This one-year course prepares you for one of the most valuable qualifications needed in life. Successful achievement of this qualification enhances your career prospects and is often needed for successful entry to higher academic courses.
The course will involve preparation for two exams, each worth 50% and lasting for 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The two units (papers) are:
In addition, there will be a non-examination assessment based on spoken language.
This course is free (unless you already possess the equivalent of a pass grade 4 or above in the subject, in which case fees will be £724).
You should be 19 years old or over and will be screened and interviewed. You will also complete a piece of extended writing to ensure that you are on the right course. At this time we may refer you to our Functional English programme if it is felt you would benefit from this.
You will need to attain a Level 2 screening in English.
You should also maintain a good level of attendance throughout the course.
The course will involve preparation for two end-of-year exams.
The two exams both consist of a Reading Section and a Writing Section, each with an equal weighting of marks for the paper.
Learners will be prepared for these exams with a range of materials and mock exams.
This will involve exploring and analysing a range of interesting fiction extracts of texts from a variety of authors. In the actual Paper 1 there will be one unseen extract to analyse. There are no longer set texts to study for the exams. Retrieval skills, language analysis, structural analysis of a text and a thorough critical evaluation of a text are all required for this paper. You will also need to produce imaginative, creative pieces of writing to prepare for the writing section of the exam. Preparation for this paper will involve developing these skills using a range of resources and activities. This will involve group discussions and activities, pair work, tutor input and independent learning.
This will again involve exploring and analysing a range of interesting non-fiction texts from different time periods (including 19th Century texts), for example diary extracts, newspaper and magazine articles, travelogues and copies of speeches. Retrieval skills, comparison between texts (including inference), language analysis and a comparison of different writers' viewpoints and perspectives are all needed for this paper, along with the ability to effectively put forward your own viewpoints informatively and persuasively on certain topics for the writing section. There will be lively debates and discussions in classes on topical issues and subjects relating to the society in which we live.
In addition, there will be a non-examination assessment based on spoken language. All learners will give a presentation on a topic of their choice. This is one of the highlights of the course, whereby learners find out about many different places, work situations, hobbies and interests. Some learners like to talk about their own viewpoints and beliefs on a certain topic.
You will need to allow weekly time for homework tasks on this course and to sit two exam papers in June. You will be thoroughly prepared for your exams. Learners enjoy reading, writing, speaking and listening tasks undertaken in classes, but they also need to be prepared to work hard.
Assessment is based on 100% examination, with two exams.
There is no specialist equipment required for this course. However, you may wish to purchase relevant text books to supplement your learning which your tutor will recommend.
We also recommend that you purchase a folder to keep your work in and a notebook for taking notes in class.
A grade 4/C in GCSE English is often a requirement for many courses and careers.
It may help you to move on to other courses such as programmes within higher education.
Former Derby College GCSE student Pavla Kesslerova is travelling to Zimbabwe next month to undertake further research for her MSc Health Psychology course.
Pavla, who is originally from the Czech Republic, graduated from Sheffield Hallam University last year with a first class honour’s degree in psychology.
But the former adult GCSE maths and English student, who studied at the Ilkeston site, believes she would not have “progressed on her learning journey” without Derby College.
Before having her two children, Pavla worked for 10 years supporting young adults with autism, starting as support worker then becoming team leader, deputy manager and ultimately domiciliary care manager.
She said: “After my maternity leave, I felt I needed to expand my academic knowledge and “activate” my brain again. I wasn’t sure how to approach this, though, as I’d become a mother later in life and felt a bit anxious about going “back to school” in my 40s.
But, as soon as I stepped into Derby College in Ilkeston for the initial knowledge test, I felt at ease. I was welcomed and reassured that people in my age group regularly took evening classes with Derby College.”
Pavla needed maths and English GCSEs to study for a psychology degree, plus she wanted to boost her “Maturita”, the Czech equivalent of A levels. The year she spent at Derby College helped prepare her well for university.
She said: “Psychology research is all about statistics, and one needs to be confident in maths before engaging with complicated quantitative research methods. Academic writing is a massive part of the Psychology course; the GSCE in English gave me a great foundation.”
While in Africa, Pavla will be gathering further data for her research project, which centres on gaining a better understanding of vaccine hesitancy.
She added: “I still feel grateful to Derby College and would definitely recommend it. Without it I would not have been able to progress on my learning journey.”
I still feel grateful to Derby College and would definitely recommend it. Without it I would not have been able to progress on my learning journey.