English Literature GCSE

About the Course

The course is composed of critical reading and comprehension, considering and interpreting themes, ideas and information from a range of literature and other high-quality writing dating from the 1600s to the present day. With each text, whether it’s poetry prose or drama, we analyse the ways in which a writer uses language to create meaning, explore themes, develop characters and convey messages and ideas. As with Language, we will be developing the writing skills necessary to express this understanding with clarity and concision.

Exam Board


External Examination - 100%

Paper 1: Shakespeare and a 19th Century novel - 40%

Paper 2: Poetry and a 20th century play - 60%

Course Content

You will read, and be assessed on, a range of high quality and challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. You will learn the skills of analysis and inference through studying substantial pieces of writing. You will look at a range of effective style models which you will use to improve and progress your own writing. These skills will be assessed throughout the course and in the end of course examination.

Beyond the Classroom

The skill of being able to interpret and use English effectively is a life skill. Not only is it needed to access all higher education, it will equip you for the communication requirements you will need in almost any profession. From accountancy to zoology, the skills that you will acquire in English are essential: understanding and analysing written information, communicating ideas, arguing a point, expressing an opinion, summarising key points and writing articulately and convincingly. It is the fundamental life-skill needed in all areas of career development.

Your Future

Comments from Key Stage 4 students:

It’s an environment in which you can confidently express ideas.

My English lessons are always providing feedback for me to improve every lesson. My English teacher is very supportive and helpful.

My English lessons have a very comfortable environment where I find learning enjoyable.