English Literature

Course Leader:

Ms J Grimes – jgrimes@sackvilleschool.org.uk

Exam board: AQA
Guidance: Grade 5 in GCSE English. Applications will be considered on an individual basis in light of results data and teacher references.
Course Start Date: 09/2024
Course length: 2 Years
Course description

Literature allows you to embrace your love for novels, plays and poetry, alongside developing a wider skillset of perceptive analysis, empathy and logic. The course will further the enjoyment you already gain from reading, affording you a chance to engage with texts, critiquing their content and sharing your viewpoints on a range of relevant themes and ideas. You will be able to develop your analytical skills – important in any further education or employment – as you will learn to consider texts through a critical lens and offer up a range of interpretations. Big ideas such as morality and motivation are also explored; concepts that sit well with other subjects offered at A-Level such as law, sociology or psychology.

Course units

If you take this subject at A Level, you will cover Elements of Crime Writing, Aspects of Tragedy and Theory and Independence coursework (2 pieces). In the coursework component, students write about two different literary texts: one must be a poetry text and one must be an example of prose.

Who and what you study will in part be determined by your teacher but you will also have opportunities to choose texts for yourself. Students in the past have studied writers such as Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Emily Bronte and Angela Carter. If you enjoy contemplating love, life and the universe you’ll be in good company.

Crime texts include:
When Will There Be Good News – Kate Atkinson
Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
Collection of crime poems

Tragedy texts include:
The Great Gatsby
Richard II


80% exam (two papers); 20% comparative critical study (coursework)

What can I do with this qualification?

Contrary to popular belief, not all students of English go on to be teachers and librarians: 30% and 9% respectively.

The study of English develops oral and written communication skills and encourages creative thinking, all of which are highly valued in industry and in many other professions.

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