Celebrating diversity: Three new texts

We are extremely proud to announce, as part of our commitment to continuously refine and improve the content of our qualifications, the introduction of three new texts as part of our GCSE English Literature specification.



The texts were selected following a thorough and rigorous review process, which was overseen by our subject specialists. When considering these additions, we considered the views of teaching specialists, our commitment to address the ethnicity and gender balance of authors and to choose texts which reflect the rich diversity of our country.

Key Dates

Event Date
Begin Teaching from September 2023
First assessment Summer 2025

New texts


As part of our Post 1914 Prose and Drama section, we have introduced two new texts to introduce a wider range of cultural diversity and representation into our specification.

Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock

Boys Don't Cry, by Malorie Blackman, is a fresh and engaging novel that has positive representations of black and LGBTQ+ characters. Malorie Blackman, former Children's Laureate, is acknowledged as one of today's most imaginative and convincing writers for young readers. 

Leave Taking, by Winsome Pinnock, explores the dislocated identity of black British immigrants. It has been described by The Guardian as an 'insightful and pioneering portrayal of the lives of black Britons'.


These texts will replace Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, and A Taste of Honey, by Shelagh Delaney.


Commenting on these additions is our GCSE English Literature Subject Officer, Julia Harrison-Pickard:


Julia - Quote on new English texts


Shakespeare's Twelfth Night In addition, following feedback from schools and colleges, we have replaced William Shakespeare's Henry V with Twelfth Night. Our team hope that this play, with its timeless depictions of unrequited love and human behaviours, will add some comedy and revelry to the Shakespeare section of our specification.  Its themes of class, identity, gender and same-sex attraction are also relevant to our current cultural moment and we, therefore, hope it will be a popular choice with our schools and colleges.


Supporting you


To support the introduction of our new texts, we have FREE new Blended Learning Resources and Knowledge Organisers.


These new Blended Learning Resources are online learning packs that allows students to learn at their own pace and have been designed to complement face-to-face teaching.  Alongside these are our Knowledge Organisers, which offer students a revision aid that can be tailored towards their own learning strategies.


Boys Don't Cry

Leave Taking

Twelfth Night


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*Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, and A Taste of Honey, by Shelagh Delaney, and Henry V, Shakepeare, will be available for examination in 2023 and 2024, but not in summer 2025 and there after.


Contact our GCSE English Literature team:

Julia Harrison-Pickard
Subject Officer
local_phone 029 2240 4290
Matt Oatley
Subject Support Officer
local_phone 029 2240 4290

Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock: © Leave Taking by Winsome Pinnock, Nick Hern Books, 2018

Boys Don't Cry, by Malorie Blackman: © Malorie Blackman, Penguin Books Limited, 2022