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KS4 English Literature

Key Stage 4 Course Information Page

Course Name : GCSE English Literature

What is the qualification?

One full GCSE awarded at grades 9 – 1


What will I be doing on the course? How will it be structured?

Students will be studying a complete play by Shakespeare, a complete nineteenth century novel, a post 1914 play or novel by a British writer, and a collection of poetry from an anthology (set by the exam board), which will cover poetry from 1789 to the present day. All of the set texts will need to be studied in detail so that students can produce essay answers, some of which will be based on an extract from the text, in timed examination conditions.


Students will practise responding to previously unseen poems as this is also a feature of the examination.



The course is assessed by 100% terminal examination at the end of Year 11. There are two examinations, both of which are closed book.


What skills do I need to develop to be successful at this course?

You will need to plan and write essays independently, in timed conditions, using relevant and precisely selected textual detail to support your views. You will need to explore how different writers use form, structure and language to create meaning. You will need to read a wide range of texts from different historical periods and of different genres. You will need to shape your own informed interpretations of literary texts and consider the messages writers wish to communicate.

You will need to write both analytically and comparatively, exploring the similarities and differences between literary texts of both the same and different genres.


What could I use this qualification for?

GCSE English Literature provides excellent preparation for a range of subjects at A level that require essay writing as well as comparative and analytical skills. GCSE English literature nurtures the skills required particularly in the humanities and the social sciences.


Additional information

All students will be studying GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature during Years 10 and 11.