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Vital help for 2021 GCSE English Examinations

The Fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool’ – William Shakespeare

As we leave the very disrupted 2020 GCSE examinations behind us, those of us who are preparing students for the 2021 GCSE examinations are obviously worried and concerned about the lesson time which has been lost and could be lost should another lock down be placed upon us or missed lessons if our childs bubble gets sent home. One thing we are sure about and can all agree with is that we wish to help students and support them as much as we can with their studies. I’m delighted to see that Ofqual have also been listening to our concerns.

It emerged last week from Ofqual that the 2021 GCSE English Literature examinations are to have reduced content to them. Therefore, Students who have been placed to sit the GCSE English Literature (8702) will have to answer 3 out of 4 content areas.

The topics which must be sat are Shakespearean Literature and Poetry. Students will then either study:

  • 19th Century Novel


  • Modern Text

As far as we are aware there are no planned alterations to the format or the style of the English Literature paper. Students will therefore be expected to complete the same tasks and show the same skills as is usually required.

Ofqual has confirmed that there will not be any further changes to AS or the A level specifications and this therefore remains the same.

Many people ask us what the importance of English Literature is? My answer is always the same, having an interest in English Literature gives a person the ability to develop an interest in books of various genres , English Literature also gives a person confidence new forms of writing as well as encouraging a person to be more creative with writing, adding a beat or rhythm to their writing. If ever you have read a bland newspaper or magazine article, always remember a good knowledge of literature can always make an article be more inspiring or creative.

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