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English Language & Literature A Level at St Paul's Catholic School

Course description

The study of both Language and Literature allows you to develop sharp analytical skills as you consider the way writers use language choices to create representations, both in literary and non-literary texts. Words create worlds, both in literature and elsewhere and this A-level differs from those focused primarily on literature by extending its coverage beyond literature to explore differences and similarities between literary texts and others; it differs from those primarily focused on language by bringing the study of literature into sharper view.

Students will develop their subject expertise by engaging creatively, critically and independently with a wide range of texts. Students will also develop skills as producers and interpreters of language by creating texts themselves and critically reflecting on their own processes of production.

Course content

A key part of our study will be the study of ‘Telling Stories’: Why do people tell stories? What ingredients do stories need to have? What makes a good story? How are stories told in different styles? Is there a special kind of story called ‘literature’? We will study AQA’s anthology with a range of writing based on Paris alongside Atwood’s novel, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ and poetry by John Donne; this unit will also offer opportunities to write re-creatively and develop as independent writers. The unit will be assessed in a three hour exam at the end of the two year course which will be part closed book and open book for the novel and poetry .

We will also study a unit called ‘Exploring Conflict’ and as part of this study will be reading Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ and Williams’ play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ as well as other contemporary nonliterary texts. This will be assessed in a two and a half hour open exam at the end of the course.

Students will also have the opportunity to develop their own independent study worth 20% of the A-level qualification.

Entry requirements

5 A*-C at GCSE or their equivalent. These must include a C grade English and English Literature. Only students who enjoy reading should apply for this course.


Exams and coursework.

Future opportunities


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Paul's Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 10 June 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years