GCSE and A Level English Literature Diverse Texts

English students

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

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 - AS and A Level Language and Literature - Blog posts - Resources - Previous CPD events

Support from the English Team

Our Subject Advisors Lydia and Sam are here to support you as you deliver our qualifications.

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


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

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

We've updated our Towards A World Unknown poetry anthology by replacing five poems in each thematic cluster for first teaching September 2022.

Here is the full list of poems added to the anthology for first assessment summer 2024:

Love and Relationships Conflict Youth and Age

New poems:

‘Flirtation’, Rita Dove 
‘Poem for my Love’, June Jordan
‘Lullaby’, Fatimah Asghar
The Perseverance’, Raymond Antrobus 
‘Looking at Your Hands’, Martin Carter

New poems:

‘Papa-T’, Fred D’Aguiar 
‘Songs for the People’, Frances E. W. Harper 
‘We Lived Happily during the War’, Ilya Kaminsky 
‘Colonization in Reverse’, Louise Bennett 
‘Thirteen’, Caleb Femi

New poems:

‘Equilibrium’, Theresa Lola 
‘Prayer’, Zaffar Kunial 
‘Happy Birthday Moon’, Raymond Antrobus 
‘Tea With Our Grandmothers’, Warsan Shire
‘Theme for English B’, Langston Hughes

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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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English diverse texts

AS and A Level English Language and Literature – H074/474

We’ve replaced 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

*First assessment 2024 for AS Level Language & Literature

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

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Read our related blogs

GCSE and A Level English Literature: teaching our diverse texts

Read our blog for some resources and teaching ideas for the new texts.

Introducing our revised GCSE English Literature poetry anthology

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

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.

How do I tackle the new poems in the OCR anthology?

In this blog, Madeleine Champagnie, Head of English at one of our Lit in Colour Ambassador Centres, suggests approaches to teaching the new poems added to the Towards a World Unknown anthology.

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To support you in teaching these new texts, we have a 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, you can find all resources on Teach Cambridge.

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Catch up on recordings of our previous professional development events

These recordings will give you a solid overview of the new texts and how they fit into the qualification. Get in touch with our Subject Advisors if you need any support.

Catch up on our GCSE and A Level English Literature diverse texts launch event, held on 22 November 2021 (watch recording on-demand via Teach Cambridge).

Watch our video where we introduce the new diverse texts being added to our GCSE and A Level English Literature.

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 (watch recording on-demand)

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 (watch recording on-demand)

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