GCSE and A Level English Literature New Diverse Texts

English students

To widen the diversity of works English Literature students can engage with, we’re really excited to be adding new, diverse texts to our GCSE and A Level Literature, as well as our A/AS Level Language and Literature specifications.

These will be available for first teach from September 2022 with first assessment in summer 2024.

On this page:

New GCSE play and texts - New A Level texts - A/AS Level Language and Literature - Video introducing GCSE and A Level texts - Blog posts introducing new texts - New resourcesLaunch event - CPD events - Find out more

GCSE English Literature (9-1) – J352 (first teaching September 2022)

Winsome Pinnock’s play Leave Taking will replace My Mother Said I Never Should as a modern drama option for Section A of Component 1.

We’re also updating our Towards A World Unknown poetry anthology by replacing five poems in each thematic cluster for first teaching September 2022. Our new poets include fantastic contemporary poets like Warsan Shire, Raymond Antrobus and Theresa Lola, as well as important Caribbean and African-American poets like Louise Bennett, Martin Carter, June Jordan and Langston Hughes. For more about the new poems and a reminder of the poems they’re replacing, please read our blog post. To have a read of the new poems, take a look at the updated anthology!

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A Level English Literature – H472 (first teaching September 2022)

We’ve added one new suggested set text to each of the five topic areas in Component 2:

Passing by Nella Larsen for the American Literature 1880-1940 topic area.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for The Gothic topic area.
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler for the Dystopia topic area.
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo for the Women in Literature topic area.
The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon for The Immigrant Experience topic area.

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A/AS Level English Language and Literature – H074/474 (first teaching September 2023)

We’re replacing two of the least studied texts for both poetry and drama in Component 2 with some new texts by diverse authors. These are being introduced for September 2023 with their first assessment in June 2025.

Current text

New text

Seamus Heaney’s Opened Ground 1966-1996

Malika Booker’s Pepper Seed

Eavan Boland’s New Collected Poems

Fatimah Asghar’s If They Come For Us

Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good

Nina Raine’s Tribes

Brian Friel’s Translations

Inua Ellams’ Barber Shop Chronicles

For more about these new texts and some introductory teaching ideas, please read our blog.

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Video: Introducing our new diverse texts for GCSE and A Level English Literature

Watch Subject Advisors for English, Keeley and Isobel, introduce the new diverse texts being added to OCR's GCSE and A Level English Literature for September 2022.

 

Blog post: GCSE and A Level English Literature: introducing our new diverse texts

Read our blog for more information on the new texts and details of the GCSE poems we’ll be replacing.

Blog post: Introducing our revised GCSE English Literature poetry anthology

Read our blog for more information on our refreshed GCSE poetry anthology.

Blog post: A and AS Level English Language and Literature: introducing our new diverse texts

Read our blog for more information on the text changes for Component 2 of A/AS Level English Language and Literature.

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New resources

To support you teaching these new texts, we've commissioned a new suite of resources to help with planning, teaching and assessment. From teacher guides and sample assessment material for GCSE, and packs to help with different interpretations, context and assessment support at A Level, take a look at what we've put together.

See our resources

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GCSE and A Level English Literature New Diverse Texts Launch Event

We held our online launch Q&A session for the new texts on Monday 22 November 2021. Our Subject Advisors talked about why we’re making these changes, why we’ve chosen these texts and how we’ll be supporting them.

When viewing the recording, click on the purple button in the bottom right-hand corner to view the chat and web links.

Watch recording now

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Free online CPD events

From spring term onwards, we’re running a series of free Thinking about teaching events focusing of each of the new texts. These events will give you a solid overview of the new texts and how they fit into the qualification, as well as the opportunity for you to ask questions and get support from our Subject Advisors.

Book your place, or watch recordings on-demand:

GCSE English Literature

Thinking about teaching: Leave Taking held on 12 January 2022 (watch recording on-demand)
Thinking about teaching: revised GCSE poetry held on 22 June 2022 (recording coming soon)

A Level English Literature

Thinking about teaching: Girl, Woman, Other held on 25 January 2022 (watch recording on-demand)
Thinking about teaching: The Lonely Londoners held on 1 March 2022 (watch recording on-demand)
Thinking about teaching: Parable of the Sower held on 8 March 2022 (watch recording on-demand)
Thinking about teaching: Rebecca held on 27 April 2022 (watch recording on-demand)
Thinking about teaching: Passing held on 17 May 2022 (watch recording on-demand)

Ask the Subject Expert: GCSE & A Level (Q&A covering all new texts) held on 28 June 2022 (recording coming soon)

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Find out more

Take a look at our news story where we announced which play and novels we’re adding.

If you have any questions about the new diverse texts, please get in touch with us: english@ocr.org.uk

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