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English Literature AS and A Level at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Penrith

Course description

English Literature is an enjoyable and challenging subject for students who enjoy reading, talking and writing about a variety of texts, ranging from some of the earliest writers in the English canon, to contemporary texts written in the last few years. Teachers choose to teach poems, plays and novels that they are passionate about and there is also the opportunity for students to choose their own texts for independent study.
Lessons tend to be largely discussion based, as this is a subject which thrives on lively debate and a willingness to defend and challenge ideas. Outside of lessons work tends to focus on independent reading and essay writing. The English department organises frequent theatre trips to complement the works being

Course content

A level Edexcel
Component 1: Drama - 30%. Written Examination: 2 hours 15 minutes. Two essay questions. Open book. One Shakespeare play and one other drama text (contemporary or Pre 1900). Both texts are selected from either tragedy or comedy.
Choice of texts include: King Lear, Othello, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Importance of Being Earnest, Waiting for Godot.

Component 2: Prose- 20%. Written examination: 1 hour. One comparative essay question. Open book. Two prose texts from a chosen theme. At least one of the prose texts must be pre-1900. Themes to choose from include: Science and Society, The Supernatural, Crime and Detection, Childhood, Colonisation and its Aftermath. Choice of texts include: Dracula, Atonement, In Cold Blood, Heart of Darkness, The Color Purple.
Component 3: Poetry-30%. Written Examination: 2 hours 15 minutes. Two essay questions. Open book. A selection of post-2000 poetry and specified
poetry from a literary period. Literary periods to choose from include: Medieval,
metaphysical, The Romantics, Victorians, Modernism
Coursework-20%. 2500-3000 words. Students have a free choice of two texts (poetry, drama, prose or literary non-fiction) linked by theme, movement, author or period. It is likely that the class will have a shared coursework focus e.g. First person narrative.

Entry requirements

We would normally expect you to have achieved at least a grade B at GCSE to be able to study this course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Penrith directly.

Last updated date: 15 August 2016

Key information


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    • The school was founded by Royal Charter in 1564. It was formerly situated in the centre of Penrith near St. Andrew's Church, but moved to the new buildings on its present site in 1915. The main school was extended in 1937 and 1958. The Donald Fay Memorial Building consisting of four Technology rooms and two Information Technology rooms was completed by September 1995 and a new building providing six Science laboratories, four Mathematics rooms and another Technology room was opened in July 1998. In November 2001, the Peter Kremer Sports Hall and four English rooms were completed. Further building work in 2004, 2009 and 2014 has provided additional office space and four classrooms. The extensive playing fields are adjacent to the school.