Year 9 Option Choices - Subjects Offered

English Language and Literature

At IGCSE, there are a number of combinations of external examinations available. We offer English as a First Language, English as a Second Language and English Literature. It is possible for pupils to gain two or more IGCSEs in years 10 and 11.

We recommend that pupils attain a certain percentage in their summer examinations in English in order to study the different syllabuses offered in English at IGCSE. It is proposed that a pupil who attains a B grade or above (approximately 65%) will study English as a First Language with, or without, Literature. A pupil who attains less than 65% will be advised to study English as a Second Language. However, students below 65% attainment, if supported by their Year 9 English teacher and the Head of Department ( Ms Hallam), may be able to take the First Language curriculum if it is felt it is in their best interests to do so.

The rationale behind this is to effectively place your son/daughter in a class that enables us to maximize their achievement and fulfil the requirements of the next stage in their education. Historically, students and parents have had a wider choice on the course taken at IGCSE but we are no longer supporting high achieving students opting for English as a Second Language as we feel this does not serve their best interests long term within a global context. 

Further, a student may study First Language English for two years and also sit the Second Language English IGCSE exam at the beginning of year 11 as an external exam, thus gaining two English credits for the IGCSE, but only on the proviso, they continue to study the First Language course until its completion (end of Year 11).

It is therefore important that your son/daughter achieve the very best grade they can in year 9.

In summary:


Percentage needed

English as a First language

65% + (students who attain this score in Year 9 will NOT be allowed to opt for Second Language. We are an English school and therefore expect the majority of our students to take the First Language specification.

English as a Second Language

Less than 65% (students with less than 65% can opt for First Language only on recommendation from their English teacher and with final say from Head of English, Ms M Hallam

English Literature

On recommendation

Please see further details of the courses offered on the following pages.


Course Description

This examination is primarily for those students whose first language is English or for those students whose proficiency in English is such that they are able to communicate fluently and accurately in English and attain 65% and above in the Year 9 examinations. 

This examination is necessary if you are intending to go to an English speaking University. More and more universities globally  are insisting overseas students obtain this qualification. 

At Kuwait English School we follow the extended examination syllabus. The grades available are  A* – G.

The aims of the course are to broaden the student’s understanding of language in many different forms and to ensure that they are able to communicate accurately, appropriately and effectively in speech and writing. Throughout the course, they will respond to a variety of written texts and develop an understanding of what they hear, read and experience.

It is hoped that by following this course students will enjoy and appreciate the English Language in all its forms and confidently develop an understanding of themselves and others.


The examination consists of two papers.

Paper 1 (2 hours):

Reading (50%)

This examination tests the student’s ability to write in various forms, to analyse how writers achieve effects through their use of language and to collate and summarise points from a given passage.

Paper 2 (2 hours):

Writing (50%)

This paper tests the student’s ability to write in a variety of forms. It is necessary for them to be able to articulate experiences and order their ideas clearly as well as use appropriate grammatical structures.

The Future

There are numerous professions where this qualification is useful: journalism, public relations, law, teaching, publishing and script-writing. Think of it as a discipline that helps every other subject students study: English is the global language of medicine, science, engineering and business. 


Course Description

The course is designed to develop the use of functional English for business and pleasure. The range of settings are those students are likely to encounter once they have left school. The topics studied will relate to: education, the world of work, current affairs, health and welfare, travel and school affairs.

The aims of the course are to enable students to use English effectively for the purpose of practical communication in a variety of second language situations. They will develop a sound base for the skills required for further study or employment using English as the medium. It is hoped that students develop their communication skills and are able to articulate their ideas with confidence.


Our  students follow the Extended Curriculum and are eligible for grades A* – G. 

Paper 1 (2 hours):

Reading and Writing (70%) 

This paper tests the student’s ability to extract relevant information and draw conclusions from, and see relations within, an extended piece of writing. They should be able to write fluently on a range of topics.

Paper 2 (45 minutes):

Listening (30%)

This paper assesses the student’s ability to understand English in a range of contexts and show an awareness of attitude or register based on what they have heard. Students should be able to make notes from material heard and identify important points discussed. 

Paper 5: (15 minutes):


This paper takes approximately 15 minutes and is a test of the student’s ability to share their ideas in the form of a conversation. They will discuss a given topic with a teacher. The grades awarded for this paper are 1 (high) – 5 (low).

The Future

English is required for University entrance and in most professional fields of work. This examination is the very minimum you should study at KES. 


Course Description

This examination is designed for those students who have a genuine love of Literature. It is necessary that students wishing to follow this course have a proven record in English and have demonstrated a high level of proficiency throughout Years 7 – 9.

The aim of the course is, of course, to enjoy the study of Literature and to appreciate its contribution to aesthetic and imaginative growth. Throughout the course, we will explore areas of universal human concern, thus leading to a greater understanding of the individual and the world around us. 

Students who are considering taking AS/A2 Literature in Years 12 and 13 are strongly recommended to follow this course.

Set Texts

At KES we follow the closed and open book examinations without coursework. You will study a range of literature in all of the three main literary forms: Prose, Drama and Poetry. You will develop an appreciation of texts, demonstrating knowledge and understanding and critical interpretation as discerning critics of literature. Students will typically study modern and contemporary literature, many of the texts are classical and of high regard within the literary canon. Students will also be encouraged to read widely.   


Your final assessment will consist of three papers. 

Paper 1 (1 hours 30 minutes – 50%):

Prose and Poetry 

Candidates answer two questions on two texts: one poetry and one prose. There is a choice of two questions (one passage-based and one essay) on each text.

Paper 3 (45 minutes – 25%):

Drama (Open Text)

Candidates answer one question on one text. There is a choice of two questions (one passage-based and one essay) on each text. Candidates must answer one passage-based question and one essay question.

Paper 4 (45 minutes – 25%):

Prose and Poetry (Unseen Texts)

Candidates answer one question. There is a choice of two questions requiring critical commentary (one based on literary prose and one based on a poem or extract of a poem).

It is important to note that Literature is taught alongside Language so does not impact on other option choices.

The Future

Used as an entrance qualification by some universities, it has been said that Literature qualifications are highly sought after and revered by universities. 

Literature can lead to AS/A2 Level literature and a BA (Hons) degree.  This can lead to a wide variety of openings. More importantly, the study of English Literature makes for a more rounded individual and leads to a deeper appreciation of Literature and the theatre.

Some pupils who have studied this subject in the past at KES have gone on to the very best universities in the UK, the USA, Europe and the rest of the world.


KES History

KES was founded in 1978 by Mr. Mohamed Jassim Al Saddah and Mrs. Rhoda Elizabeth Muhmood.


Academic Success

KES provides its students with a tradition of success to access the best universities in the world.



KES values its bonds with its graduates and works hard to create bonds between them.

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