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English Literature GCSE

Course Title : GCSE English Literature
Examination Board
Web address
Qualification :GCSE
Grade Range :A*-G

Aims of the course

Many pupils will follow a course in GCSE English Literature. Pupils’ interest in literature will be extended as they develop an understanding of the ways in which literature is rich and influential.

What will I study? – Course Outline

Pupils will study a range of set texts, including:

  • Two whole prose texts, e.g. ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘Heroes’, ‘Lord of the Flies’
  • Two plays, including a Shakespeare play
  • Contemporary unseen poems and poetry from an anthology of Welsh poetry, ‘Poetry 1900-2000: One Hundred Poets from Wales’.

How will I learn? What skills will I acquire?

  • Understand that texts from the English, Welsh or Irish literary heritage have been influential and significant over time and explore their meaning today
  • Explore how texts from different cultures and traditions may reflect or influence values, assumptions and sense of identity
  • Connect ideas, themes and issues, drawing on a range of texts
  • Become critical readers of fiction and non-fiction prose, poetry and drama
  • Analyse the impact of style, language, structure and form
  • Experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations as found in literary texts
  • Foster an appreciation of Wales’ cultural heritage through the study of Welsh writing in English.

How will I be assessed?

  • This is a unitised course: pupils may be entered for separate units at stages during the two year course.
  • Two external examinations worth 65% of the final grade. Each one lasts two hours.
    • Unit 1: Exploring a whole prose text from a different culture and an unseen poetry comparison.
    • Unit 2: Exploring two individual texts in context. Responding to a play and a prose text
  • Non-examination assessment is worth 25%. This is based on a thematic essay question on a Shakespeare play (2 hours) and the study of 15 thematically linked poems from the anthology, ‘Poetry 1900-2000: One Hundred Poets from Wales’. Pupils are not permitted to take notes into the non-examination assessment.

Progression following this course. What’s next?

The course prepares pupils to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.
There are a range of A Level courses available, including A Level English Literature; English Language, and English Language and Literature.

Studying English Literature at A Level is highly regarded by employers and universities. This can lead to a wide range of courses, including: English Literature, Creative Writing, Journalism, Media, Broadcasting, Law, Teaching, Advertising, Marketing, Language and Communication Studies, Film Studies, Publishing, Medicine and many others.

Future career opportunities

  • Teaching and Lecturing
  • Law
  • Journalism, Broadcasting, TV/Film Production
  • Editing, Publishing, Writing
  • Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations

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