Alevel English Literature at King Edward VI Aston School
English Literature is not only about reading! If you enjoy reading and are interested in discussing every aspect of life, from people and politics to religion and relationships, then you will find ‘A’ level English Literature both stimulating and engaging. The study of literature will help to sharpen your analytical skills and your ability to express yourself logically and authoritatively: excellent preparation for any job or degree course. In addition, the course will help you to develop a life-long passion for creativity, reading and literature, as well as allowing you to study two or three authors of your own choice in more depth.
We follow the AQA B specification (course codes: LITB1, LITB2, LITB3, LITB4), which allows a wide study of a range of literature, both classical and modern, and also gives you the scope to flex your creative muscles.
The course studied is linear, with 20% coursework. The two units chosen by the department are: ‘Aspects of Tragedy,’ studied in Year 12 and ‘Elements of Crime,’ studied in Year 13. The texts chosen will involve a mix of drama, poetry and novels from a range of time periods. The coursework element offers scope for individual choice, both in the texts chosen for study and the approach taken. One essay can be re-creative, demonstrating a grasp of the text through writing original material to connect with the text. The other text must be analysed through a lens chosen by the student to develop their critical faculties. The approaches on offer range from feminism to eco-criticism. The aim of the course is to create wide-ranging, informed and critical readers who are also excellent and authoritative debators and engaging and incisive writers. The course is also supplemented and enriched by theatre and conference trips and video-showings.
English Literature is a spring-board to many later career options: journalism, law, writing, business administration, psychology, marketing, personnel, entertainment, editing, publishing and advertising are some of the more obvious choices. However, many students who are ultimately intending to take a more ‘scientific’ degree and career route will still benefit from the skills and knowledge gained through a study of literature.
The course allows you to engage with a variety of literature through the ages and across a variety of genres and cultures. Typically, over the two years, you will study two modern novels, a Shakespeare play, some modern drama, and a Victorian poet, as well as various genres such as Tragedy and the Gothic, plus any texts of your own choice and critical theories such as Feminism and Marxism. The aim of the course is to create wide-ranging, informed and critical readers who are also excellent and authoritative debators and engaging and incisive writers. The course is also supplemented and enriched by theatre and conference trips and video-showings.
There are no ‘parrot-like’ right and wrong answers. As a subject, English is about enthusiastic discussion, debate and disagreement and lessons are taught in a way which reflects this. You will be encouraged to ask questions of yourselves, your class-mates and your teachers and we are justifiably proud of the way in which English ‘A’ level produces independent thinkers and individual learners. The skills you will learn over the two years are vital tools for life and are essential for any career involving interaction with people.
Ultimately, English Literature ‘A’ level will provide you with essential skills for later life: discussion, debating, arguing, writing and creativity. But, perhaps more importantly, it will equip you with those less tangible skills which are a vital part of being human: empathy, understanding and compassion.
The two years are part of the journey of exploring and understanding human nature, history and the world around you through the study of literature.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact King Edward VI Aston School directly.