In This Section


GCSE Set Texts from September:

Please make a note of your set text and the ISBN number, you need to buy a copy of the text and read it over the summer.

GCSE Set Texts-notice 2018-2020

  • Key Stage 3

    Year 7          

    Ancient myths

    The Epic of Gilgamesh, the Iliad & the Aeneid

    The roots of drama

    Oedipus the King - Sophocles

    The Birds - Aristophanes       

    Links to legends


    Journey to the West

    The art of rhetoric

    Shakespeare - Julius Caesar - Speeches & biographies (Cicero & Suetonius)          

    Language change

    Chaucer – The Prologue


    Parts of speech: verbs, nouns, articles, adjectives and prepositions. Subject-verb agreement. Tense.   The elements of a sentence. Simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences. Listing and bracketing commas. Topic sentences, paragraphs, introductions and conclusions.

    Year 8        


    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Lady of Shallot, La Belle Dames Sans Merci           

    Tudor She Wolves

    Biographies & speeches   

    Witchcraft in the Sixteenth Century

    Shakespeare - Macbeth

    Marlowe - Dr Faustus

    The role of religion

    King James Bible

    Extracts from Milton – Paradise Lost, More – Utopia

    The Sonnet form

    Petrarch to Shakespeare to Clare to Armitage


    Revision of previous year, plus:  adverbs, comparative and superlative adjectives, nouns, plural nouns, the genitive case (the apostrophe), contraction. Revision of previous year, plus: compound-complex sentences, noun appositive phrases, conjunctive adverbs, and semi colons. Revision of previous year, plus: connections between sentences, proofreading, drafting and rewriting.

    Year 9          

    The Gothic tradition

    Frankenstein, Jekyll & Hyde, Wuthering Heights

    War poetry

    Investigation into the context & writing from Tennyson to Hardy to Owen


    Orwell - Animal Farm & 1984


    Civil rights – biographies & speeches


    Revision of previous years, plus: subject, direct object, indirect object, the passive, auxiliary verbs, participles, word endings.  Revision of previous years, plus: restrictive and non-restrictive clauses, colons, hyphens, punctuating speech. Revision of previous years, plus: text purpose and audience.

  • Key Stage 4
    There are two separate qualifications offered as part of the core subject of English from September 2015 – English language and English literature. Most students are entered for both qualifications, although those students who may find it difficult will be given the opportunity to be assessed for English as a single qualification.
    Where will this take me Post-16?
    English is a requirement for the vast majority of Post-16 courses and employers look for it too. Having a GCSE in English will help you in all career paths in the future. Want to take it further? English and literature can help you towards a career in: the legal profession, broadcasting (film, TV and radio), publishing, journalism, marketing, editorial work, public relations, copywriting, library work, acting, translating, TV or theatre directing, advisory work and teaching, to name a few.
    English Language
    Why study English?
    In many aspects of everyday life, English plays a part, whether it’s reading a magazine article, discussing last night’s episode of Eastenders or writing a letter to a future employer. Being able to communicate effectively is an essential part of your progress in the adult world, so an ability to hold your own in English is a definite bonus!
    What areas would you study?
    So what can English do for you? Throughout the two-year course, you will explore a variety of non-fiction and media texts from the real world, such as newspaper articles, websites, leaflets, advertisements and letters. The examination will consist of two papers; explorations in creative reading and writing and writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.
    You will develop writing skills, including writing for a range of purposes and audiences in a variety of styles. You will also study poetry, plays and printed media from a number of different time periods.
    How do you learn?
    You will read a range of texts which you will analyse and compare with texts from different genres and time periods. Writing for a variety of purposes and audiences is important and you will research, plan and re-draft texts to improve your understanding. The development of speaking and listening skills is encouraged so that you can communicate through different situations, such as individual presentations, pair tasks and group work.
    How are you assessed?
    Examination 100%
    English Literature
    Why study English Literature?
    English literature broadens your mind as you read and explore the experiences of a range of authors. It allows you to develop the ability to interpret writers’ techniques and improve your independent learning skills, and reading for meaning skills.
    What areas would you study?
    Throughout the course you will study Shakespeare plays and a 19th-century novel.
    You will develop the ability to appreciate and interpret authors’ language choices and techniques; how to research texts and authors effectively; and how social, historical, cultural and personal contexts affect writers and their work.
    How do you learn?
    You will read a range of texts which you will analyse and compare with texts from different genres and time periods. Research skills will be developed throughout the course, both as an individual and as part of a group.
    How are you assessed?
    Examination 100%
  • Sixth Form

    English Language and Literature (A Level)

    Examination Board: Edexcel English Language

    Introduction and Structure:

    A Level English Language and Literature offers students an opportunity to explore and develop their understanding of both literary and non-literary texts; written and spoken communication. The course combines creativity, analytical skills and academic study in a unique way. It is a course which is highly regarded by universities because every degree requires analytical skills and high standards of English and it is extremely beneficial for every career.

    Course Contents

    The course is split into three components, each of which contributes towards the final A Level grade. The components are designed to include areas of study from across Language and Literature.

    Component 1: Voices in Speech & Writing  - Externally assessed (exam), 40% weighting

    Students study two texts for this component:

    1. Voices in Speech and Writing: An Anthology

    2.  One drama text from a prescribed list.

    Component 2: Varieties in Language & Literature - Externally assessed (exam), 40% weighting

    Students study:

    • A wide range of non-fiction texts on their chosen theme, in preparation for responding to an unseen text
    • Two literary texts from a chosen theme; one compulsory prose fiction text (anchor text) from a choice of two and one other literary text.


    ● Society and the Individual

    ● Love and Loss

    ● Encounters

    ● Crossing Boundaries








    Component 3: Coursework – Investigating & Creating Texts – Internally assessed, 20% weighting

    Students study:

    ● A chosen topic (free choice)

    ● Two texts relating to their chosen topic; one fiction and one non-fiction text.


    Component 1:

    Written examination, lasting 2 hours 30 minutes.

    • Open book – a clean copy of the prescribed drama text can be taken into the exam.
    • Two sections – students answer the question in Section A and one question on their chosen drama text in Section B (total of 50 marks available – 25 marks for Section A and 25 marks for Section B).

    Section A

    Voices in 20th- and 21st century Texts: one comparative essay

    question on one unseen extract selected from 20th- or 21st-century sources and

    one text from the anthology.

    Section B

    Drama Texts: one extract-based essay question on the chosen drama text


    Component 2:

    Written examination, lasting 2 hours 30 minutes.

    • Open book – clean copies of the prescribed texts can be taken into the exam.
    • Two sections – students answer one question from a choice of four in Section A and one question from a choice of four in Section B (total of 50 marks available – 20 marks for Section A and 30 marks for Section B).

    Section A

    Unseen Prose Non-fiction Texts: one essay question on an unseen prose non-fiction extract. The unseen extract is linked to the studied theme.

    Section B

    Prose Fiction and Other Genres: one comparative essay question on one prose fiction anchor text and one other text from a theme.



    Component 3:

    Students will produce two assignments:

    Assignment 1

    Two pieces of original writing: one piece of fiction writing and one piece of creative non-fiction writing.

    Assignment 2

    One analytical commentary reflecting on their studied texts and the pieces of writing they have produced.


    The advisory total word count is 2500–3250: 1500–2000 words for the original writing pieces and 1000–1250 for the commentary. Total of 60 marks available – 36 marks for the original writing and 24 marks for the commentaries.


    English Language and Literature will help you develop strong analytical and original thinking skills. You will hone critical reading and creative writing skills. You will gain confidence in articulating your own ideas fluently and persuasively. These skills form the bedrock of a vast number of university degree courses as well as future careers. They will be an asset in careers as distinct as law, advertising and marketing, teaching, journalism and the creative arts.

    Entrance Requirements:

    Standard entry requirement for entry onto A-Level programmes of study is 6 GCSE’s at grade C or above. You will need to have a GCSE in English Language at grade C or above.

    A Level in English Language

    Why take English Language as a subject at A-level?

    • It is a gateway to higher education and offers a wide range of degree options.  These include English, English Language, linguistics, forensic linguistics and creative writing. There are also a number of related subjects such as English literature, law, journalism, media, speech and language therapy, teaching, drama and history.
    • There are a wide range of careers either directly related to English language, such as speech and language therapist, teaching, editor, writer, or in areas such as publishing, journalism, the media, advertising, marketing, public relations, arts administration, record offices, libraries, national and local government and the civil service.

    What can I expect as I progress from GCSE to Advanced Subsidiary GCE (A-level English)?

    The truth is, not a lot! English Language at A-level is very different to English Language at GCSE and you must expect to learn a wide range of new concepts and skills. English Language is more scientific and will require a much more in-depth study of language and how it is used to communicate meaning.  

    In particular, AS will focus on:

    Component 1: Language: Context and Identity

    • We will look at how language is used in written, spoken or multi-modal data from 19th, 20th and 21st century sources. We will explore how the contexts of production and reception affect language choices.
    • We will explore how writers and speakers present themselves to their audiences, constructing their identities through language choices in spoken, written or multi-modal 21st century data.

    Component 2: Child Language

    • This will require an analytical as well as a creative response.

    As a young linguist, you can expect to…

    • develop a greater understanding of how language is linked to identity
    • recognise and appreciate linguistic variation
    • learn new and complex terminology
    • learn new skills
    • do a lot of research
    • work independently
    • be challenged


     Once you start analysing language, you can never stop!
    A level in English Literature

    The A Level consists of 3 externally examined exams and 1 coursework component.  You will study 8 literary texts plus unseen poetry.  This is a two year course and examinations will be taken at the end of two years.

    Component 1: Drama: externally assessed.

    (Weighting: – 30% of entire A level.)

    • 1 Shakespeare play and one other drama from either tragedy or comedy.  You will also study critical essays related to the Shakespeare play.
    • Assessment: External exam 2 hours and 15 minutes.
    • Clean copies of the Drama texts can be taken into the exam.
    • Total 60 marks – 35 marks for section A (Shakespeare) and 25 marks for section B (other drama).  30% of total qualification.

    Component 2: Prose: externally assessed.

    (Weighting: - 20% of entire A level.)

    • 2 prose texts from a chosen theme.  At least 1 of the prose texts must be pre-1900.
    • Assessment: External exam 1 hour.
    • Clean copies of the texts can be taken into the examination.
    • Total 40 marks available.  20% of total qualification.

    Component 3: Poetry: externally assessed.

    (Weighting: - 30% of entire A level.)

    • You will study: poetic form, meaning and language.
    • A selection of post-2000 specified poetry.
    • A specific range of poetry from either a literary period (either pre or post 1900) or a named poet from a literary period.
    • Assessment:  External examination 2 hours and 15 minutes
    • Clean copies of the texts can be taken into the examination.
    • 2 Sections to the exam:  Section A – Post 2000 specified Poetry: 1 comparative essay question on an unseen modern poem written post 2000 and 1 named poem from the studied contemporary text.  Section B – Specified Poetry: 1 essay question on either the poet or period studied.
    • Total 60 marks available. 30% of total qualification.

    Component 4: Coursework: internally assessed.

    (Weighting 20% of entire A level.)

    • You will have a free choice of 2 texts to study which must be different from those studied in Components 1, 2 and 3.  They are to be linked by: theme, movement, author or period and may be selected from poetry, prose, drama or literary non-fiction.
    • 1 extended comparative essay.  Word count: 2500-3000 words.
    • Total 60 marks available. 20% of total qualification.
    • Internally assessed, externally moderated.

    It is expected that you will purchase your own copies of the set texts to use throughout the course.  There will be a great deal of reading as preparation for discussion work in lessons, so you must have constant access to the texts.

    You will need to have read the set texts before the course begins and possible other works of the period, author, theme.

  • Assessment
  • Enrichment