AS & A Level English Literature at Cleeve Park School
The study of literature at AS level rests upon reading texts within a shared context. Working from the belief that no text exists in isolation but is the product of the time in which it was produced, English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood.
Working within historicist principles means students are required to read widely across a range of texts. Working with texts over time involves looking at ways in which authors shape meanings within their texts. It also involves thinking about a wide range of relevant contexts, some of them to do with the production of the text at the time of its writing, some (where possible) to do with how the text has been received over time, and most of all in this specification contexts to do with how the text can be interpreted by readers now. And finally, because texts and their meanings are not fixed, interpretation is not fixed, and multiple interpretations are possible.
The aim of ‘Love through the Ages’ area is to encourage students to explore aspects of a central literary theme as seen over time, using unseen material and set texts. Students should be prepared for Love through the ages by reading widely in the topic area, reading texts from a range of authors and times.
English Literature A privileges the process of making autonomous meaning, encouraging students to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal responses. Given the spirit of the specification, rather than imposing a uniform list of prescribed set texts, various options are offered in terms of both time period and genre. Across the course, students will study texts both diachronically (produced across a very broad time period) and synchronically (produced within a clearly defined time period).
The course encourages the exploration of texts in a number of different ways:
- the study of a literary theme over time
- the study of literature through engaging with two of the main historicist perspectives, the diachronic (reading texts written across widely different time periods that explore the same theme) and synchronic (reading texts written within a narrower and clearly defined time period)
- the study of various texts, both singly and comparatively, chosen from a list of core set texts and a list of chosen comparative set texts
- writing about texts in a number of different ways
Working with texts over time involves looking at ways in which authors shape meanings within their texts. It also involves thinking about a wide range of relevant contexts, some of them to do with the production of the text at the time of its writing, some (where possible) to do with how the text has been received over time and, most of all in this specification, contexts to do with how the text can be interpreted by readers now. And finally, because texts and their meanings are not fixed, interpretation is not fixed, and multiple interpretations are possible.
Grade B or above in English Literature and English Language GCSEs
English Literature at A Level is a highly respected subject in the world of academia and a good grade in this subject opens many doors during the university application process. An A Level in this subject demonstrates an ability to read complex material with a critical eye, an ability to write competently and academically, and an interest in studying global issues, moral dilemmas, historical periods, and much more with a sense of empathy and enquiry. The Russell Group cite English Literature as an important facilitating subject to the application for any degree subject study.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cleeve Park School directly.