English Literature A level at Norwich School
If you enjoy reading, if you are enjoying your GCSE Literature course, then the opportunity to study English Literature in the greater depth and breadth of A Level will appeal to you.
We currently follow the OCR English Literature A Level specification. Due to the recent reform of A Levels, the department have chosen to follow a linear, two year course; this means that you will not be able to take an exam at the end of the first year to get an AS qualification.
The course is entirely a literary one, though your ability to write well is as important as your ability to analyse what you read. We would expect most of those choosing English Literature to gain A grades, or better, in both English Language and English Literature GCSE. Teaching sets are small (rarely more that 12), allowing them to operate largely as seminars; you must be willing to take part in discussion in order to get the most out of the course.
The course has three assessed elements: a coursework portfolio, worth 20%; an examination paper on Shakespeare and pre-1900 poetry and drama, worth 40%; and a synoptic examination, focused on a particular theme, genre or time period (for example, Gothic Literature, or Women in Literature), worth 40%. Both exams are taken at the end of U6.
The coursework portfolio is written on three texts of the teacher’s choosing; these will usually be thematically linked. Pupils will write one close reading (around 1000 words) of an extract or poem for Task 1 of the coursework, while Task 2 is a comparative study of the two other texts.
Exam - “Drama and Poetry pre-1900”
The texts currently available for study for the “Drama and Poetry pre- 1900”exam are as follows:
One Shakespeare play: Coriolanus, Hamlet, Measure for Measure, Richard III, The Tempest or Twelfth Night.
One pre-1900 drama text: Christopher Marlowe: Edward II; John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi; Oliver Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer; Henrik Ibsen: A Doll’s House; or Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband.
One pre-1900 poetry text: Geoffrey Chaucer: The Merchant’s Prologue and Tale; John Milton: Paradise Lost Books 9 & 10; Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Selected Poems; Alfred, Lord Tennyson: Maud; or Christina Rossetti: Selected Poems.
Exam Two - “Comparative and Contextual study”
The topics for the “Comparative and Contextual study” exam are currently as follows:
American Literature 1880–1940; The Gothic; Dystopia; Women in Literature; The Immigrant Experience
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Norwich School directly.