Posted on April 29th 2019
'Walk and Talk' Masterclass for GCSE English Exam
The English Language GCSE is one that requires a great deal of independence and skill from our students. It may seem simple in principle, but it is anything but.
Students are expected to read some very challenging unseen texts, and then give a detailed and thorough analysis, all under exam conditions and with limited time. They must then switch gears for the latter part of the examination and write creatively and professionally – using a topic or stimulus that they are unlikely to have ever written about before.
With all these different elements it is no wonder that students nationally underperform on their English Language in comparison to their English Literature. The English Department at the Harris Garrard Academy are determined to ensure our students buck this trend and have been working with our students to ensure they feel ready to take on this challenge in the summer.
Advice, tips and insights
Our most recent initiative involved a four hour 'Walking Talking Mock' for the whole of Year 11 (pictured above), and on the first day back after a two week holiday, just to add insult to injury!
The students, along with their English teachers, went through each question and examined a range of example texts as part of the lecture-style session.
With an experienced staff team, which includes a number of AQA examiners, we were able to share advice, tips and to provide an insight into the common mistakes that students tend to make. The students behaved impeccably in what was undoubtedly a gruelling day; their maturity and work ethic made us all very proud.
This qualification develops students' ability to communicate, decode and infer with confidence. Employers and universities will often look at a student's English Language grade as it demonstrates their transferrable skills and the potential they have to learn in all fields. We want to give our students access to every opportunity that they could wish to explore and feel confident that the work they are doing in these areas will have a transformative effect on their futures.
Ailish Langan, Director of Learning for English