ASDAN English Short Course

The English Short Course accredits up to 60 hours of English language and literature activities. The challenges can be seen as preparation for coursework, as well as assessment opportunities. They can also underpin study of pre-release material and preparation for some elements of GCSE English language and literature examinations.

The flexibility of ASDAN’s Short Courses means they can be carried out in a variety of settings, over a time period to suit the individual or co-ordinating centre. Challenge descriptions can be interpreted and adapted according to the situation.

This Short Course can be completed using the student book or is available for learners to complete online through the ASDAN e-portfolio system. Learners log in to complete challenges, record skills development and upload evidence. Tutors can view learner progress and sign off work, leaving feedback as needed.

Who is it for?

KS3 and KS4 students are undertaking ASDAN Short Course in English. Young people of all abilities, mainly aged between 13 and 19 (as well as adults and younger learners, where appropriate).

Because Short Courses are multi-level, the focus is on completing challenges and skills development according to individual ability, rather than attainment at a specific level.

Facts and Figures

  • Flexible, multi-level programme
  • Internally moderated
  • Accredits 10-60 hours of activities
  • Can count as up to 3 of the credits needed to achieve the Personal Development Programmes
  • Can count as up to 6 of the credits needed to achieve CoPE
  • Also offers progression to AoPE and Wider Key Skills

Course Contents

Module Description
1 Developing Communication Skills
2 Speaking and Listening
3 Reading and Writing Styles
4 Reading for Pleasure
5 Writing for a Purpose
6 Reading for a Purpose


English at Woolston Brook School follows the National Curriculum and focuses on developing skills in Reading, Writing and Speaking + Listening. We also provide learner specific intervention across all key stages.


students will explore a variety of topics including: Myths and Legends, News Articles, Poetry, Narratives and Persuasive writing. Students reading skills will be developed from recognising and independently reading words, to finding information in a text and decoding meaning, to interpreting themes and ideas in different writing styles. The development of writing skills will focus on the communication of ideas and furthering spelling, punctuation and grammar skills including paragraphing, clauses with commas and using an active or passive voice. Students will also take part class discussions and role-play activities to develop their speaking and listening skills.

The GCSE course is AQA GCSE English Language.

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is tailored toward this qualification. The alternative Key Stage 4 programme is Step Up to English: Silver (E2) + Gold (E3), which is an access course to the GCSE.


Students will follow a rolling three-year programme tailor to suit the entry of students at any time during any academic year. The year begins with the exploration of a narrative (War Horse, Pig Heart Boy, Holes) and then explores topics such as Journeys, Campaigning and London Calling. Every year students will study a unit on reading and writing texts that Argue and Persuade and they will conclude the year with a unit exploring a play text (Humpty Dumpty, Shocking Shakespeare, DNA).


Students will learn through topics; in year 10 they explore Hunger Games, Homelessness and Teenagers and in year 11 they explore Blood Diamonds before moving on to exam preparation and a formal mock exam which is held at the end of January.

At the start of each school year, a baseline assessment will be completed to assess students current working levels. Students are continually and formally assessed every half term and this is fed back via grading sheets; these record what skill level was met, for each objective taught.

Formal assessment is broken down in to 20 core objectives. These form the framework of the five-year curriculum. Each of the 20 core objectives has been broken down in to 14 levels of skill matching pre-entry level, Entry Level and GCSE grading criteria.

The focus of learning is split between reading and writing skills: Students will learn how to identify meaning in a text, analyse how writers use language and structure and compare how writers communicate their views and perspectives. Students will also learn how to develop their fictional and non-fiction writing skills, this includes developing their use of language and punctuation, as well as writing in different formats including letters, articles, descriptions and narratives. Speaking and Listening skills are continually developed through class discussions and activities all of which are informally assessed throughout KS3+KS4, with a formal assessment in year 11 via an interview or presentation focused on work experience.

A five-year literacy programme is also taught to continually review and develop Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) skills, this is done by by having two SPaG focuses per half-term:

  • Basic Punctuation / Plurals
  • Ambitious Punctuation / Prefixes + Suffixes
  • Paragraphing and Sequencing / Double + Silent Letters
  • Linking + Structuring / Tricky, commonly misspelt or misused words
  • Grammar + Standard English / Which word?
  • Grammar + Standard English / Vowels