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In Key Stage 4, all students study English Language and follow a curriculum that leads to an IGCSE in English as a First Language or IGCSE in English as a Second Language at either Core or Extended level. Both qualifications have the same value in the eyes of Higher Education institutions and employers. During the course, whether First Language or Second Language, students develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in both speech and writing. They learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation, and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed. Students are entered for the syllabus which best meets their needs and this decision is made at the end of Key Stage 3, in Year 9. In addition, a number of students are also entered for IGCSE English Literature.

For the IGCSE English Literature course, texts include a range of novels, short stories, plays and poetry. These are all Cambridge approved texts and are selected each year according to students’ backgrounds, interests and needs. During the course, students develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. Through their studies, students learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and how to present an informed, personal response to the material they have studied.

The course also encourages the exploration of wider and universal issues, promoting students’ better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.
In Key Stage 4, for all of the English courses, students’ progress is assessed each term, and in Years 10 and 11 all students sit all full mock exam in exam-style conditions. After the Year 11 mock, at the beginning of Term 2, a final decision is made as to which paper each student should be entered for, according to each student’s capabilities.