English Language & Literature 

Introduction The rigorous English Literature and English Language GCSE specifications have a key focus on ensuring pupils are able to independently analyse texts and write with both flare and technical accuracy.      

English Literature and English Language are two separate GCSE's that will be taught by different teachers with pupils spending three hours a week studying for each.


In preparation for the English Literature GCSE pupils will study a wide range of British literature, including a text from the Literary Heritage, a modern novel, a themed collection of poetry and a Shakespearean play.


In English Language lessons, pupils will study 20th century fiction and non-fiction texts, such as diaries, newspaper articles, journals and biographies from the 18th – 21st century on a range of themes such as education, power, travel and entertainment In addition, pupils will also be creating their own fiction and non-fiction writing on these themes, among others. Pupils’ speaking and listening skills will be assessed through their study of English Language in order for them to gain an additional qualification demonstrating their effective communication skills.

Why study English?            It is the gateway to success in all subjects – great reading and writing is the key!      

It enables you to communicate your ideas effectively both orally and in writing.

You get to argue and your opinion matters. Debate and discussion are a key part of the course.

You get to learn about different times and places that you may never get to go to.

It provides a range of career options from advertising to journalism to law.


Exam Board and Specification AQA English Literature & English Language
Key areas of content             English Literature      

Modern novel

19th century novel

Shakespeare play

Themed collection of 15 poems

English Language

Analysis of 20th century fiction

Analysis of 18th-21st century literary non fiction

Descriptive writing

Writing to respond to a viewpoint

Assessment arrangements Pupils will sit four terminal exams, two for each GCSE and each lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes.                

English Literature Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel

English Literature Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

English Language Paper 1: Explorations in Creative reading and Writing

English Language Paper 2: Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives

Setting arrangements                    

Pupils will be taught in five teaching groups, set by ability in English.

Most pupils will have a different teacher for English Language and English Literature.

Pupils are allocated to a particular set based on their performance in year 9 as well considering the pupil as an individual.


Textbooks, websites and other relevant material  Please see AQA website for the full English Literature and Language specifications:      



The websites below will aid your study for your literature texts:







Revision guides are available to purchase from WisePay for English Language and each English Literature text studied.



Each department has a 'DNA', that is to say our vision for that department. The DNA of the English Department can be viewed here:

Bolingbroke Academy Subject DNA: English

For more information about English Literature or English Language GCSEs, please contact our Key Stage 4 co-ordinator Ms Wilson


English Department Blog

See here for the English Department Blog.