A highly prestigious subject which cultivates transferable skills through the pleasurable close study of prose, poetry and drama.
The study of English Literature will encourage you to respond with judgement and sensitivity and in some depth to prose, drama and poetry of quality. You will become aware of the richness and variety of English Literature and, we hope, learn to love it. It will make you a member of ‘the aristocracy of the sensitive’ (Foster). It is a good group to be in!
WHAT WILL YOU STUDY?
You will be reading and closely analysing novels, poems and plays, evaluating them critically and creatively in discussions, presentations and essays. Your appreciation of Literature will be enhanced by learning about the writer’s craft, the social, historical and cultural contexts in which the texts are set and how others have interpreted them. You will be enriched with a sound literary sense and perspective, enabling you to write analytical, literary essays.
In Year 6 you will study:
Poetry and Prose (Unit 1)
Prescribed poems from a post-2000 anthology
One post-2000 novel (e.g Life of Pi by Yann Martel)
Drama (Unit 2)
One pre-1900 drama (e.g Othello by William Shakespeare)
One post-1900 drama (e.g A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams)
In Year 7 you will study:
Poetry & prose (Unit 3)
Post 1900 unprepared poetry
Prose: Two novels from the selected theme, Women and Society: (e.g Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Beloved by Toni Morrison)
Shakespeare and pre-1900 Poetry (Unit 4)
One Shakespeare play (e.g King Lear)
Pre-1900 Poetry from a prescribed literary movement - e.g The Romantics
ABOUT THE EXTERNAL EXAMINATION
The external exams are divided into two- AS and A2. In year 6 you will take the AS which counts as 50% of your A Level. This consists of two exams (Unit 1 and Unit 2) of two hours each. In year 7 you will take the A2. This consists of two exams (Unit 3 and 4) of two hours each. All exams are open book examination.
WHAT CAN ENGLISH OFFER ME?
You will refine your essay-writing skills, gain insight into different genres and be exposed to different cultures and experiences to help you understand the world we live in. Studying Literature will assist you in developing invaluable transferable skills which will enable you to confidently face the demands of further education and of the work place.
Assessment is varied to provide opportunity for students to maximize their performance based on their strengths and to encourage students to develop a range of skills:
- Maximum 2 tests per semester
- Essays at home
- Controlled essays in class
- In-class presentations on select topics
- Creative projects which reflect students’ understanding of the texts
MAIN DIFFERENCE TO GCSE
The A-Level offers a more in-depth study and appreciation of English Literature: different genres, literary periods and social and historical contexts. There will continue to be class discussions and group work, but the course also encourages students to think and work independently in a critical and informed manner.
- Critical thinking and independent thought
- Written communication
- Listening and oral communication
- Working in a team
- Presenting ideas in front of an audience
- Self-management and self-development
- Independent research (ICT literacy)
English at university is one of the most essential disciplines because it is such good non-vocational training for the mind. It leads not just into teaching, writing and journalism but also into all communication, personnel and administrative work in industry, business, law etc. English Literature fits in well with the whole range of A-Level subjects: History, Art, French, German, Greek, Politics, Economics, Drama, and Law. It is also an excellent adjunct to the Sciences and Maths, since these subjects need articulate, linguistically aware students who can communicate what they know in a dynamic and creative way. It is a traditional A-Level – academically strong and very well respected. It will sharpen your critical thinking, analytical and creative skills. It will make you eloquent and train you to make multi-faceted observations.