English Language GCSE | English courses | Oxford Home Schooling

English GCSE

Whilst studying English Language GCSE you will learn to read and respond to challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

The examined texts, across a range of genres and types, will support you in developing your own writing through the provision of effective models. The texts will include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism, from both printed and online sources.

When writing, you will learn to write for impact and to produce clear and coherent written texts.

You will build a familiarity with a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, and engage with creative as well as real writing contexts. The course will provide opportunities to develop sophisticated reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes.


The course is split into 5 main modules as shown below.

  • Module 1: Reading Unseen Literature
  • Module 2 Exploring Creative Writing and Non-Exam Spoken English Assessment
  • Module 3 Reading Non-Fiction Viewpoints and Perspectives
  • Module 4 Reading Non-Fiction Viewpoints and Perspectives II
  • Module 5 Presenting Written Viewpoints

As you work through the course you will submit 10 Tutor-marked Assignments. These are formative assessments so you can gauge your progress as you work through the course.

Completion of the GCSE English Language course will enable candidates to read fluently and write effectively. Candidates will be able to demonstrate a confident control of Standard English forms and will write grammatically correct sentences. They will show confidence when employing figurative language and analysing texts.

The course has been written to match the AQA English GCSE Specification 8700.

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Exams and Assessment

  • Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
  • Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives
Each paper lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes and is worth 50% of the overall mark. Grades are awarded from 9 to 1 with 9 being the highest grade available.

Spoken Assessment

In addition to the written assessment, students will need to carry out a spoken presentation which is separately endorsed. The endorsement is graded as a Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Course duration and Study time

When you enrol with Oxford Home Schooling we will agree an intended examination date with you. Your support will last all the way up to this examination date, regardless of how long you decide to study the course, be it over 9 months or 30.

200 hours of study are recommended for this course.

Course price

Our English GCSE course fee is £475.

You may pay using our interest-free easy payment scheme. Pay a £95 deposit followed by eight monthly instalments of £47.50.

You will receive support from a fully-qualified tutor holding either a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) or a degree in education.

This support includes:

  • Marking all assignments for the course
  • Written answers to specific study problems
  • Telephone contact

When you begin this course, you will agree an examination date or dates with your Student Adviser. Your support period lasts up to this examination date.

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The Spoken Assessment

The spoken component is a Non-examined Assessment or NEA.  NEAs have a separate set of rules from normal assessments and are marked by your Oxford Home Schooling tutor rather than the examination board. In order for this to be arranged the Oxford Open Learning Trust will be your entering examination centre. You will need to find a hosting centre to which your written paper can be transferred.

Full details of NEA can be found here.


To take part in the spoken assessment students will need:

  • A good internet connection which will sustain a high quality Skype feed.
  • A quality webcam. In general, built-in webcams do not provide the clarity required. Webcams in phones generally do have sufficient clarity but an operator is normally required in order to keep the subject properly framed throughout the presentation.
  • An acceptable form of Photo ID, normally a passport or driving license.


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The English GCSE course does not require you to have access to any specific text.  You will study an anthology of prose.  Text from the following titles is included in the anthology.

  • From A Passage to Africa, George Alagiah
  • From The Explorer’s Daughter, Kari Herbert
  • ‘Explorers or boys messing about? Either way, taxpayer gets rescue bill’, Steven Morris
  • From Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Aron Ralston
  • ‘Young and dyslexic? You’ve got it going on’ , Benjamin Zephaniah
  • From A Game of Polo with a Headless Goat, Emma Levine