Pre-GCSE, GCSE & A Level
You can find a wealth of resources to support your child’s learning of English. These can provide additional English activities and revision notes to support school led learning. So, whether you are looking for help with writing, reading comprehension, punctuation or spelling, we have pulled together some resources available online that you may want to explore further.
During Covid 19 many online English resources have been made free to access or at a reduced fee. This list is not exhaustive, and we’re always keen to hear your recommendations of helpful English resources that we can share with other parents, so please do get in touch.
English Resources and Learning for All Ages (3 – 16+)
Firstly, the VERY BEST OF ALL, the mother of all English revision sites is (in our opinion) the good, old BBC. BBC Bitesize contains absolutely everything students need to know at the different Key Stages and its GCSE coverage is thorough and comprehensive. It is quite possible that you need look no further than this one-stop learning place for all of your child’s English requirements as it is filled with videos, power points, worksheets, short question and answer sessions and much more. Have we persuaded you yet? Take a look for yourself – https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize
Next, we have The Oak National Academy which offers thousands of excellent free video lessons resources and clear learning activities for all ages: https://www.thenational.academy/
Revision sites for GCSE exam students
The first thing to do here is to be aware of you child’s exam board, (eg: AQA, OCR, Eduqas, Edexcel/Person etc) and go to their main website where you will find past exam papers with examiners’ comments and example answers.
It is highly likely that if your year 10/11 child does some of these at home, they will encounter the very same paper in their mock examinations as there are not that many available since the syllabus changed in 2015. Poetry lists are also available here and individual poems can easily be found online if needs be.
English Literature GCSE Revision
For the Literature exams, it is important that you child has a copy of each text they are studying available at home.
For instance, these might be Macbeth, An Inspector Calls and A Christmas Carol. There will be copies in school of course but the students are generally not permitted to take these home, especially during a global pandemic! These can be purchased reasonably cheaply on Amazon. However, a quick search in any browser for the title of the novel or play followed by ‘full text’ should bring up a pdf that can either be printed or saved so that your child can constantly refer to it. You’d be amazed at how many students attempt to revise for Literature when they don’t have full copies of the text at home!
Students will also need to pick out some favourite quotes to learn and must be familiar with the structure of the text. Therefore, seeing the whole book or play is vital. Some examples of these are as follows:
A Christmas Carol full novella – https://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Charles_Dickens/A_Christmas_Carol/
Jekyll and Hyde full novella – https://www.gutenberg.org/files/43/43-h/43-h.htm
Lord of the Flies full novel – https://d2ct263enury6r.cloudfront.net/X2bpH13Xnjn4ZJspWQzb5LMu7BGp5CUGaPGFQqVXvLT2M1AW.pdf
Macbeth full play – http://shakespeare.mit.edu/macbeth/full.html
Romeo and Juliet full play – https://shakespeare.folger.edu/shakespeares-works/romeo-and-juliet/
Blood Brothers full play – https://arkelvinacademy.org/sites/default/files/Blood%20brothers%20%281%29.pdf
Probably the most useful online revision site for Literature alone is Spark notes. It offers a detailed analysis of all texts on the GCSE syllabus. There is a section called No Fear Shakespeare which offers a modern day translationnext to the original text. Brilliantly helpful! Please note when you seek out the title of a novel or play under their alphabet tool, you’ll need to omit the A or An. For instance, you will find A Christmas Carol under the letter C and An Inspector Calls under the letter I – https://www.sparknotes.com/
English Language GCSE Revision
This school provides a great guide to answering the trickier Language questions of Paper 1 and Paper 2 with plenty of tips and strong exemplar answers – https://www.okehamptoncollege.devon.sch.uk/ks4-english-language.html Another school here with their fantastic guide containing
Another school here with their fantastic guide containing lots of practice questions, activities and reminders – https://penketh.weebly.com/uploads/2/6/3/6/26362742/language_revision.pdf
Key Stage 3 English
The Oak National Academy, which was mentioned at the beginning of this resource list, is especially helpful for Key Stage 3 English students and as such is being used by many high school teachers who are setting work during lockdown. Most tasks provide a short quiz which the student should complete and review before progressing to a video. There are lessons and tasks here on things like The Canterbury Tales, The Tempest, analysing language in short stories, slow writing skills, poetry, famous speeches, improving sentence structures and much more – https://classroom.thenational.academy/subjects-by-key-stage/key-stage-3/subjects/english
This school provides useful resources on spelling, punctuation and grammar, all at a suitably high level. It includes spelling rules and patterns and tricks to help remember these – http://beaconhill.cumbria.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/ks3-english-skills-pack.pdf
This school provides a guide to parents to help their Key Stage 3 child. It includes book lists, spelling lists, strategies for writing essays, analysing Shakespeare or media texts, subject terminology and more – http://leighacademy.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/leigh-technology-academy-ks3-guide-2011-12-1.pdf
Yet another school here providing home learning tasks for Key Stage 3. This one provides short, worksheet based activities that could be printed out, on a range of skills from writing paragraphs to answering reading comprehension questions using the PEE method (point, evidence, explain) – https://woolstonbrookschool.co.uk/ks3-english-2/
This website contains some games and multiple-choice style quizzes to reinforce spelling knowledge – https://howtospell.co.uk/spellingquiz.php
From the British Dyslexia Association, here are some great ways to support your child and to try to make spelling fun and accessible at home – https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/advice/children/how-can-i-support-my-child/spelling
If you are looking for targeted tuition led by qualified teachers, face to face or online then we’re here to help. Complete the enquiry form via the links below and we’ll get back to you to discuss your child’s needs further.