These short series of articles are designed to help you choose the right GCSE English specification for your resit examinations. Each article will cover a situation you may find yourself in and provide detailed guidance on what would be the best option for you in that situation.
So what specification should you choose if…
Situation 3a: Your students have previously taken GCSE English or GCSE English Language with different exam boards.
There are two options here depending on whether or not you feel your students would benefit from following course with controlled assessment.
Option 1: Students would benefit from a course with controlled assessment.
In this case, the choice is much the same as for the previously situation: all students can either resit GCSE English J350 or GCSE English Language J355.
Unfortunately, controlled assessment marks cannot be carried forward between the specifications of different exam boards and so students in this situation would need to resit the whole OCR qualification. However, there is a large amount of overlap between the content of exam board specifications, so it is very possible that the texts that students have already studied will still be relevant. The understanding and skills that students have previously developed will always be relevant regardless of the specification they have followed.
Option 2: Students would benefit from an entirely examined course.
The GCSE (9-1) English Language J351 specification offers 100% examined assessment. This is a skills based qualification with assessment based entirely on unseen texts. As such, there are no set texts that students must study as part of the course; instead they will need to look at a range of non-fiction and literary extracts in order to develop their reading and writing skills.
Many centres may find that the removal of set content and controlled assessment means that this qualification is much more suited to delivery in one year. The skills based approach also benefits students who may, for various reasons, find it difficult to get through whole texts in the time available.
As June 2017 is the first assessment opportunity for GCSE (9-1) English Language J351, students will also need to take the Spoken Language endorsement in 2016-17. This endorsement does not contribute to the GCSE grade but it is a compulsory part of the course. From June 2017 onwards, the result for the Spoken Language endorsement can be carried forward between exam boards and for the life of the specification.
Situation 3b: Your students have previously taken GCSE English or GCSE English Language with different exam boards. You would like to start all students on a brand new course where they are all on a level playing field.
In this circumstance, the GCSE (9-1) English Language J351 would be most suitable for students.
The final entry deadline for the June 2017 exam series is 21 February 2017.
If you have any questions regarding resit opportunities in June 2017, or on any other aspect of our GCSE English and English Language qualifications, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.