Year 11! You asked for it (well, you didn’t) – and here it is.
A day-by-day plan for revising for your English Literature GCSE, with plenty of activities to help prepare you for both the real final literature exams, which are all too soon.
(Click on the hyperlink above for a higher resolution version.)
You can find our GCSE Language Revision Folders by clicking on the link at the top of this page. Don’t forget all of the useful audio you’ll find too by clicking on GCSE Playlists. You should know the password. If not: email Mr Smith (email@example.com).
On Tuesday 7th June, you’ll be taking your two English Language exams back-to-back. Together, they account for 60% of the overall GCSE grade. Here are our top tips for preparing for the papers. With a little luck, you’ll know most of this already!
1. Know what to expect! We cannot stress this enough. You should know exactly what your papers will look like, what kinds of question you’ll be asked, and how long you should be spending on each task. You can find all of the past papers here, and our 8-page revision guide gives you everything you need to know about timing and approaches to each question.
2. Make use of ActiveTeach. It’s packed with guidance on both the Unit 1 (Reading) and Unit 2 (Writing) papers. You can access it here, where you’ll also find a guide as to how to find what you need.
3. Have a look at the exemplar student work we’ve uploaded to the blog. You’ll find A* examples of all seven different types of writing you could be asked to produce for the Unit 2 paper – as well as some top grade mock exam responses.
4. Read the examiners’ reports we put together for you after each mock exam. We’ve pointed out the most common mistakes students made so that you can avoid making them yourselves!
5. Have a go at some of our tests designed to improve the accuracy of your writing. You’ll be emailed your scores a few minutes after you submit your answers.
6. Read, read, read! We’ve put together a list of ‘Quick Reads’ for you – texts that can all be read in around 5 minutes – that’ll help you to practise your reading skills, and they might give you ideas for your writing tasks too. The best writers are the ones who’ve read widely. Be one of them!
And that’s it, Year 11.
Good luck. We have total confidence in you!
Right then, Year 10!
In your English lessons after half term, you’ll be completing a 45-minute exam-style assessment in which you give your point of view on a contentious statement.
The statement will be provocative – something designed to get you thinking – and you’ll be asked to write one of the following types of text:
– A formal letter
– A speech
– An article
While we can’t tell you the specific task you’ll be completing – as that would be cheating, of course – we will tell you that the topic will be social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
Over half term, we recommend completing the following tasks to ensure you are fully prepared for the assessment:
– Read the section on Writing with a viewpoint in your My Revision Notes study guides. (You can buy these from the library; details here.)
– Read and make notes on this presentation.
– Watch this TED talk in which Sherry Turkle looks at the downsides of social media.
– Read this article from the BBC which explores the positives and negatives of social networking.
Have a think about your own views on social networks. Do you you think they bring us together, or push us apart?
Remember: your piece of writing will be marked out of 40, with 24 marks for AO5 (content) and 16 marks for AO6 (accuracy). To that end, you might find it useful to complete some of the sections on Using effective punctuation and Improving sentences and grammar in your My Revision Notes books.
Any questions? See your English teacher.
You’ve come to the right place, as usual!
Earlier this month, our Year 11 students completed a mock Unit 2 (Writing) exam. The tasks set were as follows:
Below, you’ll find some of our own students’ responses to these tasks.
All of the exemplars achieved A*s – so they’re well worth a read to see the kind of writing that secures the highest marks.
You asked for it* and here it is at last: The Ultimate Homophone Megatest!
Score 20/20 to be in with a chance at an exciting** prize.
* You probably didn’t.
** It’s probably not.
The task we set our Year 11 students was a tricky one:
Experts have predicted that by the year 2020 one third of the United Kingdom population could be obese. The principal at your school is looking at ways to address the problem, and has asked you – as head of the student council – to offer a student view.
Write a report for the principal in which you look at the ways in which the obesity epidemic could be tackled in your school.
Here’s a superb exemplar from one of our students. It’s on its way to full marks – and a certain A*.
What do you think?