English A Level

English Literature A Level is the study of ideas and how they are shared. We explore the broadest range of literature possible, taking in some of the earliest works written in English to contemporary fiction. We examine writers’ responses to the biggest questions of life across the centuries and hear from a diverse and exciting range of voices.

DEPARTMENT STAFF
Subject Leader:
Simon Messenger
KS5 Subject Teachers: Andrew Rose, Sue Morrell, Ariana Wells, Clara Ganley, Leona Lysandrou, Sophie Marcou, Katie Lee, Candace Cotton

DEPARTMENT STAFF
Subject Leader:
Simon Messenger
KS5 Subject Teachers:
Andrew Rose, Sue Morrell,
Ariana Wells, Clara Ganley,
Leona Lysandrou, Sophie Marcou,
Katie Lee, Candace Cotton

This is an academic, stimulating and challenging course, and it is also hugely enjoyable. How has our culture been defined by what came before it? What do the greatest writers say about the biggest challenges of life?

This subject gives you the chance to create your own arguments and express your own voice like few others. Fiction exists so that we can learn more about reality.

You will be assessed with two exams and one Independent Critical Study:

Paper One is studied in Year 12 and is called ‘Love Through the Ages’. We study a range of texts through time, unified by their exploration of the theme of love. The texts will include a Shakespeare play – currently Othello – a wide range of love poetry and prose texts which explore love.

Paper Two – Texts in Shared Contexts – is studied in Year 13 This component will involve the study of prose, poetry and a drama text. As students study these texts they will engage with some of the social, cultural, political and personal issues that have shaped the lives of those living in the latter part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century.

Across both years, students will research and write an academic comparison of two texts, creating an essay of around 2500 words. Students are able to choose these texts and the direction of their argument.

Possible Careers: In addition to careers directly related to literature, such as publishing, journalism and advertising, this academic subject is a great entry point to a range of other disciplines. For example, English Literature graduates are highly sought after in the legal profession, being valued for their analytical eye and ability to understand complex texts. Even if you choose not to study English Literature at University, you’re A Level in the subject will be the best possible preparation for any academic subject: you will be taught to write essays at an Undergraduate level.

Further Reading: The most successful students in English Literature read for fun. Any piece of contemporary fiction will be great preparation for this course. For Year 13 you will be reading two texts from post-war America, which means reading any of the modern American greats will help: Philip Roth, Toni Morrison, Sylvia Plath, Cormac McCarthy, Margaret Atwood, to name a few.

Trips & Extra Curricular Club/Activities: Students attend lectures by leading academics and watch productions of the drama texts. The department subscribes to academic journals and facilitates wider reading across all topics.

SUBJECTS