What is this course about and what will you study?

English Literature is a stimulating subject that immerses you into a world of excitement and intrigue within varying contexts in a world beyond All Saints Sixth Form. Whilst studying your literary texts you will become an expert reader of poetry, prose and drama. Likewise, you will become a master of analysing language in literary studies, and begin to evaluate how language is used in society. With A Level English Language and Literature, we have developed a programme of study that will not only build on the skills you already have, but also encourage you to think critically and prepare you for whatever your next steps happen to be.

This course is not two separate A Levels, nor should it be treated as different subjects. A Level English and Language combines language analysis skills with some of the most fascinating and exciting texts of Literature. If you love reading, analysing texts and exploring the works of some of the most notorious and captivating authors of all time, this is the course for you.

Although every college is different, the shift from GCSE to A Level is often based upon the idea of independence. In All Saints Sixth Form, our English Language and Literature course allows you to take responsibility for your learning. We will encourage developing your own unique opinions and perspectives on the texts, characters and society. We promote you hsaring these opinions in debates, class discussions, short presentations and seminars, then using this to embed them within your essays. Unlike GCSE, there is less focus on teacher led activities and more focus on independence, especially outside the classroom. These are skills that are essential for further study, university and the workplace.

Your texts have been chosen by teachers who have a passion for reading, offering a diverse and unique learning experience. You will dive into the poetic works of Seamus Heaney. You will be immersed into heart wrenching texts such as Hosseini’s The Kite Runner which explores the very art of storytelling before taking a stand with Offred in Atwood’s esteemed The Handmaids Tale fighting against authoritarian dictators. Once you have studied various aspects of language and literature and found your passion, you will wirte an exciting and in-depth piece of coursework (NEA) harnessing the skills developed on the course. Here, you are able to write freely on your own views with support from sociolinguistic theories and critical lenses throughout the course.

What will it prepare you for?

The course prepares you for entry to degree level study. Nationally, English Literature is one of the most popular ALevel subjects and is considered to be a “facilitating subject” by our top universities. It provides a strong starting point for studying English as well as a wide range of Arts and Social Science subjects.

As a communication subject it will also prepare you for employment or further study other than degree level. It demonstrates that you are able to read and analyse complex texts and explain your understanding to others.

It also demonstrates that you are able to produce coherent, analytical writing. In addition, the non-examined assessment (coursework) shows that you are able to organise your time, research independently, and meet deadlines which are important skills for life.

Subject entry requirements:

  • GCSE grade 5 or above in English Language and Literature.

How you will be assessed:

Paper 1: Telling Stories

A three hour written exam that is 40% of your A Level exam, assessing:

  • A compulsory closed book question on the AQA anthology: Paris
  • An open book question on a chosen novel
  • An open book question on a selection of poetry.

Paper 2: Exploring Conflict

A two hour, 30 minute exam that is 40% of your A Level exam, assessing:

  • A piece of re-creative writing and critical commentary
  • An open book question on a play

NEA: A 2500-3000 word personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary writing. This is 20% of your A Level.