English Literature: A Level

Who do I speak to? Mr. Lansdowne

Why study English Literature?

• Literature is an ideal choice for anyone who loves reading fiction. It is also a highly respected A Level that can be instrumental in helping students gain university places in a variety of subjects

• Students will gain a great deal of academic prowess through a subject that promotes the development of transferable skills. English students are taught to think analytically, consider different interpretations and listen and respond to one another sensitively in preparation for the seminar-style environment they are likely to find at university. The study of English Literature will also complement any future studies in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law faculties at university

• One of the most important skills students learn is how to write coherently and critically. This is an essential skill that will aid them in their other subjects and is invaluable in higher education and the world of employment.

What’s it all about?

• You will study a range of poetry, prose and drama texts both pre- and post-19th century including a complete Shakespeare play, and a number of complete novels. You will also become familiar with key critical schools of thought including narrative, feminist, post-colonial, Marxist and eco-critical theory plus consideration of literary value. All texts will be considered within a range of contexts

Year 12 study consists of two components:

1. Poetry and Drama (Key texts: Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry and A Streetcar Named Desire)

2. Prose (Key texts: The War of the Worlds and The Handmaid’s Tale).

Year 13 study will revise and expand on the first year content and consists of four components:

1. Drama (Key texts: A Streetcar Named Desire AND a Shakespeare play)

2. Prose (Key texts: HG Wells’ The War of the Worlds and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale)

3. Poetry (Key texts: Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry AND EITHER a selection of poetry from a literary period OR from a named poet within a literary period)

4. Coursework (a free choice comparison of two texts linked by theme, movement, author or period). The two chosen texts must fall within exam board acceptability guidelines.

When will I be assessed?

• Exams will take place at the end of Year 12 and final A level exams at the end of Year 13

‘Milestone assessments’ will take place on a termly basis in both years, though teachers are likely to set additional assessments each term as well

• A Level coursework will need to be submitted by the start of May in Year 13.

What could it lead to?

• Almost any career can be accessed with A Level English Literature, however, career opportunities that require an English A Level include: journalist, columnist, screenwriter, editor, and teacher of English with many other careers, particularly in the media and publishing industries where A Level English is a huge advantage.

Additional entry requirements?

• You will need a grade B/Level 6 or above in English Language or English Literature at GCSE.