English & Media Studies Faculty Revision

GCSE English Language

Our new GCSE English Language syllabus presents us with some different challenges:

  • Exams at the end of Year 10; coursework done under exam conditions with short prepared notes and a study of the changes in spoken English.
  • 40% of the assessment will be by an examination based on the reading of non-fiction texts, such as magazine/newspaper articles and writing based on information and ideas, such as letters and leaflets.
  • 60% will be done under ‘controlled conditions’. This will take the form of a supervised exam on poetry, a play and a novel from a different culture to ours. This will also include a speaking and listening assessment which takes place throughout the course.

The following are WJEC recommeded study and revision books:

Please visit the WJEC website at http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/english/ for past papers and mark schemes.

Other revision resources include:

BBC Bitesize at https://www.bbc.com/education/examspecs/ztjmv4j
http://www.educationquizzes. com/gcse.english

Other Ways to Revise for English

There are many ways that you can revise for English Language. For Unit 3, Section B try the following:

  • Read newspaper and website articles and practise analysing the writers’ choices of language and the way headlines, photos, and presentational features (colour, images, layout) are used effectively.
  • Read passages from books, websites, and newspaper articles and think about the main points the writer is making picking out short quotations.
  • Revise basic language terms: e.g. noun, adjective, verb, adverb, simile, metaphor, alliteration, simple sentence, complex sentence, emotive language.
  • Expand your vocabulary by reading and talking with your family about meanings of a range of sophisticated words so you can read and use them. For example, did you know that you could use words such as cynical, volatile, disillusioned, genuine, amnesia, environmental, unprecedented?
  • Learn the features of:
  • Reports
  • Speeches
  • Articles
  • Letters
  • Reviews

To prepare for Unit 2, Section B (creative writing) try the following:

  • Read! When we read we learn models for our own writing.
  • Think back to events, trips and holidays and write about them under timed conditions.
  • Try writing a response to the following creative writing titles:
    • The Outsider
    • Memories
    • Continue the story ‘she knew it was a mistake as soon as she turned the corner’.
    • Write a story that ends ‘…. that was the biggest mistake of my life’.
  • Once you have written a piece of creative writing have a go at using more challenging vocabulary with a thesaurus and check spellings, grammar and punctuation; this will help you to pick up any common mistakes.
  • Look at exemplar pieces on the pupil shared area.
  • Think about ways of starting and connecting sentences – you have key connectives in the back of your planners.

GCSE English Literature

A set of resources to support the teaching of the new poetry anthology for the WJEC English Literature specification is available on the WJEC website at http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/english/english-literature-gcse/.  The resources are designed to be used alongside the specified poems for the controlled assessment task. The resources include a General Teachers’ Notes file detailing suggested approaches for using the resource and for comparing, reading and responding to poems. Each poem is presented as a digital file (either fully interactive or as a PowerPoint file), containing activities which may be used to explore the poems’ style, language, structure, form and content. The Teachers’ Notes file for each poem may be used alongside these digital files to elicit further discussion.  Some of the files as pdfs are below.  Please visit the WJEC website for all the other files.

A Peasant
Antonia’s Story
Caroline A County Life
Daylight Robbery
From Father to Son
From his Coy Mistress
In September
Jugged Hare
Let’s Go To Barry Island
The Birthright
Wild Cherry

The English Literature course is a demanding one. We expect to enter the great majority of students for this course, which is taught alongside English Language, but it is dependent on students keeping up-to-date with their work.

There are two exam papers:

  • One deals with writing about unseen poetry and a novel from a different culture
  • the other paper involves writing about a play and a modern novel.
  • 25% of the course will be assessed by a controlled assessment comparing the themes of a selection of poetry with a Shakespeare play. This will be done under examination-like conditions with the aid of short, prepared class notes.

All students have access to Sound Training resources at http://www.soundtraining.co.uk  User: students@crickhowell Password: crickhowell1.  In terms of general revision for English, there are dictionary sites/apps, such as GCSE POD, for which you have a user name and password.  We highly recommend York Notes to accompany set texts for English Literature and many students use YouTube videos, such as Mr Bruff – https://www.youtube.com/user/mrbruff

Other useful resources include:

BBC Bitesize for GCSE English Literature – http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zckw2hv

Please visit the WJEC website at http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/english/ for past papers and mark schemes.

There is a vast array of GCSE revision materials on Sharepoint using the link below:


AS / A2 English Language / Literature

The WJEC website has a range of revision resources available at http://resources.wjec.co.uk/Pages/ResourceSingle.aspx?rIid=705.  Please visit the WJEC website at http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/english/ for specimen assessment materials, past papers and the Poetry Pre-1914 Anthology.

There is a vast array of AS and A2 revision materials on Sharepoint using the link below:


Media Studies

The WJEC recommended study and revision books for both GCSE and AS / A2 courses are:

The WJEC provides a range of useful resources at http://resources.wjec.co.uk/Pages/ResourceSingle.aspx?rIid=2624These are broken down by unit for both GCSE, AS and A2 syllabuses.

A further helpful study / revision source is the BBC Bitesize for GCSE Media Studies is at http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/ztnygk7

Please visit the WJEC website at http://www.wjec.co.uk/qualifications/design-and-technology/ for past papers and specimen assessment materials.