English Examination Board: Cambridge

All pupils have the opportunity to study two separate subjects, IGCSE English Language and IGCSE English Literature.

English Language (0500)

The course allows pupils to:

Pupils are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. The IGCSE also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively. It is a compulsory qualification for further study, higher education and most jobs.

The aims of the course are to:

  1. Enable pupils to communicate accurately, appropriately and effectively in speech and writing.
  2. Enable pupils to understand and respond appropriately to what they hear, read and experience.
  3. Encourage pupils to enjoy and appreciate a variety of language.
  4. Complement pupils' other areas of study by developing skills of a more general application (e.g. analysis, synthesis, drawing of inferences).
  5. Promote pupils' personal development and an understanding of themselves and others.

Paper 2: Reading Passages (Extended) Two hours. Three questions on two passages of 600–700 words each, linked by a common theme. Eligible for Grades A*–E. 50% of total marks.


Paper 1: Reading Passage (Core) 1 hour 45 minutes. Candidates answer two questions on one passage of 700–800 words. Eligible for Grades C–G. 50% of total marks.

Component 4: Coursework Portfolio Three tasks, each of 500–800 words. 50% of total marks.

Pupils will sit a reading exam (Paper 2 or Paper 1) and do coursework (Component 4).

Assessment Objectives
Our pupils should be able to:


English Literature (0486)

Candidates gain lifelong skills, including the ability to:

Candidates take the following options:

Paper 1: Poetry & Prose – (Closed Book) 1h 30mins (50%)
Paper 2: Drama - (Open Text) 45mins (25%)
Paper 3: Unseen 1h 15mins (25%)

Assessment Objectives
Candidates are assessed on their ability to:



Group 1 courses are intended to develop a sophisticated appreciation of the aesthetic, social and cultural aspects of literature and language.

All students study English as a Group 1 subject; those fluent in a second language, notably German, may choose to study two languages in Group 1. Students have the choice of two different English options: Literature or combined Language and Literature. Those students planning to read English Literature at university are recommended to take the Literature option. The Language and Literature course explores modes of communication in greater depth together with the analysis of major literary texts.

Students may choose to study either option at Higher or Standard Level.

Our son has been at King William’s College for two years and has settled in very well with the full support of the boarding staff and teachers, who have demonstrated great kindness and caring. The highly disciplined, but dynamic education system has helped our 15 year old son to adapt well and his confidence has noticeably improved in a short space of time. What's especially pleasing is that not only does the College have an excellent calibre of teaching staff and a strong academic curriculum, but we have been surprised and delighted to discover their excellent music achievements! With such great experience, our second son will also join KWC starting at Lower 5, to have a well rounded education. We cannot be more pleased with our decision to send our sons here all the way from Hong Kong!

M5 Overseas Parent