New GCSEs in 2010-And Functional Skills
In June, QCA published Draft GCSE Subject Criteria for English, the final versions of which will guide exam boards in the design of new syllabuses for GCSE English subjects from 2010. Consultation on the drafts ended at the end of September and final criteria are due to be published in December, with syllabuses accredited by September 2009 for first teaching in September 2010.
The proposals are controversial. There will be three GCSE English subjects available. In order to satisfy National Curriculum requirements, students will take either GCSE English or GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. The requirements for GCSE English will be 'nested' within GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature so that it will be possible for students who have studied for both English Literature and English Language to take just English if that seems appropriate.
GCSE English has a new bi-partite structure--'English in the daily world' and 'English in the world of the imagination' (itself controversial as a division). The literature content is to be reduced; there is, however, a greater emphasis on creativity in the 'world of the imagination ' part of the course: role-play and drama for En1 and creative writing for En3, as well as literary study for En2. GCSE English Literature is intended to provide a better bridge to A Level English Literature. There will be an increase in the number of texts studied, and two main focuses--'individual texts in context' and 'comparative study,' including a wider reading internal assessment option. The main innovation is GCSE English Language, which, in addition to content familiar from current GCSE English, will contain a new focus on language study. …