Language and Literacy

Language and Literacy is a compulsory Area of Learning at Key Stage 3. It includes English with Media Education and encourages pupils to continue to develop their skills in talking and listening, reading, and writing.

This helps pupils to develop effective communication skills. These enable pupils to express themselves clearly and appropriately, and to understand the messages of others in different contexts. Pupils have opportunities to appreciate and use language for a range of functional and creative purposes. They engage with peers, poetry, prose, drama, non-fiction, media and multimedia to become critical, creative and effective communicators.

Teachers should help pupils to understand the nature of communication in different contexts. This will enable them to create and analyse messages in print and digital forms throughout their lives.

Subject Content 

In Year 8 pupils will study:

  • Fiction and Non-Fiction texts
  • Poetry
  • Novel study
  • Reading analysis
  • Personal and Autobiographical texts
  • Speaking and Listening skills

In Year 9 pupils will study:

  • Creative writing
  • Poetry
  • Novel study
  • Reading analysis
  • Speaking and Listening skills

In Year 10 pupils will study:

  • Persuasive writing
  • Poetry
  • Novel study
  • Reading analysis
  • Multimodal texts
  • Speaking and Listening skills

The CCEA GCSE English Language specification encourages students to explore and respond, both imaginatively and critically, to a variety of texts. 

Students use reading to improve their writing and spoken language skills. They also enhance their understanding of how language variations relate to identity and cultural diversity. 

The GCSE English Language specification develops key transferable skills, such as selecting and adapting speech and writing to suit different situations and audiences. 

The specification provides a sound basis for progression to further study, higher education or employment. 

This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Language and Literacy Area of Learning. 

The specification has four units:

  • Unit 1: Writing for Purpose and Audience and Reading to Access Non-fiction and Media Texts (Examination Unit worth 30%)
  • Unit 2: Speaking and Listening (Controlled Assessment Unit worth 20% of GCSE)
  • Unit 3: Studying Spoken and Written Language (2 Controlled Assessments worth 10% each)
  • Unit 4: Personal or Creative Writing and Reading Literary and Non-fiction Texts (Examination Unit worth 30%)

The CCEA GCSE English Literature specification encourages students to be enthusiastic, independent, imaginative, critical and analytical readers. It aims to increase their enjoyment of reading, helping to nurture a lifelong love of literature.

The specification deepens students’ knowledge and understanding of a range of poetry, prose and drama, including texts by local and modern writers. Students explore the impact of language, structure and form in the texts. Connecting the texts’ ideas, themes and issues is another key focus.

Students also learn how to explain settings, characters and themes creatively through social, cultural and historical contexts. They develop their ability to research, plan and prepare their responses using their own ideas and interests, as well as critical reading.

This qualification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills developed through the Language and Literacy Area of Learning.

This specification is unitised, so it’s possible to take part of the assessment before the end of the course.

The specification has three units:

  • Unit 1: The Study of Prose (Examination Unit worth 30%)
  • Unit 2: The Study of Drama and Poetry (Examination Unit worth 50%)
  • Unit 3: The Study of Shakespeare (Controlled Assessment worth 20%)


  • GCSE Support After-School classes
  • Reading Club
  • English Support Drop-In (break and lunch)


English Department Results