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GCSE English

Course Information

  • Course Code: H284
  • Duration: 1 academic year
  • Validated by: EDEXCEL
  • Study mode: Part Time

GCSE English is a vital requirement for almost everyone. Colleges and employers require GCSE English, usually at Grade C or above, and if you have not achieved this level of success in GCSE English yet, there is no better time to put it right.

English Language GCSE can lead to a wide variety of further study options - whether that be an Access to Higher Education Diploma, Foundation Entry degree or a degree from University Centre at Blackburn College, subject to your existing qualifications. 

We have a long history of offering GCSE English Language to adults across Pennine Lancashire and beyond. Tuition and Examinations for the course are FREE if you do not have a grade A*-C in your GCSE English currently. You will be required to pay a small Materials Fee of £20, however. 

Various classes are available for you to attend. These include day-time and evening-only options. 

What equipment will I need?

All GCSE students will require a pad of A4 wide-lined paper, a file to keep their work in, plastic wallets and dividers to keep their files organised. You should also bring pens and a highlighter pen to class.

Everything else necessary to complete the course, including set texts, textbook and access to our online learning resources, Kerboodle, is included in the £20 materials fee.

What do I need to bring to enrol?

On enrolment day, you will sit an assessment. You do not need to bring anything for this.

You should bring £20 in cash as you will not be able to enrol on to the one-year programme without paying this fee.

What can I do next?

GCSE English opens many doors to you. You may use it for career progression, to progress to further study or for personal satisfaction.


What will I study?

You will begin the academic year working towards producing a piece of coursework. The coursework will be on the broad theme of 'technology' and you will be able to choose your own question based on ideas we will provide in class. You will then produce an article on your chosen question and two pieces of written commentary to accompany it. You will also perform a short speaking and listening exam, again on your chosen topic, which is worth 10% of your grade.

You will spend the second half of the academic year preparing for your exams. You will be required to sit a two hour exam consisting of two parts. The first part of the exam assesses your reading ability. There will be an excerpt of text and a short introduction about the text. You will be required to ask corresponding questions about the text and the marks available for the questions will indicate how much information the students should provide. The second part of the exam is the writing paper. You will choose from three questions which are usually; writing to describe, writing to persuade or inform and writing a short story. Students generally perform best in the questions which are writing to describe, or writing to inform and persuade.

Throughout the year a variety of booklets will be provided for you which we will work through in class. The booklets cover aspects of the course such as; punctuation, grammar, reading and interpretation, writing to describe, writing to persuade and inform, further reading to aid the coursework article and a coursework accompaniment.

Not only do the booklets and lessons fulfil the requirement of the coursework and the exam but you will learn interpretation, reading and writing skills that will enhance future employment and future study.

Entry Requirements

You should be over 19 years of age and you should have a reasonable level of written and spoken English. All applicants will be required to complete a short assessment to ensure they are enrolling on an appropriate level of study and that they can enjoy and achieve during their time at Blackburn College. 

If you have achieved Level 1 Functional Skills, you should progress to Level 2 Functional Skills before embarking on the GCSE programme.

If you have completed Level 2 ESOL, you should progress onto Functional Skills English before embarking on the GCSE programme.  

How will I be assessed?

Your GCSE final grade will be based upon completion of coursework (worth 50%) and a two hour exam (also worth 50%). The coursework is split into written activities and a speaking and listening oral exam. The two hour exam is split into two parts; reading and writing.

Throughout the year you will be expected to complete exercises at home which will improve your spelling, punctuation, grammar, reading and interpretation. You will also practice writing to describe and writing to persuade. It is of the utmost importance that you complete these tasks at home to ensure that you are appropriately prepared for your coursework and assessment.

We also advise students to read at home as this improves reading and writing skills. Reading material can include; fictional books, non-fictional books and newspaper articles. To ensure successful completion of the course students are expected to maintain attendance of 90% and above over the thirty week programme. A detailed breakdown of the assessments will be given to you at your first class.

What can I do next?

Providing successful completion of the GCSE English Language course at Blackburn College there are a wide range of Level 3 and Access to Higher Education courses available should you want to continue further study at the College. Subject to other qualifications that you may have already attained you could progress on to a degree at University Centre at Blackburn College in a wide range of disciplines. We encourage our students to attend careers advice and open evenings to assess what path is most suitable.

Your Study Programme

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