A Level Course Listing

English Literature

We study texts in detail, developing an admiration for, and love of, sophisticated and subtle use of language. We also learn about the times and circumstances within which the texts were written, and consider the ways in which modern life influences us as readers and theatre-goers.

The primary concern is to nurture a love of literature for its own sake – our literary heritage is a priceless gift if properly appreciated. But the writing and analytical skills necessary for literary criticism will give you invaluable life skills too, for university and for the world of work.

There is a coursework element during the two-year study, the management of which allows you ample scope to explore your own areas of interest within the texts studied. Indeed, the department prides itself on encouraging you to think and work independently and the course is designed so as to encourage independence and allow flexibility with you even helping to choose your own texts.

The English Department is well-stocked with video, multi- media, audio and DVD equipment, but most importantly we are brimming over with books and have a highly committed teaching staff who have a real passion for their subject. We also offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and opportunities for you to enrich your studies outside the classroom. Activities include: regular theatre trips, visiting speakers, reading groups, revision conferences, and literary tours.

While your teachers will seek to offer you insightful and sophisticated interpretations of the texts studied, they will also expect you to challenge these and to offer original and convincing responses of your own. We see our lessons as opportunities for the debate and exploration of texts, rather than a formulaic journey towards a pre-determined conclusion.

You will need to come armed with proven skills and fluency in English Language and Literature. What you do not know however, we will teach you.

Where can it lead?

The skills you develop in studying A Level English Literature will prove invaluable to your wider studies at A Level and beyond as well as in life more generally. The skills of analysis, communication and argument that you develop will be highly valued by both university admissions tutors and graduate employers alike.

Course Outline

Examination board: Edexcel 9ET0

Entry Requirements

At least a grade 6 at GCSE.

Students will study two plays one of which must be Shakespeare and will focus on either the genre of comedy or tragedy.

C1 Drama (9ET0/01)

Two hour paper – open book. 30% of A Level marks.

E.g. You may study Othello or Twelfth Night alongside Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire or Christopher Marlowe’s Dr Faustus.

C2 Prose (9ET0/02)

You will study two thematically linked texts, one of which must be pre 1900.

One hour paper – open book. 20% of A Level marks.

E.g. You may study Dracula by Bram Stoker and The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters.

C3 Poetry (9ET0/03)

You will prepare for an unseen element in this paper where you will answer one question on a poem that is new to you and will compare it to a poem you have studied. In the second section of the paper you will study a selection of prescribed poetry. Examples of what might be studied here are Rossetti, Chaucer or Larkin.

Two hour exam – open book. 30% of A Level marks.

Coursework (9ET0/04)

You have a choice of tasks and texts here where you can do an extended comparative essay on two texts (3000 words) or a recreative task with commentary and a shorter comparative task (total for both, 3000 words).

20% of A Level marks.