English Literature

What will I study?

In Year 12 and 13 you will study the AQA English Literature A specification. AQA say of this course that:

‘English Literature A’s historicist approach to the study of literature rests upon reading texts within a shared context. Working from the belief that no text exists in isolation but is the product of the time in which it was produced, English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood. Studying texts within a shared context enables students to investigate and connect them, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives. English Literature A privileges the process of making autonomous meaning, encouraging students to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal responses.’


What will I study?

The A level is made up of the following units

  • Love through the Ages (40%): This unit will cover the Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text (of which one must have been written before 1900), and one Shakespeare play. It will be assessed by a 3 hour examination, which will include two unseen poems.
  • Texts in Shared Contexts – ‘Modern Times: Literature from 1945 to the Present Day’ (40%): Study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama (of which one must have been written after 2000). It will be assessed by a 2 hour 30 minute examination, which will include an unseen extract.
  • Independent Critical Study: Texts across Time (20%): This will take the form of a 2500 word essay critically comparing two texts (of which at least one must have been written before 1900). Students, guided by their teachers, will select the texts that they wish to write about.

Texts Studied for examination:

Othello – William Shakespeare

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Tennessee Williams

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

Revolutionary Road ­– Richard Yates

Skirrid Hill – Owen Sheers

AQA Anthology: Love Through the Ages –Pre 1900 Poetry

How will I study?

You will have 5 one hour lessons a week. These lessons will comprise of a variety of activities, including discussion, close reading and annotation of texts, essay planning and writing. You will be expected to read the texts in your own time - in addition students are encouraged to read widely from a range of genres and periods, and are expected to independently read critical articles to develop their knowledge and understanding.