An A-Level in Literature allows students to develop and flourish academically, whilst also stretching their emotional intelligence. Through the study of a wide range of texts from a variety of contexts, the course equips students with analytical and comparative skills. It also offers an exciting opportunity to explore the bigger questions about the world and the human experience. The course gives students the chance to engage with themes and ideas through creative writing too, as well as through literary criticism. Independence of thought and of interpretation is at the core of the syllabus, as well as a fantastic choice of texts which are relevant, thought-provoking and inspiring. Not only does the course hone skills which are desirable to employers: discussion, academic writing, analysis and more, it opens the door for further study into English or other disciplines at university. This is a challenging course that involves expansive reading, a love of literature and exposure to exceptional poetry, prose and plays.
Paper 1: Love Across the Ages
Throughout this module, students will be exploring range texts from Shakespeare, through to the more modern F. Scott Fitzgerald. In doing so, they will explore how our understanding of what love is and what it should look like has evolved, been challenged and been re-examined through the platform of literature. Studying such a broad wider theme with so many facets, whilst comparing it across cultures, times and interpretations allows students to examine historical and societal attitudes, literary representations and ultimately offers rich ground for comparison and exploration.
Study of three texts: Othello , The Great Gatsby and a Poetry Anthology. The exam will include two unseen poems.
Assessment: written exam 3 hours, 40% of A-Level
One passage based Shakespeare question with linked essay.
Unseen poetry- essay on two unseen poems.
Comparing texts: one essay question linking two texts.
Paper 2: World War One and its Aftermath
The First World War produced some electric and emotive poetry which still enthuses and engages students and adults today. Likewise, as such a globally significant historical time, modern writers are still exploring and deciphering it within their works. As such, students will study one drama text and one post-2000 text to examine and compare the presentation of the war and the difficult themes it throws up. In reading within a shared context, we of course deepen our understanding the context itself. We also enhance our academic understanding and analysis of literature as an art form as well as a means of chronicling, understanding, exploring and challenging history and human nature.
Study of three texts: One prose, one poetry and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000
Assessment: written exam 2 hours 30 Minutes, 40% of A-Level
Section A : One essay question on set text
Section B: Contextual linking
One compulsory question on an unseen extract
One essay question linking two texts
Non-exam Assessment: Theory and Independence
Assessment: Coursework 20% A-Level
One extended essay (2.500 words) with a bibliography.
This piece of coursework is unique in that students independently choose two texts which interest them, and design their own area for investigation.
There is also a one year, AS Level course available, which is focused on ‘Love through the Ages’ and is assessed purely through two exams at the end of one year.
Grade 5 or above in English language and/or in English Literature GCSE