Pupils face tests on Shakespeare and spelling at 14
Mr Patten showed that his approach to the English curriculum would be traditionalist by describing the tests, which will also include an unseen comprehension and reading, as 'real education'.
The Government is looking at ways of rewriting the national curriculum for English to give more emphasis to grammar and spelling and to make teachers use more traditional methods.
Last month, Mr Patten called on schools to pay more attention to grammar and spelling and accused some English teachers of leading children 'up an educational blind alley'.
Pupils will be asked questions on a standard anthology of short stories, poems and extracts from literature, which they will study before the exam. Mr Patten said: 'Many excellent teachers already highlight these areas, and I am grateful to them, but I want these themes to become universal.'
The Government wants to change the English tests, which were tried in some schools last month, and it is inviting fresh tenders for next summer's tests.
Mr Patten, who described maths and science pilot tests for 14-year-olds held in the first week of June as a success, said yesterday that changes in English were needed 'to secure rigour and a proper test of the breadth and depth of pupils' reading'.
The tests will contain questions on a set Shakespeare play and on a collection of poems and extracts to reflect the breadth required by the national curriculum. There will be tests of basic reading skills, including grammar and vocabulary, comprehension and imaginative writing.
Critics of English teaching in schools, including the Prince of Wales, have complained about the disappearance of Shakespeare from some GCSE syllabuses.
Nigel de Gruchy, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, said: 'It's all very well Patten pontificating about teaching Shakespeare to everyone. I suggest he should go and try and teach Shakespeare to some of our budding football hooligans.'
On spelling, he said: 'If you can get to be vice-president of the United States without knowing how to spell potato, surely spelling can't be that important.'
Sheila Dainton, assistant secretary of the Assistant Masters' and Mistresses' Association, said: 'Shakespeare is fine. It is already studied in many secondary schools. As for poems and short stories, whatever happened to the novel? I am concerned by the increasingly interventionist role of the Government in dictating the components of the national curriculum without proper consultation.'
Doug McAvoy, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said that some children might have difficulty in adapting to the new approach in time for next year's tests.
The enjoyment of reading must be encouraged through a balanced approach - over-emphasis on one skill might harm a child's development, he added.
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gay couple buy JebBushForPresident.com web domain, and refuse to sell
16 Waitrose customers who could not cope with the end of free coffee
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...