Curriculum – KS5 English Literature

Examination Board: OCR

Units Taken: 

Drama and poetry pre-1900 (H472/01)
Comparative and contextual study (H472/02)
Literature post-1900 (H472/03)

Link to Specification: Click here.


Course Content

Drama and poetry pre-1900 (H472/01):
Learners are required to study one play by Shakespeare from a list of set plays. In addition, learners are required to study one pre-1900 drama text and one pre-1900 poetry text from a set list. Assessment is in the form of a 2 1/2 -hour closed-text exam.

Comparative and contextual study (H472/02):
There is a choice of five topics as follows:
• American Literature 1880–1940
• The Gothic
• Dystopia
• Women in Literature
• The Immigrant Experience.
Learners choose one topic and study at least two whole texts in their chosen topic area, at least one of which must be from the core set text list.
For the second text, learners may choose to study the other core set text or they may choose another text, from the same topic area, from the list of suggested set texts. Assessment is in the form of a 2 1/2 -hour closed-text exam.

Literature post-1900 (H472/03):
The aim of this internally assessed component is to encourage individual study, interest and enjoyment of modern literature and for learners to develop:
• an appreciation of how writers shape meanings in texts through use of language, imagery, form and structure
• an understanding of texts informed by an appreciation of different interpretations
• an ability to explore connections across texts, such as stylistic, thematic or contextual.

OCR will approve that the text(s) chosen meet the criteria for this component which state that:
• learners are required to study three literary texts (one text for Task 1 and two texts for Task 2)
• the three texts must include one prose text, one poetry text and one drama text
• the texts must have been first published or performed in 1900 or later
• at least one of these texts must have been first published or performed in 2000 or later.


Skills Gained from Taking this Course

This English Literature specification will encourage learners to be inspired, motivated and challenged by reading widely across a range of texts and developing their independent study skills. By A level, learners are cultivating their own critical responses and engaging with the richness of literature.

This qualification will enable learners to:
• explore and understand a wide range of texts
• develop the valuable transferable skills of sustained research and composition
• have freedom of choice with regards to texts for study in the non examined assessment component
• choose to write creatively if they wish.


St Marylebone Entry Requirements

To gain entry into the sixth form at St Marylebone School, students must gain a minimum of five 9-6 grades at GCSE and a 5 grade in English and Maths GCSE.


Subject Specific Entry Requirements

Grade 6 in English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE.


Entry Suggestions

If you love reading, analysing texts, class discussions and developing arguments in essays, then English is the subject for you.

Students who wish to study English at A level need to be well read; they must have read widely exploring works of many different genres and periods. They need to be able to read quickly and be prepared to read texts that are not just studied on the course. Essay writing is difficult and much more advanced than GCSE and students need to be prepared to spend time editing and redrafting work before handing it in.


If you are made an offer, you will be expected to complete the following before your first lesson in September:

Read three texts from the KS5 reading list available from the English Office (including one Shakespeare play). Click here to view the reading list.

Write a practical criticism of a poem of your choice not studied on your GCSE course, taking care to comment on structure, language, imagery and meaning.

Go and see a theatre production of a well-known playwright (not a musical!)


Reading List

Click here.


Resources Needed for this Course:

You will need to purchase around eight books over the course of the two years; these usually cost between £7 and £10. Your teacher will inform you of what to buy and when.

A useful introductory book to get from a library or buy is ‘Doing English’ by Robert Eaglestone.