GCSE English Literature

Ashbourne has a vibrant English Faculty whose teachers are passionate about their subject. Students explore drama, poetry and prose in a lively and engaging classroom environment. They are encouraged to experience a range of theatre and offered plenty of opportunities to perform their own work, including at Ashbourne’s annual Revue which showcases students’ artistic talents.

London offers students an exceptional choice of shows, events and exhibitions as well as outstanding libraries and bookshops.

Why study English Literature?

Stories shape the way we think and live. They enable us to share, understand and pass on ideas, beliefs and culture. They can transport you to another world, put you in other people’s shoes, influence your behaviour and connect you with others.

Studying literature will equip you with the skills to analyse, interpret and discuss themes, ideas and contexts within stories, as well as developing your ability to express yourself through dialogue, argument, prose and poetry. It will also teach you how to plan and research as well as expand your understanding of history, culture, philosophy and human behaviour.

Which syllabus do we follow?

Ashbourne follows the Edexcel specification for GCSE English Literature

What is covered in this course?

Students will read a range of classic literature and poetry and learn how to develop their own responses to texts, analyse language, form and structures, and explore relationships between texts and contexts. There are two components for this course: Shakespeare and Post-1914 Literature and 19th-century Novel and Poetry since 1789.

Texts for students starting September 2020

Shakespeare and Post-1914 Literature19th-century Novel and Poetry since 1789
Shakepeare’s Macbeth (or the Scottish Play as it’s known among Thesps) exposes how ruthless and bloodthirsty desire for power can lead to tragedy and psychological trauma. The play was originally performed around 1606 during the reign of James 1 (then king of Scotland and England and patron of Shakespeare’s acting company). It is one of Shakespeare’s most often performed plays.

Textbook: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

George Orwell’s Animal Farm is a fable about the events leading to the 1917 Russian Revolution and rise of Stalin. The novel explores the ideas of freedom, rebellion and political corruption. Orwell, a democratic socialist, was deeply skeptical about Stalin’s ambitions and wrote the book in 1945 as a direct and contemporary response to the regime. Britain was in wartime alliance with Russia at the time making the publishing of the book extremely controversial.

Textbook: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol
Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserable old penny-pincher who hates everyone, especially children, until one Christmas when he is visited by three ghosts from the past, present and future. Scared rotten he begins to see the error of his ways and rediscovers the joy of giving.

Charles Dickens was one of the most prolific and well-loved writers of the Victorian era and much celebrated during his own lifetime. Some of his most popular novels include Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Great Expectations.

Textbook: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickins

 

Poetry Anthology
Examining the theme of time and place students will compare language, structure, form and contextual features of two poems selected from a collection of 15.

Textbook: Poetry Anthology by Edexcel

Who teaches this course?

Elle Ryan

BA Theology and History with English Literature, Philosophy and Media (Australian Catholic University)
Elle spent five years teaching in Australia and the UK before joining Ashbourne. She teaches English Literature as well as English as a second language (for IELTS) at the college.

Lauren Vanderhurst

MA English: Issues in Modern Culture (University College London); BA (Hons) English Literature (University of California); PGCE (Institute of Education, UCL)
Lauren’s love and enthusiasm for English inspires her students to find their own passion and embrace all that the subject has to offer. She is one of Ashbourne’s most encouraging and effective teachers who has played a full and active role in the college’s academic and cultural life since joining in 2014.

Why Choose Ashbourne College?
StudentsParentsTeachers
Ashbourne has provided me with the platform, the time and the space to grow intellectually. We are encouraged to read widely and since Ashbourne offers extra curricular critical theory, I have found my subjects being independently stimulated and motivated by cross disciplinary links. Aside from academic growth, Ashbourne has offered me a chance to feel a part of something. The opportunity to be the co-editor of Ashbourne Identity, the college’s student magazine, has given me a sense of responsibility, creative freedom and pride toward Ashbourne’s diversity. From Ashbourne’s Christmas Revue to its annual European trip, the college’s nurturing and collaborative atmosphere will remain a highlight of my time at Ashbourne
VictoriaEnglish and Drama at University of Manchester
She feels well respected as a pupil and gets the assistance she needs to understand the material
Ashbourne is a wonderful place to teach and an even better place to study. The staff treat the students as adults and the mutual respect results in a relaxed university approach to study. Teaching classes that only have a max of 10 allows for individual tuition and greater differentiation within the groups helping the students grow in confidence and develop a love for their subjects. I really like the fact that students are encouraged to refer to their tutors by their first name and feel that this breaks down tutor/student boundaries and means that the students are confident in asking for help. Brilliant students, brilliant tutors, great place to work
Rachel TeasdaleFormer Head of GCSE and Biology Teacher
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