GCSE English (single award)

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GCSE English (single award)

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    What are your views on this GCSE?  For low ability C/D borderline pupils, are they better doing this course or do you think they should be doing both lang and lit, even if it means they're more likely to miss out on the C in the language?

    I'm a bit unsure about what the value of GCSE English is.  In Wales, for example, the Assembly Government have told schools they're not allowed to do it and so must do lang and lit with all students.

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     Doing it at my school. Lit for the top set only.

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    We do it too. Works fine for us and unfortunately, in this day and age of CHIME and E Bacc and whatever else they judge us on, we can spend more time on the skills they need to pass English only.
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    If there is a chance of a C then I would do Lang with the Lit, this is what counts for schools on the A-C but the English does not. Also I am under impression that they only need to be 'entered' for the lit, not necessarily take the exam. Anyone know if this is correct?
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    sunflower48
    Also I am under impression that they only need to be 'entered' for the lit, not necessarily take the exam. Anyone know if this is correct?

    Can you prove you have studied a Shakespeare play without entering them?

    sunflower48
    English does not.
    It most certainly does, it's English Language which doesn't.
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    What! Well then everyone on WJEC course and conversations with other Heads of English have seriously been misinterpreted by us all.. To take English Language you have to be entered for English Literature and that is the A-C for league tables. However, English only, can be taken without English Literature and is not counted for league tables. This is my understanding, where did you hear differently? Maybe we need WJEC clarification on this urgetnly Grouch.
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    These are the rules (and I'm 100% sure about them!):

    If you take English Language then you must also take English Literature.  If you only enter students for English language then their results will be exempt from the league tables. 

    GCSE English (single award) will be entered on league tables.  This course covers elements of both language and literature and so satisfies the QCDA / JCQ stipulations.  

    So, your centre could have 75% of students taking English Language and English Literature, and 25% taking English, and all marks will be published and included on league tables.

    * * * * 

    What concerns me about the single award is that it's essentially a dumbed down version of English Language and that employers might not attach much value to it.  Two English qualifications may be viewed by some as superior to one, even if the grades differ.  Also, some students enjoy Literature even though their attainment in the subject isn't particularly high.  They miss out by taking English which hardly seems fair.

     

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    Sunflower48: I can confirm that EITHER Eng Lang or Eng will count for performance measures, but for the former candidates must also be entered for GCSE Lit.
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    What concerns me about the single award is that it's essentially a dumbed down version of English Language and that employers might not attach much value to it.  Two English qualifications may be viewed by some as superior to one, even if the grades differ.  Also, some students enjoy Literature even though their attainment in the subject isn't particularly high.  They miss out by taking English which hardly seems fair.

     

    I'm looking at the AQA GCSE English syllabus. Students must cover three texts (poetry, prose and drama), including Shakespeare, English literary heritage and literature from other cultures. This is about as much literature content as under the old English syllabus.

     

    Under the old syllabus, our department taught GCSE Eng and GCSE Lit in the same allocation of lessons - which was possible because of the amount of overlap allowed in the coursework files. However, in Year 11, the cohort was divided into two groups: one taking English only and one taking both exams. Any C/D borderline candidates were urged to take English only, because the English GCSE was the vital one; Lit was an extra for the more able. The coverage of literature in the old GCSE Lit was enough to satisfy us that even the weaker students were getting enough exposure; and I feel it will be the same with the new syllabuses. I'm not sure employers will care more about Lang+Lit as opposed to English.  An A* - C in English will impress. Eng Lit will be seen as a frill.

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    Hm - that first paragraph is of course quoted from mediadave's post. I don't know how to put it in a white box!

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    Thank you for all clarifications.

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    Last year, when we began teaching the new AQA specs our 1-3 groups were taking English Language and English Lit, with sets 4 - 5 doing only the English.  However, this year (our current Year 10) we now have to do Lang & Lit with set 4.  I have students who are targeted a D grade yet am now supposed to cover the Lit content with them too - reducing the time we would have had to possibly help them gain a C grade if they had only been taking the English option.  I'm not 100% sure about the reason - is it because the Government have said they are no longer accepting the English for college etc?

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    Sedgers
    I'm not 100% sure about the reason - is it because the Government have said they are no longer accepting the English for college etc?

     

    Not as far as I know. I suspect it's because we like teaching Lit!

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