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GCSE English [UKOL] 298.34

GCSE English Distance Learning Course

Course Overview

This course prepares the student for the AQA GCSE English (Mature) syllabus. This has coursework and examination requirements, both of which are dealt with in a series of assignments. The assignments for the coursework and the examination will be marked by the tutor, and guidance given on how they could be improved.
The course has been written by a tutor with many years of teaching at this level and to this specification.
Students will need to register with a centre for the purposes of taking the examination and submitting final essays, but assistance will be given in this process.
You will be provided with past papers and a series of self-assessment tasks on top of the very detailed advice about:

common errors
grammatical terms
essay writing
studying Shakespeare
responding to prose
responding to media texts and poetry
exam technique


Section 1 The course specification
1.1 The GCSE English (Mature)
1.2 Coursework requirements
1.3 The examinations
1.4 The pre-release papers
1.5 Registering with a centre as a private candidate
1.6 A Work Schedule

Section 2 Getting started
2.1 Common errors
2.2 Punctuation rules and conventions
2.3 Spelling
2.4 Nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs
2.5 Sentence structure
2.6 Paragraphing
2.7 Presentation and retention of essays
2.8 Authenticity

Section 3 Writing to inform, explain, describe
Coursework Assignment 1

Section 4 Writing to explore, imagine, entertain
Coursework Assignment 2

Section 5 Writing to argue, persuade, advise
Examination practice assignment 1

Section 6 Writing to analyse, review, comment
Examination practice assignment 2

Section 7 Response to Shakespeare
7.1 Introduction to Macbeth
7.2 The plot
7.3 The structure
7.4 The language
7.5 The characters
7.6 The imagery
7.7 The themes
7.8 Coursework Assignment 3

Section 8 Response to prose
8.1 Introduction to Animal Farm by George Orwell
8.2 The historical background
8.3 The characters in the book and their historical counterparts
8.4 The story
8.5 The issues
8.6 Coursework Assignment 4

Section 9 Media texts
9.1 The range of texts
9.2 Terms you need to know
9.3 The newspapers
9.4 Audience
9.5 Purpose
9.6 Layout
9.7 Font and colour
9.8 Language
9.9 What will be expected in the examination
9.10 Examination practice assignment 3

Section 10 Poetry from different cultures
10.1 What is poetry?
10.2 The technical terms
10.3 How to respond to a poem
10.4 Looking at the language
10.5 Looking at the ideas
10.6 Writing a response to a poem
10.7 What will be expected in the examination

Section 11 Speaking and Listening

Section 12 Arrangements for the examination
12.1 Foundation and Higher tiers

Section 13 Past papers

Appendix 1 Entering as a Private/External Candidate

Study Time
To complete this course it will take in the region of 100 study hours which can be spread over a 12 month period to suit the student.

No previous study is required to access any of our GCSE courses, but they do require basic literacy skills.

Support and Benefits
Full tutor support is available via email by fully qualified professionals.

Access will be provided to additional notes when students receive their pre-release papers in January. These will be available on our website.

Exam Dates and Information
Exams are in May/June of each year and the latest date for enrolment is December.
If you start your course after December then it is unlikely you can take your exam in June unless your tutor agrees and if you can find a centre. They will require late registration fees.

Please note: If you are wishing to take your exams next June (2010) if you enrol after 31st of October it is important that you check with the examination board that you will be able to sit the exam before enrolling on the course.

Further Reading and Book List
Shakespeare, Macbeth Penguin Books or any other good edition
George Orwell, Animal Farm Penguin Books

GCSE courses are available in a variety of subjects and they are by far the most common qualification taken by students wanting to gain a firm understanding of a topic. You will also need GCSEs to progress to A Levels.

A Pass (A*-C) in GCSE English is a key subject for entry into many professions.

Learning at Home offers a range of GCSEs and all the course materials map to the very latest criteria laid down by the awarding bodies. When you have taken your exams you will be awarded a grade which ranges from A G with G being the lowest.

You will need to take GCSEs to progress onto A Levels and employers look for Maths and English as a minimum requirement for most jobs.

Taking Exams
We will give whatever help we can with examination information and finding an exam centre, but entering examinations is entirely the responsibility of the student, and the contract for sitting examinations is between the student and the exam centre. We are not an exam centre so you must read all the information in your course pack carefully and be prepared to travel to a centre which is willing to accept external candidates.
For details of your nearest examination venue you need to contact the awarding body.

Learning at Home does not have access to any funding so if you require a subsidised course please contact your Learn Direct Centre.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do your courses meet the latest syllabus changes?
A. Yes, all our course materials meet any changes, and will be updated free of charge if further changes are made.

Q. Why do I have to find a centre myself?
A. We have students all over the UK and Europe, and it is impossible for us to arrange dates and times for individual students.

Q. What if I cannot find an examination centre?
A. If you wish to gain the qualification then be prepared to travel; it is worth it!

Q. How much are exam fees?
A. These vary from centre to centre but as a guide they are around 50

Q. Are the courses paper based or on-line?
A. All our courses are paper based and come in attractive sturdy folders.

Q. How do I contact my tutor?
A. Tutors are all working teachers or lecturers so contact is by email only.

Q. Why can I not take my exams when I have completed the course; why do I have to wait?
A. Exams are taken at the same times as schools and colleges and are not flexible.

The GCSE English (Mature) syllabus is only examined in May/June.

Q. I want to take my exams but there are only a few months to study in. Is this possible?
A. Depending on the time of year, it is sometimes impossible to complete your studies in a short space of time as your work has to be marked and checked. More importantly the examination boards have cut off times which are not flexible.

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