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A Teaching Guide to Titus Andronicus GCSE Shakespeare Coursework

Steph Atkinson | Monday September 28, 2009



Titus Andronicus

This teaching guide for higher ability students is designed as a self-contained unit which can be used to produce the AQA A GCSE Shakespeare coursework.

  • The unit uses one of the lesser-known and less critically-acclaimed Shakespeare plays in order to encourage a high-quality and truly original response.
  • The AQA A Shakespeare coursework is what is termed as a ‘cross-over’ piece; therefore, if you are using it for assessment for both English and English Literature GCSEs (the most common approach), you need to be able to address the assessment objectives for both.

Let us remind ourselves of these:


Candidates are required to demonstrate their ability to:

(i) read, with insight and engagement, making appropriate references to texts and developing and sustaining interpretations of them;

(iv) select material appropriate to their purpose, collate material from different sources, and make cross references;

(v) understand and evaluate how writers use linguistic, structural and presentational devices to achieve their effects, and comment on ways language varies and changes.

English Literature

Candidates are required to demonstrate their ability to:

AO1 respond to texts critically, sensitively and in detail, selecting appropriate ways to convey their response, using textual evidence as appropriate;

AO2 explore how language, structure and forms contribute to the meanings of texts, considering different approaches to texts and alternative interpretations;

AO4 relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts and literary traditions

As this unit is aimed at high-ability students, it is also useful to consider the general and specific criteria for a typical A grade response for both specifications:


General Criteria

Candidates appreciate and analyse alternative interpretations, making cross references where appropriate. They develop their ideas and refer in detail to aspects of language,...

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