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. To aid this, we have included within the specification information about an additional ISEB Reading Certificate designed to encourage good habits of sustained wider reading in Years 7 and 8. The certificate makes formal acknowledgement of commitment to reading across a range of cultures, periods and literary forms and is designed to extend pupils’ experience of different genres. Full details are available on page 12 of the CE English specification.
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 Foundation and Core levels, and we encourage prep schools to liaise with senior schools about which level 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 Core Reading, or a Foundation Reading paper, which is designed for students developing the skills and vocabulary required for the Core level. All candidates must take the Writing paper.
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.
New English CE/CASE specification (for first teaching from September 2021)
English CE at 13+ specimen papers
CPD: English CE at 13+ Twilight Session (2021)
ISEB Reading Certificate
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.
Join us in May and June for the next series or catch-up with our previous webinars below.
Visit our Events page to find out more about upcoming events.
Tuesday 13 June – Spring/Summer Common Entrance (CE) 2023
CE English subject expert Flora Bonner-Mackenzie brings her unique take on teaching to the CE English specification at 13+.
Visit our dedicated support hubs for information, guidance and advice on our examinations and assessments, tailored to schools and teachers.
Registration for CE 13+ is closed. Contact ISEB about late entries or changes. CASE registration is still open.
Spring 2024 CE 11+, 13+ and CASE Advance Order live now