English Literature

‘A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.’Nelson Mandela

Our curriculum vision

All learners, regardless of their ability, will have access to inspiring, ambitious, and high-quality texts. Our English curriculum will cultivate a culture of literary exploration and resilience that will promote a curiosity for literature and language.

At Key Stage 5, separate courses in English Language and English Literature are available for students to choose. Both provide fascinating opportunities to explore language use in a range of contexts and genres across time.

A level English Literature

Following GCSE study in English Literature, the A Level Literature course encourages the development of independent, critical thinking. Crucially, the course will create a student who can analyse written material and craft a cogent argument: a vital skill in many professions. Remember that this A Level is regarded as a ‘facilitating subject’ as it allows access to a wide range of subjects at degree level.

In Year 12, you will discover that any text is a product of its time: you will be taught to read a text in context and to understand the influences over the author. You will learn about the impact of form: the differences between studying a drama text, a novel or poetry. You will develop your understanding of the writer’s craft: their use of language and structural techniques to create multiple meanings. Towards the end of Year 12, you will decide what direction your own independent study of two texts will take.

In Year 13, you will hone your skills as a critical reader and essay writer. You will learn to develop an argument in relation to the texts you study and the questions you answer, and to defend that argument both verbally and within essays. You will read more widely across time and genre. You will complete your Non-Exam Assessment study, critically comparing two texts of your choice.

We encourage you to see this A Level not only as a course that revolves around reading books, plays and poems, but also as a journey into the human psyche, human experiences and social influences across time. We encourage you to actively contribute to lessons regarding your own interpretations of texts, and to be accountable for keeping to deadlines. We encourage you to read widely and to read for pleasure, as well as for academic achievement.


Year 12 and 13 English Literature curriculum map PDF

How to find out more and support your child’s learning:

AQA’s website: A-Level English Literature A

The British Library: a marvellous resource for exploring literature and language over time.



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