GCSE English Literature


The English Literature curriculum at Edith Kay School is not only built towards success at
GCSE, but also designed to imbed in our pupils an appreciation and evaluative curiosity of all
different forms of literature. Whether pupils are studying Shakespeare, Orwell or John Agard,
students will gain a firm understanding of how literary contexts can affect our interpretation of a
text, be able to identify themes and maintain a critical and evaluative tone whilst discussing
how authors have used language, form and structure to create meaning.


Over one or two years, depending on the individual’s learning pathway, pupils
will study a combination of 19th and 20th drama and prose, as well as a poetry anthology
including both contemporary and pre-19th century poems around the theme of ‘Power and

All texts studied are taken from the AQA GCSE English Literature specification. The possible
texts pupils will study at Edith Kay School are:

  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Power and Conflict Poetry Anthology.

These texts have been chosen due to the powerful themes and ideas which are presented
throughout. They have also been designed to challenge pupils and generate thought
provoking discussions around the ideas of power, identity, morality and conflict. Pupils will be
encouraged to consider how these texts relate to both themselves and the world around them.


At the end of this course, pupils will be able to:

  • Read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
  • Read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
  • Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
  • Acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.

Who is Edith Kay

Edith and Kay were an ordinary couple who are representative of all those who devote their lives to taking care of vulnerable children, fostering them and welcoming them warmly into their family home. Over many years, Edith and Kay worked to promote resilience in vulnerable young people, and to instil the values of compassion and generosity of spirit. Their deep-seated belief in the power of education and care to transform lives underpins the ethos of our school.
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