Welcome to the English Revision page.  Here you will find useful links and information to help you revise for your GCSE exams in English Language and Literature, as well as Mayfield exams in Year 9 and PIRA tests for Years 7 and 8.

Our Mayfield examinations for Year 9 use modified versions of the English Language GCSE Paper 1 - please see the information below for revision ideas.  Look for Year 9 for ideas and support!

Year 11 are currently studying for:

  • AQA GCSE English Language
  • AQA GCSE English Literature

Links to exam websites:

Years 7 and 8

Pupils in Key Stage 3 will sit PIRA reading tests once per term.  These standardised tests produce an age related reading score that enables the department to track progress from year to year and provide a link to Key Stage 2.

The test will generate:

  • A diagnostic profile for each pupil with areas of strengths and weaknesses;
  • A standardised score that will be communicated home.

An example test can be found online here.

How to revise for a PIRA test:

The best way to prepare for the PIRA tests is to read widely and often.  Some strategies that you can try include:

  • Reading Accelerated Reader texts at a suitable level for their ability;
  • Reading non-fiction tests, for example the BBC News;
  • Having discussions about characters, themes and narratives;
  • Revising key skills on the BBC Bitesize website.

Years 9 and Years 10 and 11

GCSE English Language - what you will be asked to do:

English Language Paper 1 Key facts: 50% of GCSE

Paper 1: Explorations in creative reading and writing

Q #

Skill

Marks

Timing

 

Read the extract from the novel

 

15 mins

1

Finding four facts from the text

4

5 mins

2

Analyse part of an extract looking at words and features

8

10 mins

3

Analyse the structure of the extract (NESTS)

8

10 mins

4

Make an analysis based on an opinion

20

15 mins

5

Writing to describe either based on an image or starting a story with a prompt

40 (24 content, 16 SPaG)

45 mins

 

TOTAL

80

1 hour 45 minutes

 

Years 10 and 11

English Language Paper 2 Key Facts: 50% of GCSE

Paper 2: Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives

Q #

Skill

Marks

Timing

 

Read the two extracts – one modern text and one from the nineteenth century

 

15-20 mins

1

Finding four facts/opinions from the text

4

5 mins

2

Summary of the similarities and differences between the two texts

8

10 mins

3

Analyse the language of the extract

12

10 mins

4

Comparison of perspectives of the two writers

16

15 mins

5

Writing to persuade using a specific form

40 (24 content, 16 SPaG)

45 mins

 

TOTAL

80

1 hour 45 minutes

 

Years 9 and Years 10 and 11

TIP!  Remember - always start with Question 5 - it is worth half ther marks of each paper!

Revision checklist - GCSE English Language

Am I secure in the knowledge of:

  • TiPToP (Paragraphs)
  • SCS1 (Sentences)
  • SPAMROD (Figurative language)
  • AFOREST (Rhetorical language)
  • PEEE(L) (Analytical writing)
  • NESTS (Structure)
  • Forms (Styles of writing e.g. newspaper article, speech etc.)

If you need a hand, look here.

Top revision tips:

  1. Read - why not download the BBC News App onto your phone or look at the website.  Read a random story.  Think about that the 10 most important points are.  How does the writer show their perspective?  What are the key words or features of language?
  2. Learn the mnemonics - which ones do you use for each question?  
  3. Revise word classes - what are the different types of words?  What do they do?
  4. Vary sentences - keep your writing interesting by varying your sentence lengths and structures.
  5. Consider your discourse markers - how will you make your writing fit together?
  6. Practice planning - use the Power of 3 and base your ideas on the senses.  Google an image and think about how you would describe it.

Download our handy GCSE summary guide here.

Remind yourself of the skills you need for each question here.

Useful links:

  • BBC Bitesize - useful tips on revision as well as spelling, punctuation and grammar.

GCSE English Literature - what you will be asked to do:

Years 10 and 11

English Literature Paper 1 Key facts: 40% of GCSE

Shakespeare and the 19th-Century novel

Q #

Skill

Marks

Time

1

Shakespeare: either Macbeth or Romeo and Juliet

  • Read the extract
  • Analyse the language
  • Include quotations from across the play
  • Link to historical context

30

 

+4 for SPaG

45 mins

2

Novel: either A Christmas Carol, The Sign of the Four or Jekyll and Hyde

  • Read the extract
  • Analyse the language
  • Include quotations from across the play
  • Link to historical context

30

45 mins

 

Checking answers/planning

 

15 mins

 

TOTAL

64

1 hour 45 minutes

 

For this exam, each question will have a printed extract that pupils can refer to.  However, in order to aim for a ‘strong’ pass of Grade 5 and above, they will need to include quotations that they know from across the text.

The exam board want to see a lot of quotations to support opinions and ideas, embedded into answers.

Try the BBC Bitesize website for hints and tips with Shakespeare or the 19th Century Novel.

Or, try watching Mr Bruff on Youtube.  He has playlists for:

English Literature Paper 2 Key facts: 60% of GCSE

Modern texts and poetry

Q #

Skill

Marks

Time

1

Modern play: either Blood Brothers or An Inspector Calls

  • Plan your answer based on knowledge of the play
  • Analyse the language
  • Include quotations from across the play
  • Link to historical context

30

 

+4 for SPaG

45 mins

2

Poetry: either Power and Conflict or Love and Relationships

  • One poem printed
  • Compare to a second from knowledge
  • Analyse the language and devices
  • Link to historical context

30

45 mins

3

Unseen Poetry:

  • Read unseen poem
  • Analyse language and devices

24

20 mins

4

Unseen Poetry:

  • Read second unseen poem
  • Compare to the other
  • Analyse language and devices

8

10 mins

 

Checking answers/planning

 

15 mins

 

TOTAL

96

2 hour 15 minutes

 

Try the BBC Bitesize website for hints and tips with modern drama or the poetry.

Or, try watching Mr Bruff on Youtube.  He has playlists for:

Top revision tips:

  1. Use the PiXL Lit App either online or download to your phone, see your teacher for help logging in;
  2. Re-reading the texts – copies are available online from £2 to £7;
  3. Use revision guides;
  4. Watch adapted versions as films;
  5. Re-read the poems and find similarities;
  6. Understand the names and personalities of characters – supported with quotations;
  7. Know the narrative and key themes – supported with quotations;
  8. Choose an unseen poem and analyse it using TWIST(ED);
  9. Learn quotations - consider look, cover, write and check.

REMEMBER!  There are lots of revision resources, hints and tips on the school Moodle!