You will learn how to analyse and present findings in depth. The foci are authors’ and speakers’ intended effects on different audiences.
Language use and structural features in texts will be cross-referenced with contextual matters such as the attitudes and beliefs of the original audiences or the historical and cultural phenomena that texts were intended to comment on.
A level English will teach you a detailed argumentative process to employ; this process has much in common with other disciplines such as Law and History.
To make your arguments watertight you will need to be able to take quotations to pieces – for each the explicit meaning, the meaning between the lines, the phonology (sound) and cadence (rhythm) as well as even placement and sequencing within the text must be considered.
If GCSE taught you that an author used a metaphor ‘to make you think’, then A Level English will teach you to expose what it is an audience is supposed to think, and exactly how the author tried to make them think it.
The skills will be used on two exam papers and a coursework which requires students to choose their own texts and question.
What you'll learn
A wide range of texts has been selected to expose you to different styles of writing, a variety of cultures and a number of important issues. We will consider discrimination, poverty, treatment of women and slavery through the study of Khaled Hosseini’s, ‘The Kite Runner’ and Valerie Martin’s, ‘Property.’ We will consider language in other contexts through the analysis of Arthur Miller’s play, ‘All My Sons’ and the study of spoken language.
Your English language and literature A Level can be a stand-alone AS qualification or lead on to A2 study. You will have your own specialist personal tutor who you will meet individually or as part of a tutorial. They will help you set review and achieve your targets.
There is an extensive programme of support to help you make higher education decisions and moving on to university. The vast majority of A Level students progress successfully to higher education.
We have many enrichment opportunities on offer and you will be encouraged to select from a range including volunteering, work experience, sport and performing.
You will develop a wide variety of important employability skills on the course, such as:
- project management skills- through short, medium and long term projects
- communication skills- through writing tasks and speaking to others
- collaborative working skills through working closely with others
- time management skills through management of in and out of class work
- independence- through self assessment, target setting and processes of editing
The course is filled with learning opportunities to be grabbed with both hands and we hope there’ll be fun along the way too!
How you'll learn and be assessed
You will concentrate on analysing language, as well as studying literary texts and poems. You will study the following topics:
- Unit 1 – integrated analysis and text production
- Unit 2 – analysing speech and its representation
- Unit 3 – comparative analysis and text adaptation
- Unit 4 – comparative analysis through independent study (coursework unit)
In and out of class, you can expect to work independently as well as collaboratively; using both high and low tech resources to engage with learning. You can expect to lead your learning through delivery of lessons and planning of the schedule. There will also be a number of opportunities this academic year for you to work on fundraising projects and participate in extra-curricular activities and trips. We will work closely with other English classes, learning together whenever we can.
You will study 4.5 hours in class but there is a clear expectation that you will complete the equivalent outside of class. Some weeks, this will include work set by your teacher, but in other weeks it might be a combination of reading, writing, contributing to classroom resources, marking or planning a lesson.
Formal assessment is through examinations and (in some subjects) through coursework. The examination periods are in May/ June. There will be a range of regular assignments, essays and class-based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step. Individual learning targets are set each term and you will receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets.
For this subject you will need minimum grade 5 (or equivalent) in GCSE English (either language or literature).