The English Literature A-Level will expose you to a range of literary texts throughout history, stretching from Shakespeare and the Renaissance to Carol Ann Duffy and Post-Modernism. You’ll learn about the ways that Literature reflects contemporary values and societies; how it has changed and developed as the world changes, and even how it can be an important catalyst for change itself.
What skills will I gain?
You will be encouraged to take part in discussions and debates which will expand your ability to evaluate information and ideas. In lessons, you will critique texts and evaluate how they reflect contextual factors, which will broaden your outlook on our society today. As part of this, you will learn about different literary theories and how they apply not only to literature, but to politics, history and philosophy. Your writing will develop to a more academic style, preparing you well for higher education and independent, extended writing.
Why study English Literature?
Literature has always been a highly regarded, academic subject largely due to its ability to develop critical thinkers. It is a very versatile subject and many people go on to higher education to study and have careers in English Literature and/or Language, History, Media, Law, Journalism, Politics, Philosophy, Marketing and many more.
How is this course assessed?
80% of this qualification is assessed through 3 exams at the end of your A2 year. The remaining 20% is a non-examination assessment, taking the form of an extended, independent essay comparing two literary texts.
English Literature Content
Component 1: Poetry Open book examination (2 hours) Section A: John Keats: Selected Poems (Penguin Classics) Section B: Philip Larkin: The Whitsun Weddings (Faber) & Carol Ann Duffy: Mean Time (Picador)
Component 2: Prose Closed book examination (2 hours) Section A: William Shakespeare: The Tempest Section B: John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi (Methuen) & Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire (Penguin Modern Classics)
Component 3: Unseen Texts Unseen examination (2 hours) Section A: Unseen Prose: analyse an extract from an unseen novel and use the supporting extracts which follow the passage to help you consider contexts and different interpretations. Choice of two extracts from different historical periods.
Section B: Unseen Poetry: close analyse an unseen poem. Choice of two poems.
Component 4: Prose Study Non-examination component worth 20%
One pre-2000 literary text (Jane Eyre) and one post-2000 literary text. Advisory word count: 2500-3500 words (including quotations). Comparative essay on a question of your own devising. English Literature Summer Tasks
It is expected that students complete the set tasks over the summer in preparation for beginning the course. These tasks will give students an invaluable head start to the year.
Read Jane Eyre (any edition)
Create a summary of each chapter of Jane Eyre. This can be in any format: PowerPoint, table/grid, notes, poster etc.
Research the following topics (linked to key themes in Jane Eyre) and prepare your findings in a format of you own choice (as above):