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English Language & Literature AS & A Level at Presdales School

Course description

At AS Level you will study the use of the spoken and written word in both media and literary contexts. You will develop your ability to analyse, comment and explain. At A Level you will study a wide range of literary and non-literary texts and will write and analyse your own texts.



  • Unit 1: Voices in Speech and Writing (Examination 50% weighting) Students will write one re-creative response for a special form, audience and/or purpose, inspired by a text from the Anthology. Students will also write a comparative essay between an unseen text and a text taken from the Anthology.
  • Unit 2: Varieties in Language and Literature (Examination 50% weighting) Students study two fiction texts and answer one essay question on each text in the examination.

A Level

  • Unit 1: Voices in Speech & Writing (Examination 40% weighting) Students will write one comparative essay question on one unseen extract selected from 20th or 21st century sources and one text from the Anthology. They will also write one extract-based question on the chosen drama text, probably Brian Friel’s Translations.
  • Unit 2: Varieties in Language & Literature (Examination 40% weighting)
    Section A – Unseen Prose Non-Fiction Texts: one essay question on an unseen prose nonfiction extract.
    Section B – Prose Fiction and Other Genres: one comparative essay on two prose fiction texts, Great Expectations and The Great Gatsby.
  • Coursework (20% weighting): Students will select two texts to study (one fiction and one non-fiction) and will produce two assignments (two pieces of original writing and one analytical commentary).

Future opportunities

A Level English requires a candidate to use high level analytical skills and apply them to various written texts. A traditional A Level, it is well regarded by all universities and is an excellent preparation for any Arts based degree. Ultimately English Literature is an excellent subject for those considering future careers such as journalism, law, teaching or the Civil Service.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Presdales School directly.

Last updated date: 03 November 2016
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Key information


  • More information
    • Presdales is a five-form entry all-ability school which became an Academy on 1st April 2012, for girls aged from eleven to eighteen. Boys are welcomed into the Sixth Form. Founded as Ware Grammar School for Girls in 1906 on the Amwell House site, it moved to its present site at Presdales in 1964. Since 1975 – when the school’s intake was enlarged – we have accepted girls from a wide area of Hertfordshire.

      The school was rated ‘outstanding’ at all four inspections in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2008. Language College status was granted by the DfES in 1995 and, on the strength of the school’s high performance overall, Music College status with English as an accompanying strand was awarded in 2006, followed by Mathematics & Computing College status with a Gifted & Talented focus in 2008.