Our English syllabus promotes the enjoyment of reading and writing, the value of collaboration and discussion, and a mastery of a range of skills that develop an appreciation of the writer’s craft and the pupil’s own expression through oral and written articulation, as well as a critical response to literature.
While we do not provide any specific reading lists for any of our English exams, we recommend that candidates be encouraged to read as widely as possible.
Candidates taking CE English at 11+ will sit two papers, one in Comprehension and one in Composition.
We offer the CE English exam at both Level 1 and Level 2, and we encourage prep schools to liaise with senior schools about the levels at which pupils should sit. Candidates taking CE English at 13+ will sit two papers, one for Reading and one for Writing. For the Reading paper, candidates may take either Paper 1 (Reading), or a Foundation paper, designed for students developing the skills and vocabulary required for Paper 1. All candidates must take Paper 2 (Writing).
The CASE assessment for English is designed to challenge the most able students at 13+ in close analysis and interpretation of literary texts. Candidates taking the CASE English assessment will sit one paper.
See the English specification below for further details.
English CE/CASE specification (for final examinations in June 2022)
New English CE/CASE specification (for first teaching from September 2021)
English CE at 13+ specimen papers
English guidance for summer CE/CASE 2022
CPD: English CE at 13+ Twilight Session (2021)
Our Continuing Professional Development programme is a valuable resource for schools and teachers, with experienced subject experts providing friendly, comprehensive guidance on all aspects of CE 11+, 13+ and CASE through regular, interactive webinars. Visit our Events page to find out more about upcoming events.
In this session on the new ISEB English specification, subject specialist Flora Bonner-Mackenzie will explore the ways in which the new Reading Certificate is designed to encourage wider reading, as well as offer some unique ways to bring it to life in your classroom and with your pupils. We’ll reflect on the first year of teaching the new English specification and talk about planning and preparation for year two, and you’ll hear about some of the new ways ISEB is encouraging the development of English skills that have impact across all subjects. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask our expert any questions you may have about the new English specification.
English expert Abigail Farr delivered a CPD session on the new CE English specification in 2021 - watch her presentation to find out more about the new specification.
Visit our dedicated support hubs for information, guidance and advice on our examinations and assessments, tailored to schools and teachers.