Years 10 and 11: GCSE (compulsory subject)

Examination Board: Cambridge iGCSE
Specification Number: Literature (English) 0486

Course Details

During the course you will study drama (plays), poetry, and prose texts. You will discuss and explore your ideas about what we read together in class as well as writing creative and analytical responses. The course is assessed by examination only.

The aims of the course are to help you to:

  • enjoy the experience of reading literature
  • understand and respond to different types of writing from different times and places
  • communicate an informed personal response appropriately and effectively
  • appreciate different ways in which writers achieve their effects
  • experience literature’s contribution to our culture and our imaginative and intellectual growth
  • explore the contribution of literature to and understanding of areas of human concern.

At the end of the two years you will take two examination papers. Paper 1 assesses your understanding of poetry and prose (stories or a novel). Paper 2 is the drama paper. You will answer questions on a Shakespeare play and on a more modern play.

After GCSE

Those who wish to, and have achieved at least a B grade, can continue to study English literature to A Level.

A wide variety of academic courses welcome those who have taken A Level English literature.

This subject fits well with art, history, modern language, philosophy and ethics, and drama and theatre studies. It can also be a valuable curriculum-broadening subject for those involved in sciences, geography, music or any of the other subjects available, as it teaches analytical thinking and good essay-writing skills.