English Literature

The English Literature A level course will challenge, engage and nurture students’ understanding of a range of literary genres and texts. Students need to be enthusiastic readers and critics, able to analyse core texts as well as evaluate wider critical writing. Candidates will need to develop a comprehensive understanding of social, historical and cultural context in order to fully appreciate literary periods ranging from early modern (e.g. Shakespeare) to contemporary literature. Teachers will recommend relevant additional reading, including relevant study guides for the core texts.

Overview of the course

There are four components, one of which is a non-exam assessment (NEA).

  • Exam Component 1 - Drama: students study a Shakespeare play as well as one other play written by an early modern writer of the time. For this component students will also be expected to analyse critical essays in relation to the genre of their chosen Shakespeare play. (30% of the A level qualification.)
  • Exam Component 2 - Prose: students will study two prose texts, related by theme. One of the two texts will be from the 19th century text. Students will compare these two texts and the ways that they explore the common theme. (20% of the A level qualification.)
  • Exam Component 3 – Poetry: students will study the form, meaning and language of a selection of Post-2000 poetry and poetry of a literary period (either Pre- or Post-1900) or a named poet from a literary period. (30% of the A level qualification.)
  • Non-examination assessment: students will produce a 2500 - 3000-word essay on two texts, studied and researched independently. Chosen texts can be either poetry, drama, prose or literary non-fiction. These texts can be linked by theme, movement or author. Students cannot use any texts studied elsewhere in the course. (20% of the A level qualification.)

Department Members

  • Mr N Silverwell (Head of Department)
  • Ms G Wickings (2 ic)
  • Ms L Yost (Head of Sixth Form)             
  • Mr J Govinden (T&L Lead)
  • Ms S Stewart       
  • Miss A Suleman                 
  • Miss H Bennett  
  • Miss M Sayyid