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English lit

English Literature A level

People who enjoy reading stimulating texts, enjoy expressing opinions and like to explore new ideas, will find the course particularly rewarding. The skills that are necessary on this course are very similar to those needed at GCSE. The importance of framing sustained, detailed, well organised and well referenced essays lies at the heart of success. Work is done on the importance of the planning and thinking what needs to happen regarding texts.

Much of the class-work therefore revolves around discussing the aspects of texts. Students will often be asked to prepare work on specific issues so that they can come to the lesson prepared to contribute. This course will give students the confidence to pursue their own ideas based upon a good grounding in the text and its issues. The ultimate aim is for the teacher to be able to monitor the discussion rather than lead it. So those who enjoy reading and who enjoy talking and writing about what they have read will enjoy this course.

 

Curriculum outline

Subject content at AS level:

Currently, students study:

  •  Othello by William Shakespeare.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
  • AQA Anthology of love poetry through the ages.

Assessment at AS is by examination only. Students study a range of texts linked to the theme of 'love through the ages' and are examined by means of two examination papers:

  • Paper 1: Shakespeare and unseen poetry paper.
  • Paper 2: Response to one unseen prose text and comparison of two taught prose texts.

 

Subject content A level: for examination

Currently students study:

  • All of the texts examined at AS level
  • Blackadder Goes Forth by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton
  • Regeneration by Pat Barker
  • The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon Stallworthy

 

For coursework: Comparative critical study of two texts of your own choice, in which you focus on a theme about which you are interested. (One text must be pre-1900)

 

Assessment at A2 is by examination and non-exam assessment.

  • Paper 1: Love through the ages: Shakespeare and poetry.
  • Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts.

Non-examination assessment: texts across time.

Entry requirements

Grade 6 at GCSE (grade 5 may be accepted depending upon attitude to learning at GCSE)
Initially I thought that English Literature would just been reading and essays, but I love that we have discussions about how we interpret a text.
Jay-Cee Race, Year 13

Potential career paths and further study

English Literature is a versatile and well-established A level qualification which can lead to a variety of careers and degree courses. It is regarded as a facilitating subject for those wishing to apply for top universities. This qualification is suitable for anyone who is considering a career working with the public. Journalism, law, teaching, banking and social work are only a few of the areas where English Literature is useful.

Jobs
I love studying English Literature A-level as it has allowed me to see a whole new aspect of literature with so many opportunities to learn new, exciting things with close guidance and support.
Ella Blackburn, Year 13