Adult Skills and Community Learning

Course content

The one-year GCSE English Language course will support you to develop the skills you need to read, understand and analyse different texts. You’ll be reading texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st century so you’ll learn about the different eras as well. There are two exam papers; one is based on fiction, the other non-fiction. You’ll also develop your writing skills, with tasks also based on fiction and non-fiction.

Paper 1 - Explorations in creative reading and writing – this is the fiction paper
Paper 2 - Writers' viewpoints and perspectives - looks at how different writers cover a similar topic in different time periods.

This course will enable you to:

Apply for a wide range of jobs, careers, and access to higher-level qualifications

You'll also develop your skills for work:

  • Work as part of a team, sharing ideas and motivating peers to complete a task.
  • Have a positive attitude to plan your own work and complete it effectively within a timeframe.
  • Be a good listener and follow instructions accurately
  • Be able to adapt the way you work when circumstances change, or you need to switch to a different task quickly.
  • Be resilient and have the ability to stick with a task, even if things don’t go to plan, and learn from setbacks


Course delivery 

  • 1 x three hour session with other learners on the GCSE English Language course – this is a classroom-based learning session and 1 x 1.5 hour online session per week. Learners must be able to commit to both sessions each week.
  • Up to two hours of individual homework tasks to be completed each week
  • Online BKSB resources and assessments for additional study and regular progress checks.


The qualification is assessed with 2 x 1 hour 45 minutes written examinations. These assessments are completed on fixed dates and times in May and June. You should check that you're able to attend both examination dates before starting the course. There is also a non-exam assessment for learners to demonstrate their speaking and listening skills, this is assessed by the class tutor.

Entry requirements

You'll have already completed the following with Adult Skills and Community Learning:

  • Information Advice and Guidance and initial assessment on the BKSB software (the level that you study at will be determined by your initial assessment results)
  • Most learners also find it useful to complete Functional English Level 2 before starting the GCSE qualification.

Course fees

Free if you don't currently hold a GCSE Grade C or above/Grade 4 or above in English.

How to apply


On successful completion of the GCSE English course, you'll have the opportunity to progress on to other courses. Your tutor will complete a final review with you in the last session to discuss the skills developed and progression options. There'll also be the opportunity to arrange impartial Information Advice and Guidance/career support who can help you with ‘what next and career planning’.

What our learners say

  • I have learnt lots on this course, not only have I gained a qualification I've gained more confidence in myself and made new friends
    English skills adult learner

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