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English Literature

Are you an avid reader? Do you love discussing ideas, characters and themes? Do you think about potential influences on writers and about how readers approach a text? Have you enjoyed your GCSE Literature course? If so then the A Level in English Literature will allow you to explore a wide range of texts – from Shakespeare to contemporary writers. It will also help you to develop your ability to analyse, communicate and evaluate – skills which are essential in many future career paths.

The course involves the study of a wide range of literature drawn from different historical periods and genres, and actively encourages you to develop interest in and enjoyment of English Literature. We aim to build on the foundations laid down at GCSE by developing confident, independent and reflective readers. We endeavour to make lessons interesting and interactive by using a wide variety of strategies, including group work, research, drama and formal note taking.

Course Content

Year 12 Course Content (AS Level where applicable pre-reform)

During this year you will study two novels, a play and a collection of poetry. You will learn to analyse in depth, express your ideas articulately, and evaluate critical ideas. The texts we currently teach in Year 12 are A Thousand Splendid Suns, Wuthering Heights, The Importance of Being Earnest, and modern poetry from Poems of the Decade: An Anthology. However, these texts are subject to change.

Year 13 Course Content (A Level where applicable pre-reform)

In the second year of the course you will continue to develop your analysis, written expression and ability to evaluate the ideas of others. You will study a Shakespeare play and a selection of poetry from a specific time period, and will also revise the texts studied in Year 12. These will be assessed in three exams, all of which are open book.

You will also study two further texts, which you will write about in a comparative coursework essay.

Entry Requirements

Two GCSEs at Grade B or above in English Language and English Literature


At AS Level, students are assessed in two exams, both of which are open book.

At A Level, students will complete a coursework essay which comprises 20% of the final grade. They will also sit three exams, all of which are open book.

Financial Information

Students are required to purchase their own texts and provide their own stationery. Also we do run appropriate theatre visits and a literary trip (Howarth/Stratford/London).

The Academy will not charge for books, materials, equipment and instruction in connection with the National Curriculum or Statutory Religious Education taught at school, except where parents have indicated in advance their wish to purchase the product.

Exam Charging Policy:

–  Students with less than 85% attendance may, under the discretion of the Sixth Form Office, be asked to pay for their exam entry.

–  Exam resits that are made at the request of the post 16 students will be charged at full price.

–  When it is not possible to obtain a refund, full price will be charged to students for:

    –  the Summer Exam entry, if they withdraw from the subject after 20 April.
    –  non-attendance at an exam without good reason.

BTEC students, who leave the Academy prior to the conclusion of the course, will be charged £50.

Future Opportunities

This A level is highly valued by universities, and will be an asset when applying for many courses. It will be particularly useful for any future career which involves some measure of writing skills or communication. Future careers might include: law, journalism, the media, advertising, teaching, publishing or business.

Further Information

You need to be enthusiastic about reading in order to enjoy this course. You will have a keen interest in written communication of all kinds. You also need to be able to engage in discussion about how words and linguistic patterns create changes in meaning. You need to be able to discuss the philosophical and cultural contexts of a text and how texts have been received over time by literary authorities.

Students who study this course will be given opportunities to visit theatre performances, if available, and there are often lecture-style events at local universities.