|English - curriculum and examinations|
This page has links to documents which describe the secondary school curriculum for English and Literacy. These include National Curriculum Programmes of Study, the draft National Literacy Strategy framework in Key Stage 3, and syllabuses (now called specifications) and related documents for public examinations at GCSE (the General Certificate of Secondary Education) and GCE (General Certificate of Education) at Advanced (A2) and Advanced Supplementary (AS) level.
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The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum (NC) applies to state schools in England and Wales. It has been revised several times, and is now in its third version. To see the current requirements for English in England, click on the appropriate links below:
The draft National Literacy Strategy framework for KS3
The National Literacy Strategy has been a part of teaching at Key Stages 1 and 2 for several years. It is now to be introduced to Key Stage 3. A draft of the guidance document is now available.
Since its first appearance the National Curriculum has undergone many radical changes. Whenever this happens, all teachers and some children will be caught in a transition period. For a year or more, they may be teaching the old version to one class and the new version to another. This happened recently for GCSE classes.
In England and Wales there are several exam boards which set exams in English at GCSE. Below you will find links to the specifications for GCSE, along with examiners' reports, exam papers and marking advice, from one such board - the AQA. This is the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance, which is formed by two regional exam boards (the AEB and NEAB). As part of a pilot scheme the AQA/NEAB has placed the 1998 examining materials into the public domain. You will find links below to the relevant documents. The new specifications were examined for the first time in 2004.
GCSE English literature
Literature is a compulsory part of English, which is a core subject in the National Curriculum - so everyone must take an assessed course (GCSE or other certificate) in English at 16 (It's not called English language because it includes this element of literature study). English literature (as a GCSE subject on its own) is optional within the National Curriculum (of course, it may still be part of the compulsory curriculum at any particular school).
GCE Advanced and Advanced Supplementary English language
Below you will find links to a range of specifications and related documents for Advanced (A2) and Advanced Supplementary (AS) qualifications in English language.
GCE Advanced and Advanced Supplementary English literature
Below you will find links to a range of specifications and related documents for Advanced (A2) and Advanced Supplementary (AS) qualifications in English literature.
GCE combined language and literature courses
Below you will find links to a range of specifications and related documents for Advanced (A2) and Advanced Supplementary (AS) qualifications in English language and literature.
Useful Web sites
In order to find up-to-date information about assessed courses, you should consult the Web sites of the relevant bodies. Broadly these can be split into public and government organizations, and examining boards, which are private companies or charities.
Government, public sector and related sites
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© Andrew Moore, 2000, 2004; Contact me