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Best versions of AQA GCSE texts

Discussion in 'English' started by streetno9, Jan 21, 2020.

  1. streetno9

    streetno9 New commenter

    One of my jobs this year is to source the AQA GCSE Literature reading material for the next academic year. I am interested to know what versions of texts people recommend. Ideally, I'm looking for versions of the following texts that have a decent amount of room for annotations and notes. What versions of texts do people recommend? Specifically, what text versions do people recommend for the following:

    Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
    A Christmas Carol
    An Inspector Calls
    Romeo and Juliet

    Feel free to add in your own recommendations for any of the other texts you teach too.
  2. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    I like the shorter Shakespeare series: https://www.teachersuperstore.com.au/series/globe-education-shorter-shakespeare/

    Good glossaries, lots of images (crucially from theatrical productions) to support meaning, abridged but with all the really important stuff left in - do we really need Peter's exchange with the musicians in Act 4? No.

    Only problem with these is that annotations sometimes go through the page, so you have to train the students to put a sheet of scrap paper between their pages.
    streetno9 likes this.
  3. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    For Shakespeare - something without too many notes. Notes make texts look really hard to understand.
    19th century - legible versions. So many have tiny, closely spaced text. Instantly intimidating.
    AIC - and acting version.
    streetno9 likes this.
  4. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    Oxford Rollercoasters for 19th Century texts - more expensive but worth it - and your local rep can often do a discount on a bulk order. Nice flexi but durable cover. Not too crowded. Strong paper!
    Cambridge School Shakespeare.
    We don't do AIC but we used to use the Heinemann hardback version.

    That said, most student now purchase their own (and we don't insist on all having the same version) so we've less need to keep buying set texts.
    streetno9 likes this.
  5. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    We will if it comes up as an extract on the exam.

    Studying abridged versions of set texts is against the rules of both AQA’s specification and the National Curriculum.
  6. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    Really?? Where I am we don't use books but photocopy the materials into booklets..that should be alright shouldn't it?
  7. katykook

    katykook Occasional commenter

  8. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    Copyright concerns aside, it depends if the whole text is included in the booklets.

    These quotations are from the AQA GCSE English Literature specification:
    • '3.1.1 Shakespeare: Students will study one play from the list of six set texts. Students should study the whole text.' (p. 9)
    • '3.1.2 The 19th-century novel: Students will study one novel from the list of seven set texts. Students should study the whole text.' (p. 10)
    • '3.2.1 Modern texts Students will study one from a choice of 12 set texts, which include post-1914 prose fiction and drama. Students should study the whole text.' (p. 10)
    • 'Students should study all 15 poems in their chosen cluster and be prepared to write about any of them in the examination.' (p. 10)
    And from the English Programmes of Study for Key Stage 4 (National Curriculum):
    • 'Pupils should be expected to read whole books' (p. 4)
    • 'Reading [...] should include whole texts.' (p. 5)
    pianopete likes this.
  9. br0wnsugar

    br0wnsugar Occasional commenter

    I agree with this but others in my dept make the decisions; perhaps unaware of AQA spec
  10. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead New commenter

    It's not AQA who insist on whole texts; it's the national curriculum!

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