St Bees School

English Literature

English Literature

Course Overview 

The syllabus enables students to read, interpret and evaluate poetry, plays and novels through the study of literature in English.

Students develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. Through their studies, they learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and will be able to present an informed, personal response to the material they have studied.

The syllabus also encourages the exploration of wider and universal issues, promoting better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.

Texts change regularly to ensure the curriculum stays fresh and relevant but here is a list of some of texts taught and others for future exploration:

  • Ted Hughes’ poetry
  • 1984 by Orwell
  • The Crucible by Miller,
  • A Street Car Named Desire by Williams
  • Journey’s End by Sherriff
  • Great Expectations by Dickens
  • Othello by Shakespeare
  • Rebecca by Du Maurier.

At IGCSE level learners will study fifteen poems, one play and one novel. Literature coursework allows students to be enthused by the world of the metaphysical poets and other inspiring texts.

How You Will Be Assessed 

  • Paper 1: Poetry and Prose, (1 hour 30 minutes), 50% of the overall grade
  • Paper 3: Drama (open text),(45 minutes), 25% of the overall grade
  • Component 5: Literature coursework, 25 marks, 25% of overall grade. (Two essays)

University Courses and Career Paths 

English Literature is a highly respected IGCSE. As well as pursuing an A Level in English Literature and an English Literature degree itself, students of Literature might go onto study for university degrees in a range of subjects including:

  • History
  • Education
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Media Relations and Journalism
  • Drama and Theatre Studies
  • Law.

Even Medical Schools value the subject highly.