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EDEXCEL IGCSE Guide to Paper 3 Poetry Coursework

Paul Merrell | Thursday June 12, 2014

Categories: KS4, EDEXCEL iGCSE, EDEXCEL iGCSE English Literature, Paper 3 Poetry Coursework, Hot Entries, Writing, Poetry Analysis


I’m going to level with you, the Edexcel IGCSE English Literature examination paper makes me very nervous indeed. We’ve been preparing students to undertake this examination for several years now – using the full range of available texts to try to see if there are any patterns to achievement – and, as every member of my department would testify to, we still do not feel especially confident we can predict how individual students will do.

As an example, our most recent cohort achieved almost 20% better A*-B compared to the year before – despite our prediction they would do slightly worse. Now, we’ve happily lapped up the plaudits for our excellent practice, but when we’ve sat and considered a variety of recalled papers, we’re not quite sure we can see why Student A in 2013 achieved 25/30 whereas Student B in 2012, with a very similar response, achieved 15/20. Hence our sense of trepidation every time May rolls along.

To try to mitigate this worry, we therefore seek to work very hard indeed on ensuring our pupils produce the most effective coursework pieces possible. This is not as easy as it sounds: a casual reading of the specification and the examiner’s reports makes clear that there is a distinct lack of clarity as to what a good coursework should look like.

What I will attempt to do across this guide is to outline my department’s practice – alongside a range of exemplar material – to show how we interpret the marking criteria and how we go about ensuring our pupils gain access to the highest marks of which they are able. It is worth noting that we have been highly commended in all of our moderator’s reports for the approach of our pupils in this coursework.

What Does the Edexcel Specification Say?

So, if you are choosing Paper 3, it means that you have decided your pupils will do better on a coursework unit, rather than undertaking Paper 2. By inclination, I think I would probably prefer...

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