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English Literature at Hagley Catholic High School

Course description

The students will study a range of texts from different contexts and belonging to different genres. Texts in the first year will range from William Shakespeare’s Othello to Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and in the final year from Tennessee Williams’  A Streetcar named Desire to the Nobel prize-winning Seamus Heaney’s Selected Poems.

Course content

Awarding body: AQA Specification: Y12 Victorian Literature 2hr written examination (open book). Y12 Coursework Two tasks (prose and drama). Y13 Reading for Meaning 2.5 hrs examination (closed book). Y13 Coursework Extended essay and Shakespeare Study extended comparative essay of 3000 words

Entry requirements

Given the very demanding works of literature that must be studied independently, a grade B in English Literature would provide the basis for success. 


The teachers will devise a range of activities to facilitate learning and this is based on students working independently inside and outside of the classroom. The critical reading of English Literature texts, beyond the set examination texts, will enhance the opportunity for students to develop their understanding of writers’ methods, the basis for success in English Literature. 

Visits to the theatre for the study of the interpretation of texts are organised although students should, where possible, visit the theatre, art galleries, cinema and participate in other cultural opportunities as they arise.

The English department provides challenge and  aims to develop confident, independent and reflective readers of a range of texts.  The ability to self-reflect and approach texts with an open mind will challenge student preconceptions and the ways in which texts can be read.  

Future opportunities

The department has achieved significant success at A grade and at pass grade for many years. In 2013, 91% of the 35 students achieved an A*- B grade and 43% achieved an A*-A.

Success in studying English at university can lead to a variety of careers, not least in Law, Finance, Teaching and  Media. Students trained to work independently, to think carefully, and to argue points of view succinctly and with precision are always in demand.

Other related degree courses

Students who have studied English literature A-level have gone on to successfully study Medicine, Pharmacy, Foreign Languages and Law. 

Further information

The development of independent learning and thinking skills are central to the study of this A-level and, thus, it possesses a significant value with regard to the student’s wider study skills.

Further, the development of skills relating to thinking clearly, logically and rationally, arguing a case by the marshalling of relevant evidence, make English Literature a suitable complement for a variety of A-level subjects.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hagley Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 24 October 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Throughout the year
  • Duration: 2 years

Contact details