Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment
CCEA Curriculum Monitoring Programme 2018-19


Text selection

What is a heritage text?

A heritage text is a text written by an author from Ireland, England or Wales which is canononical and likely to be studied over time. This term comes from a list of writers contained within the KS4 English Programmes of Study. This includes authors with an enduring appeal that transcends the period in which they were writing. The list includes pre-20th Century and 20th Century writers.

The list is purely indicative. It gives you an idea of the parameters within which a heritage text may be categorised. You are free to make your own choice in your centre

Is there a recognised cut-off date for heritage texts or is there a list of authors for the prose?

No there is no recognised date and no list of set authors. We are trying to be as flexible as possible so as centres can use texts from current stocks if they would prefer to not purchase new texts. Contemporary literature is not allowed. As long as it is not a recent text it should be fine, as a rough guide any Irish, English or Welsh texts published pre 1960s. The QCDA document mentioned above will give further ideas.

How many heritage texts must we study in the Specification?

All GCSE Literature specifications require the study of 3 heritage texts. In the CCEA specification this will include Shakespeare, a list from your poetry anthology and a text for Controlled Assessment.

Do the three heritage texts for the Specification have to be pre-20th Century?

No. You will most likely already be studying Shakespeare for the Controlled Assessment and a heritage poetry list as part of your anthology. Your remaining heritage text will be the prose text for the Controlled Assessment and this can be pre-c20th Century or 20th Century writers.

If you are studying Shakespeare for the examination you will have the choice of either prose or drama as your heritage text for Controlled Assessment.

With reference to good heritage prose texts for the Controlled Assessment and the conflict option, Golding is on the list of heritage prose writers from the 20th Century. Therefore, would it be acceptable to use Lord of the Flies as the heritage prose text in the Controlled Assessment?

Lord of the Flies would be fine as it was published in 1954. Of course it cannot be studied for the exam and the Controlled Assessment but if it is not being used for the exam then it is acceptable as a Controlled Assessment heritage text.

Can I study an American or Scottish writer as a heritage text?

No, a heritage text must be written by someone from Ireland, England or Wales.

If you study Shakespeare as your Unit 2 drama text for examination then only one of your texts for Controlled Assessment must be heritage therefore in this instance, you could choose an American or Scottish text as the second text.

Can “Private Peaceful” by Michael Morpurgo be defined as a heritage text? It has a relevance beyond its own time.

This was published in 2004 so this is not a heritage text. Heritage texts are texts which are still being read today despite their being written quite some time ago due to their having a relevance beyond that time. Contemporary literature dealing with issues from an earlier historical period cannot be categorised as heritage texts.

Entry Codes

What are the Entry Codes for GCSE English Language/English and English Literature?

The Entry Codes can be found here

Uniform Marks

How does the Uniform Mark Scale work for GCSE English Language?

Controlled Assessment

For further information refer to the Teacher Guidance on Controlled Assessment document.

Where do I find the tasks for Controlled Assessment?

All tasks for submission in 2012 are available in the specifications. Tasks for 2013 onwards will be made available via the microsite.

How many pieces of Controlled Assessment must students complete for GCSE English Literature?

For GCSE English Literature there is one task, in two parts, which must be completed.

How many pieces of written Controlled Assessment must students complete if they are doing GCSE English Literature with English Language?

There will be four tasks in total which must be completed, three for GCSE English Language and one task – with two parts, for GCSE English Literature.

Is there a crossover task for candidates doing GCSE English Literature with English Language?

No crossover task is allowed across both specifications. A similar theme can be covered across both specifications however a different task must be submitted for each.

The teaching for GCSE English Literature can, however, be used as the focus for the completion of all of the tasks for GCSE English Language: all Speaking and Listening tasks; the study of Spoken Language, the Reading and the Writing tasks.

Is it acceptable to use English Literature prescribed texts which are not being studied for the exam, for Controlled Assessment tasks in Literature and/or Language?

Yes, you can use the texts you are not studying for the examined Literature Units, 1 and 2, for the Literature Controlled Assessment task - as long as they meet the heritage requirement. You may choose any text for the Language reading task.

For example Animal Farm or Of Mice and Men could be used for Language Unit 4: task 2 – The Study of a Literary Text. Animal Farm or The Power and the Glory could also be used as the heritage prose text for Unit 3 Controlled Assessment in Literature.

How often do the Controlled Assessment titles change?

The titles will change every year and will be published on the microsite.

How do I know what titles I should use for each cohort of students?

You will use the titles that will be being moderated the date you intend submitting the work. So if you are operating a two year cycle and intend to complete the work across a two year period then you will be completing the titles being moderated at the end of the two years, so for your first intake of the new spec it will be the titles for moderation in 2012 (there is no choice for centres for the first intake).

From then on however you may decide to complete all the Controlled Assessment in year 11 and submit it to CCEA for moderation at the end of year 11. This means you must be working on the titles being moderated at the end of that year. i.e. if you decide with your year 11s coming in Sept 2011 that you will complete the work in one year and submit it to CCEA at the end of year 11 then you will do the titles for 2012. If you decide to complete the work over the two years, or complete it in year 11 but not submit it to the end of year 12 then it must be the titles for 2013 that you are working on

Do pupils have to have access to clean copies of texts while completing any Controlled Assessment based on a literary text?

Students do not have to have access to texts, but they are allowed to bring them in if the centre so chooses. If they do bring them in to the Controlled Assessment they must be clean texts.

If we have to buy another text how can we sure it will be relevant for the Controlled Assessment task the following year as we don’t want to have to buy a new set of texts every time?

The Controlled Assessment tasks are theme and narrative-based and are designed to allow centres to focus on a key aspect on that theme taking into account their access to resources and the ability and interests of their students. A choice of three options will be given each year. Centres should therefore be able to use one text to address a number of themes/options over the years of the specification.

Can we continue to use the editions we have of Shakespeare? All of these have glossaries on facing pages and notes at the back.

We chose not to prescribe Shakespeare editions due to the variety already in stock in centres. All Shakespeare texts will have some notes and support. Glossaries are fine: students have to understand the passage to effectively use the glossary. We would ask centres not to use editions with a lot of support material at the back. For all assessments texts must be clean, unannotated copies.

Can we use a realised version of Shakespeare?

Yes but the student’s response must be based on the original text.

Can we use short stories for the prose text for Controlled Assessment?

You may use a prose text of your choice. This must be a heritage text if it is being linked with Shakespeare for Unit 3. You must ensure that the text chosen is of an appropriate level of demand to allow the students to access the higher mark ranges. You can use a novel or short stories with the student focusing on key passages relevant to the chosen theme.

Do all teachers in the centre have to do the same text for Controlled Assessment?

Centres can do what best suits. This can be all teachers teaching the same text or different texts can be studied by different classes.

Can schools in Northern Ireland study a play by a heritage dramatist from the list as an alternative to Shakespeare?

Yes. Page 9 of the specification explains that schools in Northern Ireland may study a play by a heritage dramatist from the list as an alternative to Shakespeare. If students are going to be moving onto A level Literature then they will benefit from having studied Shakespeare, other than that schools are free to choose from the list of alternative dramatists.

Do Controlled Assessment tasks have to be word processed?

It is a free choice for centres whether they want students to word process or handwrite the Controlled Assessment tasks. Centres can do what suits their situation best.

Can Controlled Assessment writing tasks be word processed?

It is a free choice for centres whether they want students to word process or handwrite the Controlled Assessment writing tasks, however if writing tasks are being word processed the spelling and grammar check must be disabled on the computer.

Can students transfer coursework marks from the legacy specification to the specification?

No. Due to the changed weighting and content for the specification controlled assessment it will not be possible to transfer marks.


Where can I get help with planning the delivery of the specification over two years?

Sample planning grids are available in the support section of the microsite. These can be used as the basis to complete your own plan for your class.

Is it possible for students to study and complete GCSE Language in Year 11, and study and complete GCSE Literature in Year 12?

A. That is a decision for schools to make. From a CCEA perspective there is nothing to stop schools from doing this except for the first year of teaching (2010) as the first full award for both subjects is not until 2012.

I have a number of students entitled to Access Arrangements, how does this work for the specification?

All Access Arrangements that students were entitled to will still be available for the specification. Consult the JCQ Guidance document, for further information.