GCSE English Literature

What Will I Learn? 

You will learn how to read a text critically, identifying the writer’s methods and exploring their effect. English Literature provides you with the opportunity to connect a text with its historical context, considering what the writer was seeking to highlight or criticise. You will engage with themes such as: love, conflict, betrayal, violence and power, and consider how the writer uses characters and events to explore these ideas.

All students explore a range of texts: a 19th Century novel, a Shakespeare play, a modern play,     unseen poetry and a poetry anthology. You will create essays exploring comparisons between the text, or examining how the writer has presented a specific character, theme or relationship. GCSE English Literature gives you the opportunity to form a personal response to a text, exploring how and why a writer has presented their ideas.

How Am I Assessed? 

This GCSE is 100% examination and is assessed across two papers. Each section is equally weighted and all examinations are closed book.

Paper 1

  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Shakespeare: extract based question (30 marks)
  • 19th Century novel: extract based question (30 marks)
  • There are four  marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar available on this paper

Paper 2

  • 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Modern text: a choice of two essay questions (30 marks)
  • Poetry Anthology: a comparative essay on a named poem (30 marks)
  • Unseen poetry: an essay and comparative question (24 marks + 8 marks)

What Career Options Do I Have? 

English Literature is centred on: analysis, interpretation, communication and connections. Although it is essential for students who wish to study English at A level and beyond, English Literature can be a pathway to careers in Law, politics, media, advertising, journalism, and the corporate world.