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Netherthorpe School


Year 9 Parents GCSE(AQA) English Language and Literature Entry

I am writing to let you know about a change we are making to your child’s GCSE entries in English Language and English Literature.

In order to allow students to maximise their focus on GCSE English Language in Year 11, and give greater impetus to their studies in Year 10, we have decided to enter students for GCSE English Literature at the end of Year 10 and so they will sit their examination in May 2020. The English Language examination will be taken at the end of Year 11, in June 2021.


The nationwide changes to the GCSE curriculum have increased the expectations and level of challenge facing our students. We believe that completing English Literature at the end of Year 10 will allow an important, content-rich subject to be completed ahead of the demanding revision period that follows in Year 11. Separating the entry dates for the English GCSEs will allow us to manage the demands on our students more effectively. Your child will then be entering their final year of school with a key qualification already completed. The sole focus in Year 11 will be English Language: a crucial GCSE that is required for all employment routes and further education courses.

The provisional examination dates for the English Literature GCSEs are as follows:

Paper 1: 13th May 2020

Paper 2: 21st May 2020

We would urge you not to book any family holidays in the period running up to and including these dates, as students will be preparing intensively for their final exams. Please note that these dates are provisional and therefore may change.

Students will start Year 10 by studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Paper copies of both texts are available from the English Department for just £1 each, if your child would like to get ahead over the summer holidays. I have also included some useful websites below, for independent study.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me on the school telephone number.

Yours sincerely

Ms T Robson
Head of English

A Copy of the this letter has been sent home.

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Ralph Road, Staveley, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S43 3PU


01246 472220