Sixth-form a-level-english

A Level

English Literature

What could this course lead to?

English Literature is a highly regarded degree subject for a wide range of courses. The skills learned are useful in a range of career opportunities including: journalism, marketing, advertising, publishing, teaching and law.

GCSEs required

Students will normally have studied English Literature at GCSE with Level 7 or higher.

What will I be studying?

AQA Specification A. Advanced Level in English Literature (7712). This course offers a clear progression from AQA GCSE.

There are three components:

Component 1:

Love through the Ages (40% of total A Level) 75 marks. Three-hour exam. Three tasks 25 marks per task:

Shakespeare extract based question.
Unseen poetry comparison.
Poetry and Prose.
Open text.
Choice of two questions.

Set Texts List choices:

  1. Shakespeare; Othello, Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure, The Winter’s Tale.
  2. Choice of two AQA Anthologies of Love through the Ages; Anthology of Love Poetry Pre/Post 1900.
  3. Choice of prose text for comparison by a variety of authors across time:
  • Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, The Awakening, Tess of the D’Ubervilles, The Mill on the Floss. (Pre 1900)
  • The Great Gatsby, A Room with a View, The Go-Between, Rebecca, Atonement, The Rotter’s Club. (Post 1900.)

Component 2:

Texts in Shared Context:

  • WW1 And its Aftermath OR Modern Times from 1945 to present Day.
  • (40% of total A Level) 75 marks 2 hour 30 mins exam.
  • 3 tasks, 25 marks per task. Open book exam.

For component 2, Students study 3 texts:  One poetry text. One prose. One Drama text.

A. Core text.
B. Unseen prose. Linked to option.
C. Comparison. Other 2 genres.

WW1texts choices include: 

Regeneration, Birdsong, Oh What a Lovely War, Journey’s End, Up the line to Death, Scars Upon my Heart.

Choice of Comparative texts:

The return of the Soldier, All Quiet on the Western Front, Strange Meeting, Farewell to Arms, Goodbye to all That, A long, long way, The First Casualty, Life Class, The Accrington Pals, Blackadder Goes Forth, My Boy Jack (post 2000), War Poetry of Wilfred Owen, The Oxford book of War Poetry.

All 3 genres must be covered and 1 Post 2000.

Modern Times text choices include:

Section A: The Handmaid’s Tale, Waterland, Topgirls, A Streetcar Named Desire, Feminine Gospels (post 2000) Skirrid Hill (Post 2000)

Choice of Comparative texts: Prose: Spies (post 2000) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The God of Small Things, The Help (post 2000) The Colour Purple, Oranges are not the only Fruit. Revolutionary Road.

Drama: Translations, All My sons, Our Country’s Good. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Poetry: Tony Harrison, Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath.

Component 3:

  • Independent Critical Study. NEA. 
  • Texts Across Time.
  • (20% of total A Level) 

Coursework. One task. 50 marks. Moderated by AQA. 2,500 words excluding quotations. 

Essay must cover: Literature post-1900, 1 text pre 2000. Two authors to be covered. Texts can be in the same century.

The form of assessment is based on a non-examined unit. Students write a comparative critical study of 2 texts. Academic referencing and bibliography is necessary. All 5-assessment objectives are targeted. Equal weight is essential across both texts. Texts in Translation can be used.

No texts on any set text list is acceptable.

Are there any trips or extra-curricular activities linked to this course?

The English Department regularly arrange theatre trips so that students see the works they are studying brought to life on stage.  Local live screenings are also very popular. We strive to support local Literary festivals and visit places connected with the literature being studied (eg.Owen Sheers at Wells’ Literary festival 2017.) We enjoy “Peripeteia” Literary events and benefit from English and Media studies full subscription. 

What skills or learning approach do I need for this subject?

You need to have a good standard of reading and understanding of different texts, an ability to write analytical and complete extended essays is key, you should be open minded in your approach to a wide variety of genres and styles of literature to get the most from the course. Expect to be proactive in class, speculate and form strong views to ideas and texts. Reading is essential.

How is it assessed?

The course is assessed through two written examinations and a non-examined unit. These exams will be at the end of the course. Love Through the Ages is 3-hours and Texts in Shared Context is 2-hours and 30 minutes. At AS, an internal assessment of unseen practical criticism will inform UCAS predictions alongside timed and classwork written essays.

What syllabus do you follow?

AQA Spec A: www.aqa.org.uk 

Coursework: Yes.

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset

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