English Literature

A-Level English Literature

Exam Board: Edexcel

Introduction:

English Literature A Level is fundamentally about reading - books, poems, short stories, plays. However, this necessarily encompasses watching plays, discussing literature and poetry and delving into the worlds that writers create.

You will advance your analytical skills, develop an innate evaluative ability and demonstrate a fluency in your control and command of the English language. Furthermore, you will practice and home the ability to form a cohesive and convincing argument, backed up by evidence and literary concepts. As part of the course you will also learn how to weave both historical and critical appreciations into your own analysis, galvanising your interpretative skills.

The teaching is entirely different to GCSEs and the skills are learnt through the study of the literature. On a superficial level, this gives you a great understanding of the texts and authors studied over the two years. However, it also leaves you with an understanding on how to learn, read and explore any avenue of the written word you will encounter as an adult.

Moreover, an exploration of literature and poetry is also an exploration of the world and its history; by studying English, you are also studying art, art history, history, media, philosophy and many more.

Where does it Lead to?

There are no limitations with an English Literature A Level. As one of the core subjects, most universities and employers recognise it as a badge of intelligence and diligence. This is for good reasons as the demands of the qualification are not small.

The skills taught would prove invaluable for almost any choice of career. Nevertheless, common uses of English Literature beyond school might be law, journalism, publishing, media production, advertising, social enterprise and charity, government and civil service and teaching.

 Course Detail:

The full A Level is a two year linear course with all modules being assessed at the end of Year 13, with the exception of the non-examination assessment (coursework) that is completed in the second term of Year 13. It is also possible to receive the AS qualification after one year of the study although this does not contribute towards the final A Level grade.

Examination Details:  

Paper 1 - Drama (30% of A Level)

Paper 2 - Prose (20% of A Level)

●        2 hour examination comprising 2 essays

●        A choice of two questions on Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams; a choice of two questions on Shakespeare’s Othello.

●        1 hour examination comprising 1 essay

●        A choice of two questions comparing Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells on a theme of Science and Society.

Paper 3 - Poetry (30% of A Level)

Non-examination Assessment (20% of A Level)

●        2 hour examination comprising 2 essays

●        A comparison of poems from Poems of the Decade anthology and unseen poetry same as AS; a choice of two questions on the poetry of John Donne.

●        A 5000 word essay comparing two literary texts of your choice, answering a question you have devised yourself

This essay is an opportunity for great freedom to direct your own learning and explore your own interests in English, giving you a taste of university style study. Texts could include novels, poetry and anthologies or literary non-fiction and can be compared along theme, gender, time period or author.

 

Key Contact: KS5 coordinator Mrs Lane (susan.lane@slougheton.com) OR Curriculum Leader: Mrs Afraoui - (nora.afraoui@slougheton.com)