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English language

The power of prose at RIC

Welcome to the dynamic world of IGCSE English Language at Rochester Independent College! Here, we dive into the English language, unraveling the nuances of words and the power of expression. 

Our journey begins with honing the basics—grammar, punctuation, and vocabulary. But we don't stop there. As Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” We take these words to heart, striving to find that perfect expression in every piece of writing.

Exploring various writing styles, you’ll get to craft everything from persuasive essays to creative narratives. It's all about finding your unique voice and learning how to make it resonate. As Maya Angelou put it, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” At Rochester, we help you tell your stories with flair and confidence.

By the time you complete your IGCSE English Language course, you’ll be a wordsmith ready to take on the world. Whether you’re penning a novel, crafting a speech, or simply enjoying a good book, you’ll have the skills and confidence to make your mark. 


Exam Specification


70% Examination, 30% Coursework: creative writing (10%); response to poetry/prose from

Section B of the Edexecel IGCSE Anthology (10%): speaking and listening (10%) 

Length of examination: Paper 1: 2 hours 15 minutes

Paper 1 Examination

The Paper 1 English Language examination (70%) features unprepared non-fiction comprehension with a range of questions based on an unseen text (in Section A of the examination), analysis of a text from Section A of the anthology (in Section B of the examination) and writing tasks (in both Sections B and C of the examination). Other examination papers for this syllabus (for example, Paper 2) are not relevant to our cohort as we pursue all coursework routes instead.

Paper 3 Coursework

The Edexcel IGCSE syllabus for English Language requires a piece of creative writing coursework that can be focused upon any topic that a student chooses, plus analysis of one poetry or prose text from Section B of the anthology assessing reading. Each task is around 450-600 words and worth 10%.

Paper 4 Coursework

Speaking and listening assignments will compose a further 10% of this qualification; three speaking and listening presentations are required as a minimum incorporating individual, group and pair work, though several more are often undertaken to allow students to refine their skills.

Overlap with other subjects

Essay writing is an integral part of the subject, thus consolidating skills necessary in other disciplines such as History, Film Studies and Drama. 

Section A includes a diverse range of non-fiction texts encompassing topics that are scientific (such as Climate Change), geographical (such as exploration) and those that explore the practices of cultures across the world, including Somalian, Inughuit and Chinese societies. 

Section B expands this to include Nigerian, Indian and French writers amongst others and equally, addresses social, ethical and philosophical concerns such as war, class, gender and death. Thus, texts enrich students’ moral and spiritual awareness, whilst also extending their knowledge of different social and historical contexts. 

Both the creative writing and speaking and listening tasks are flexible in focus therefore can be tailored to suit students’ personal interests or academic pursuits in other subjects, for example, a creative response to a music video, discussion of sporting interests or description of key historical figures.