English Literature at Key Stage 5
A Level English Literature at Townley is both challenging and rewarding. Our students learn how to be analytical, enquiring and cogent in their analysis of texts. English Literature at A Level enables students to explore critically a wealth of literature, from Shakespeare to modern Drama, The Supernatural genre to Women in Society in fiction and poetry published both before and after 1900. In the English Department, we aim to foster independent thinking skills and the courage to make profound, insightful interpretations.
How will the course be structured?
English Literature is one of the first A Levels to be reformed for study in September 2015. We have selected the Edexcel examination board, with a view to providing our students with an exciting range of texts, a well-structured assessment programme and the best chance for success.
Students will begin the new course with the study of modern Drama, under the theme of either ‘Tragedy’ or ‘Comedy’. This will be followed by an introduction to contemporary poetry and then the exploration of a prose genre, such as ‘Childhood’, ‘Crime and Detection’, ‘The Supernatural’ or ‘Women and Society’. Students will investigate the conventions of this genre, through a comparison of one pre- and one post- 1900 text.
Students will be assessed at the end of the AS year, as follows (for the AS award):
- Poetry and Drama written examination (2 hours: 60%)
- Prose written examination (1 hour: 40%)
In their final year, students will be at liberty to research and execute a comparative essay for their coursework, on a genre, movement or era of their choice. This will enable students to have the freedom to become ‘specialists’ in their chosen field. They will also complement their study of tragic/ comedic modern Drama from Year 12, with a comparable Shakespeare play and then explore pre-1900 poetry, in conjunction with the post-2000 collection of poems explored previously.
Students will be assessed at the end of the A2 year, as follows (for the full A Level award):
- Drama written examination (2 hours and 15 minutes: 30%)
- Prose written examination (1 hour: 20%)
- Poetry (2 hours and 15 minutes: 30%)
- Coursework (20%)
How will English Literature help me in the future?
English Literature is one of the most highly regarded A Levels, from the perspective of Russell Group universities. This is because, as an academically rigorous subject, it demonstrates students’ ability to think critically, develop intellectual curiosity and gain deep insight into why writers are driven to create literary works. Furthermore, if you are interested in studying English Literature at university, the English Department will support you with writing your personal statement and give you a mock interview, with feedback, to ensure that you are fully prepared.