In Key Stage 4 students follow the AQA English Language and English Literature courses. They study for two GCSE qualifications.
At the end of Year 9 and during Year 10 students complete five Controlled Assessments in Reading and Writing (Extended Reading, Creative Writing – 2 tasks, Spoken Language Study and Shakespeare and the Literary Heritage) and three Speaking and Listening Assessments. In Year 11 they concentrate on studying texts for the English Literature examinations and on examination skills and practice for both English Language and English Literature.
The Controlled Assessments and Speaking and Listening assessments amount to 60% of the final marks for English Language and 25% for English Literature and are marked in Bands. All English teachers standardise assessments, so a large sample is marked by at least three teachers. The mark scheme for each assessment is divided into 5 Bands, each band including a range of marks and qualities which must be demonstrated. When added together these marks can be translated into GCSE grades although these are likely to change from year to year. Progress levels are calculated as a combination of the different Controlled Assessments, tests and teacher assessment.