Challenge Your Mind


English - GCSE

Special Entry Requirements:

If you get a grade 3 in your GCSE English or English Language at school then you will be entered for our 1 year GCSE programme (AQA). If you get lower than a grade 3 at school then you will be placed on a 2 year programme. In the first year you will study Functional Skills (Edexcel) where you will have three opportunities to gain Functional Skills English at Level 1 and Level 2. In your second year you will be moved onto the GCSE programme.

Course Introduction:

Functional Skills and GCSE English run alongside your other subjects and they are for students who come to Scarborough Sixth Form College without a GCSE in English or English Language.

GCSE and Functional Skills English both aim to develop your reading, writing, speaking and listening in English.

Course Modules:

On the GCSE course you will be reading a range of texts from different periods, both fiction and non-fiction. This is to prepare you for the reading assessment in the exam. You will also be developing your writing skills and will write to entertain, inform and persuade.

On the Functional Skills course you will develop your writing and reading through practical tasks. There will be a strong focus on the basic skills of spelling, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary development.

Both courses contain a range of activities designed to develop your speaking and listening through individual presentations and group discussions.


GCSE and Functional Skills are assessed through examination. There is no coursework. There are 2 GCSE papers. Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing. Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives.

During the course you will take part in a number of speaking and listening activities for which you will be awarded a separate grade.

The Functional Skills exams take place online in November, January and June. There is a reading paper and a writing paper. Speaking and listening are assessed in lessons.

Career Opportunities:

Most employers and nearly all universities will require a grade 4 at GCSE or a pass at level 2 Functional Skills.