Unit 3 - Part A - Understanding spoken and written texts and writing creatively

Candidates will submit one task.

Tasks will draw on candidates' study of one extended text from any genre, including non-fiction. An extended text may include a collection of poems, short stories or non-fiction. Candidates must make reference to the whole text. If using a collection of short texts, they must refer to more than one text, although comparison is not required. Candidates can also use any of the collections from the AQA Anthologies Moon on the Tides or Sunlight on the Grass. Candidates could use any of the texts being studied for GCSE English Literature. For example, candidates studying GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature may study Of Mice and Men for the GCSE English Literature examination and may complete their GCSE English Language Controlled Assessment task on this text.

You may contextualise tasks by choosing texts that meet the needs of your candidates.

This part of Unit 3 will be assessed by means of Controlled Assessment.  

Task Setting (high control)

Tasks will be set by AQA. Each year we will provide a bank of tasks under the topics covered in this unit:

  • Themes and ideas
  • Characterisation and voice

Task Taking (high control)

Candidates must produce work totalling about 1200 words in a period of up to four hours. 

Task Marking (medium control)

You must mark all Controlled Assessments using the criteria published on page 36 of the specification document. Controlled Assessment will be moderated by AQA according to the procedures outlined in Section 7.
How much time should I spend teaching this part of the unit?

As the Controlled Assessment is worth 15% of the overall mark, you are advised to spend 15% of the teaching time available to you on the text and topic you have chosen for this unit. You should prepare candidates for the Controlled Assessment task by teaching approaches to the chosen text and topic and by studying style models before giving the task to candidates.

You should also ensure that candidates are familiar with the assessment criteria for the Controlled Assessment task and are aware of the weighting given to each assessment objective.

Which Assessment Objectives will the tasks address?

The tasks will address all three bullet points of assessment objective AO3 except the requirement to collate, compare or cross-reference from different sources.

What approaches will the tasks offer?

The tasks will offer a variety of approaches. Tasks will consist of a single generic title that you can contextualise. There will always be a number of exemplar tasks showing how you can adapt the task to meet the needs of your students. You may, for example, make the title more specific or add bullet points.

Can the assessment be based on parts of texts?

Candidates' responses must be informed by knowledge of whole texts but the main focus of the assessment can be based on part of a text (eg a scene from a play, a chapter from a novel, a small number of poems or short story from a collection). Where candidates use a collection of short texts, there is no requirement to make comparisons.

Do candidates need to address social, cultural and historical context?

No. The reading assessment for GCSE English Language does not require candidates to address social, cultural and historical context.

Will exemplars be available?

Exemplar texts will be provided to indicate how candidates can approach the tasks.

Can candidates use texts during the controlled assessment?

Candidates must use clean, unannotated copies of texts during the assessment period.