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In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen defined the novel as a “work in which the greatest powers of the mind are displayed” and “the most thorough knowledge of human nature,” is explored using the “liveliest effusions of wit and humour conveyed to the world in the best chosen language.” At Woodford, GCSE English Literature aims to develop a well- informed understanding of literature as well as to inspire enjoyment in reading and use of the imagination.

UNIT:1                                                         UNIT:2  

                                  Shakespeare and post- 1914                19th Century novel and poetry 

                                  Literature                                                 since 1789                         


Unit 1 is assessed in a 1 hour 45 minute examination. (50% of marks)
Unit 2 is assessed in a 2 hour 15 minute examination (50% of marks)


Students will study a play by Shakespeare and a post-1914 play or novel selected by their teacher from the set text list. In each unit, students will develop their ability to analyse how the language, structure, form and context of the texts influence meaning and to write an informed, critical and personal response.

UNIT: 2 Students will study a thematically linked selection of poetry from the Pearson Poetry Anthology and a 19th Century novel selected by their teacher from the set list. In Unit 2, in addition to the skills described in Unit 1, girls will develop their ability to compare poems. 

Although the examination courses do not start officially until next September, your daughter has been progressing steadily towards GCSE success in English for some considerable time. The specification that we follow at Woodford is a natural extension of the work undertaken in Years 7 - 9 and builds on the experience and skills your daughter has already acquired.

Students at Woodford take ENGLISH LANGUAGE, and ENGLISH LITERATURE. This enables us to study not only a wide range of non-literary material but plenty of literature, too. Overall, the girls should have ample opportunity to exercise their critical faculties with increasing understanding and sensitivity, and to develop their language skills using them with increasing proficiency in many different ways and for many different purposes.

The subject is studied in mixed ability groups of approximately 24 students. Lessons consist of a mixture of teacher led, small group and pair work, as well as focused individual tasks.

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