IGCSE English First Language Year 11

Mr. Gunnar & Ms Sheelagh

Welcome back students and parents!

Mr. Gunnar's Year 11 First Language class


  1. First Unit: note-taking and summary writing, IGCSE Paper 2, Question 3.
  • Week of 17 Sept.-21 Sept. will include a note-taking summary writing exercise, modeled past paper, timed past paper, and peer evaluation exercise.
  • Week of 24 Sept.-28 Sept.: we will complete last week's wider reading, peer evaluate last week's timed writing exercise and continue our work on note-taking and summary writing which will include a class modeling exercise/putting strategies into practice, a practice exercise, and another timed past paper exercise.


Course texts:

  1. First Language for Cambridge IGCSE by Jane Arrendo
  2. Cambridge IGCSE First Language Coursebook by Marian Cox
  3. Cambridge IGCSE First Language Coursebook by Marian Cox
  4. Complete First Language for Cambridge IGCSE Workbook
  5. Cambridge Summary and Note-taking by Marian Barry
  6. All documents, including syllabi and schemes of work, past paper examinations, specimen papers, and mark schemes for Cambridge IGCSE CIE Teacher Support website.
  7. Wider reading taken from masters of writing in the English Language as needed.

Year 11 English as First Language Syllabus.docx
Summarizing and Summary Writing.docx
Narrative and descriptive writing.doc

IGCSE skills/questions checklist

In 2015, 2016, and 2017 Cambridge IGCSE students taking the extended exam had to perform the following thinking, reading, and writing tasks on their exams:

1. Note-taking and summary writing, Paper 2, Question 3.

Unit begun on 17 Sep.

Timed writing exercise Past Paper October/November 2015, Paper 22.

Timed writing exercise: Past paper February/March 2016, Paper 22.

2. How writer's achieve effects/effects of language, Paper 2, Question 2.

3. Narrative and descriptive writing, Paper 3, Question 2.

4. Informal and formal letter writing, Paper's 2 and or 3, Question 1

5. Newspaper and magazine article writing Paper 2, Question 1 or Paper 3, Question 1.

6. Other directed writing genres including speech, interview, and journal writing, either Paper 2, Question 1 or Paper 3, Question 1.

Assessment weightings and grading:

Assessment weightings for Term 1

Tests 50%

Classwork and short assessments 40%

Assignments and projects 10%

Assessment weightings for Term 2

Tests-mock examination 50%

Tests-single term test 20%

Classwork and short assessments 30%

Assessment weightings for Term 3

IGCSE Exam 100%

Grading: Year 11 adheres to EMS' Secondary grading standards:






49 and below=E

Wider reading/reading for pleasure:

  1. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. In class line by line analysis and discussion, Thursday, 21 Sept.

Portfolio Checklist for Mr. Gunnar's Y11 class

  1. Class/IGCSE Syllabus
  2. Advice/strategies and format for note-taking and summary writing and past paper individual exercise from October/November 2015, Paper 22. Included in this assignment is a peer evaluation and a self-reflection sheet.
  3. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson annotated with notes/highlights.
  4. Class room note-taking and summary writing exercise: Bricks and Stones: The Story of Elgin's Marbles
  5. Past paper individual exercise from February/March 2016, Paper 22 with peer evaluation.
  6. The Prison by Bernard Malamud annotated with notes and questions 2 a,b,e, and f completed
  7. Cambridge IGCSE coursebook notes (pages 82-86) on clear, effective, and stylish narrative and descriptive writing.
  8. Assessment 1 on note-taking and summary writing with mark scheme and reflection sheet.
  9. Short Assessment on narrative/descriptive writing.
  10. Unit on narrative/descriptive writing annotated with notes and highlights.

End of portfolio checklist for 5 week period


Sunday 8 April

Revision strategies

There’s nothing worse than thinking of your exams as vaguely in the future, before someone bursts that bubble at the end of April by telling you they are only two weeks away. To avoid this, make a plan of your exam timetable, ideally complete with notes about which subjects, texts or modules each exam is focusing on. At this stage you can colour code it if you want, which will help when you come to plan your revision. Then stick it on your wall so those pesky exams can’t sneak up on you.

If your school hasn’t given you a timetable yet, you can find the 2018 timetables on the exam websites. www.cie.org.uk

Get all your notes together

Collate you notes

The start of a new year is a great time to consolidate all your notes so you can review what you’ve learned and file them to make it easier for your future self when you start revising properly. Try and collect all those random bits of paper you got given in class, scrawled notes in all four of your notebooks, and illegible shorthand that you typed on your tablet into one file organised by date. Trust me, your future self will thank you for this.

Fill in any gaps Once you’ve collected your hodge-podge of notes for each class, you can fill in anything you’re missing that you might need for your exam. Missed a week of classes in Autumn? Didn’t fully understand a theory? Notes don’t seem to make sense? Now would be the time to sort this out so that you have a full understanding of the curriculum before you go back for the Spring term.

See, not that difficult is it? A few easy tasks will set you up for great revision and, ultimately, great grades.

The Assignment/Project tests the following writing assessment objectives as for the Cambridge First Language Syllabus 2019 (20 marks):

W1 articulate experience and express what is thought, felt and imagined

W2 organise facts, ideas and opinions

W3 use a range of appropriate vocabulary

W4 use register appropriate to audience and context

W5 make accurate use of spelling, punctuation and grammar.