‘If 6 Was 9’ Set for GCSE English Literature 2021

Sorting out the UK exam board offerings for GCSE English Literature 2021 is a bit like working out the variables and logic of covid restrictions across the UK, for example in England you can have just 6 people in a garden but you can have 6 people in a pub x another 6 people x another 6 people x another 6 people to as many 6 people units can be fitted in to be ‘covid secure’. In Wales you can have 30 people in a garden. I think.

And I can’t actually find all of the UK exam board offerings based on the Ofqual decision to reduce the number of optional elements required for study and response at GCSE English Literature in 2021. But here are two of them [in addition to AQA posted earlier],


OCR 2021

This one is simple. Unadventurous and in the Cuprinol Mode of Delivery: this is what was said / this is what it is.

Pearson Edexcel

edexcel 2021

I hadn’t realised, then I found out, then I forgot, so my apologies, that they too had gone down the maverick route, though this less maverick than the not-quite maverick route of AQA, but I guess it’s AQA I need to apologise to/for as they aren’t alone in being whatever they are. I don’t know why Edexcel has gone for making post-1914 Literature another compulsory element. Unlike Poetry, there wasn’t a post-1914 writers of literature outcry for this to be retained as compulsory, though the insider dealing must be that as this is predominantly An Inspector Calls it was in many ways a no-brainer. But by adding a compulsory element, Edexcel are also reducing the options available to teachers. And if a school has already taught the 19th century Novel and Poetry, this compulsion is a disadvantage.

Anyway, back to the Covid no. 6 analogy, I do wonder if Jimi Hendrix’s If 6 Was 9 will be making a comeback to top the charts [if there is A Charts these days]? You’d think it would be a shoehorn in. Perhaps the song’s lyrics could be set as AQA’s unseen poetry element with a question about how the apparent indifference stated in the lyrics links to the uncertainties we face today…

Now if 6 turned out to be 9,
I don’t mind, I don’t mind

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