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English Literature

What is English Literature?

It’s not just about books. It includes poetry, plays, and newspaper and magazine articles. Literature is part of our cultural identity and has influenced the way we speak and lead our lives.

What will you do?

In English Literature you will study:

·         A Taste of Honey  –  Shelagh Delaney
·         The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde –  Robert Louis Stevenson;
·         Romeo and Juliet  –  William Shakespeare;
·         A range of poetry from the Power and Conflict section of the AQA Anthology

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by 100% examinations, which will be externally marked. All exams will be un-tiered.

You will receive separate grades 1-9 for Language and Literature.

English Literature

​You will be assessed, from 2017, through:

  • two exams – worth 100% of your grade:

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century Novel (40%)

    • You will be required to answer one question on a Shakespeare play, where the starting point will be an extract and will lead on to the play as a whole;
    • You will be required to write an essay on the Stevenson novel “A Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde”,  where the starting point will be an extract and will lead on to the play as a whole.​​​​

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (60%)

    • You will be required to answer an essay on ‘A Taste of Honey’;
    • You will be required to compare two poems from a selection pre-studied poems;
    • You will be required to answer a question on an unseen poem and then compare the poem with another unseen poem.

The Faculty of English follows the AQA specifications.

What skills will I learn?

  • work independently;
  • develop time management skills e.g. when meeting essay deadlines;
  • plan and research written work;
  • accurately present knowledge and understanding of texts, concepts and theories;
  • lead and participate in discussions and have confidence in your own opinions;
  • work with others when presenting ideas and information;
  • effectively convey arguments and opinions and encourage independent and creative thought;
  • work towards a solution using negotiation skills;
  • use judgement when weighing up different options and alternative perspectives;
  • develop skills in critical reasoning and analysis;
  • convey meaning precisely and pick out the essential points from texts;
  • have a broad range of vocabulary and critical terminology.

Studying English also gives you skills in:

  • information technology;
  • organisational understanding;
  • commercial awareness.

Additional activities

You may participate in:

  • Sheffield theatre trips;
  • Meet with visiting theatre players in school.

How can English help me in the future?

There are various careers in English. Here are some examples:

  • Media:
    • journalism;
    • publishing;
    • copywriting.
  • Teaching:
    • schools;
    • colleges;
    • abroad.
  • Influencing:
    • advertising;
    • public relations;
    • marketing;
    • retail.
  • Public Sector:
    • administration;
    • local government;
    • health service.

GCSE English provides you with a suitable foundation for the continued study of English at a more advanced level e.g.

  • A Level English Language;
  • A Level English Literature;
  • A Level English Language & Literature.

How do I find out more?

Ask your English teacher for more information and guidance.  The English Literature specification is available via AQA’s website at www.aqa.org/uk/subjects/english/gcse