drama, and poetry. Prose and drama questions will be closed-text, and based upon a board provided extract. For the poetry Anthology question, one poem from each cluster will be printed on the examination paper, and students will be asked to compare this poem with another from the appropriate cluster.

In common with all boards, and in accordance with Ofqual regulations, there is no coursework or non-examination assessment for this specification.

Achievement will be graded on a 1-9 scale (rather than the previous F-A* grading system) with 9 being the highest, and 5 classified as a "good pass")

GCSE English Literature is assessed by two examinations, one of 1 hour and 45 minutes, carrying 40% of the total GCSE marks, and the other of 2 hours 15 minutes, carrying 60% of the total GCSE marks. Both examinations must be taken in the same year.

Paper 1:
Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel
64 marks: 40% of the total GCSE marks

Section A: Shakespeare

Students will one question on their chosen play, first writing in detail about the extract on the examination paper, and then more widely about the play as a whole.

As this specification is skills based, there will be no expectation of a "right" answer; the focus will be on the student's ability to read and respond.

Section B: The 19th Century Novel

Students will answer one essay question on their chosen novel, first writing in detail about the extract on the examination paper, and then more widely about the novel as a whole.

Paper 2:
Modern Texts and Poetry
96 marks: 60% of the total GCSE marks

Section A: Modern Texts

Students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their chosen text.

Section B: Poetry

Students will be asked to write a comparative essay on a "named" poem which will be printed on the examination paper and one other poem of their choice from the same Anthology cluster. (Either Love and Relationships or Power and Conflict.)

Section C: Unseen Poetry

Students will answer one essay question on an unseen poem, and then another essay question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem. Students should deal with issues such as content, theme, poetic structure and the use of language.

 

 

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