Dickens for Schools

  • There is a massive and clearly defined market for DJO in the National Curriculum
  • There are, annually, well over 500,000 GCSE and over 80,000 A-level students of English Literature in the UK each year, and all 5 major exam boards are currently setting novels which were first published in Dickens’s journals, e.g. Hard Times or Great Expectations
  • The site will make the original weekly instalments freely available to schools, together with the accompanying articles in each issue, and provide educational resources created by teachers to offer National Curriculum ‘learning journeys’ for students accessing the site
  • A DJO teachers group will contribute content and help design materials to integrate the site with the National Curriculum; promising contacts have already been established, with a view to developing bespoke material to accompany the site


National curriculum assessment objectives for English Literature require teachers and candidates to ‘show understanding’ (AS Level) and be able to “evaluate the significance” (A2 Level) of the “cultural, historical and other contextual influences on literary texts” [1] set for study. At GCSE too, this is important, as candidates must relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts and literary traditions.[2]


DJO will help achieve this objective. It will not only demonstrate how serialised novels worked and functioned as part of a larger media entity; the site will also demonstrate and explore how the topical issues tackled in serial novels were also treated in non-fiction articles and editorials within the same publication, helping explain, enhance – and sometimes complicate! – the artistic treatment.


For all enquiries about DJO as a resource for schools, or about how to join the teachers group, please contact djo@buckingham.ac.uk.

[1] A typical phrasing, taken in this instance from the AQA GCE English Literature 2007 – Specification B , Section 6.3, p.11.

[2] Phrasing from OCR GCSE English Literature – New GCSE Complete Specification (2003), Section 3.4, p.12.