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English Literature Edexcel A Level 'Fees payable' at Hethersett Old Hall School

Course description

This course is designed to enable you to read, understand and enjoy texts of different kinds from different periods of history. We look at texts in their literary, cultural and historical context as well as studying individual works of prose, poetry and drama in considerable detail. 

Course content

Throughout the course you will develop the skills of close reading and learn how to express your ideas clearly and logically in essays and written analyses. Lessons include discussion and debate, making the subject a lively and interactive experience at this level. In literary interpretation there is often no right or wrong answer!

Entry requirements

You should have at least a B grade in IGCSE (or GCSE) English literature.


What will I study and how will I be assessed?

The structure of this A Level is based on a linear two-year course with all assessments in the second year of the course.

The Edexcel course has four units of study; three examined components based on literary genres and a fourth coursework component.

Component 1: Drama

  • One Shakespeare play (either comedy or tragedy)
  • One other play (comedy or tragedy) from a list of set texts
  • Two questions, one on each play – 2 hours 15 minutes, 30% weighting

Component 2: Prose

  • Two prose texts from a chosen theme, including at least one pre- 1900 text
  • The current theme chosen is ‘Women in Society’ and the texts studied are ‘Tess of the D’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy and ‘Mrs Dalloway’ by Virginia Woolf.
  • Themes and texts may change from year to year.
  • One comparative essay question on the texts studied – one hour, 20% weighting

Component 3: Poetry

  • A selection of poetry from a post-2000 collection
  • A range of poetry from a literary period OR
  • A range of poetry by a named poet from within a literary period
  • Two questions, one on each text - 2 hours 15 minutes, 30% weighting

Component 4: Coursework

  • One extended comparative essay on two linked texts, from a free choice across all literary genres and periods
  • 2500 – 3000 words, 20% weighting

Financial information

ATTENTION: Please ensure that you understand that course fees will be payable before submitting your application.  

Future opportunities

English literature goes well with any other arts subject at A Level. It develops the skills of writing clearly and accurately, researching and analysing evidence, expressing views and opinions and evaluating the views of others – all relevant to university study and to careers such as law, journalism, marketing or management.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hethersett Old Hall School directly.

Last updated date: 06 October 2016
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    • Welcome to Hethersett Old Hall School Sixth Form, the part of the school that prepares girls aged 16-18 for their public examinations at  A Level and their future lives at university and beyond.

      The Sixth Form represents an important period of transition: from a broad GCSE curriculum to the narrower A Level one, from school to university and from childhood to adulthood. Our aim is to make these transitions as smooth as possible by equipping girls with the relevant study and life skills to navigate through the changes they will face in a rapidly-changing society.

      In academic terms, our small, single-sex classes play a huge part in this. The staff-pupil relationship is enhanced by a university-style tutor-student relationship and rapport is noticeably strong as a result. Your daughter will be challenged to excel and able to progress at a pace that suits her natural learning style.

      At the start of Year 13, the UCAS university application process begins in earnest. Sixth Form tutors are knowledgeable and experienced in the university application process and will explore career options with your daughter on a one to one basis. Tutors’ detailed knowledge of their tutees means that girls receive meaningful advice on developing a strong personal statement for UCAS applications. Former pupils have been offered places on a diverse range of courses at top universities including medicine at Oxford and scholarships to the London School of Fashion; the main benefit, however, is that every sixth former will be guided in choosing the right courses for her interests and ability.

      In preparation for university and adulthood, your daughter will be able to enjoy a greater sense of independence and responsibility afforded in part by separate Sixth Form facilities. These include a spacious common room and kitchen, a study room, careers library and separate boarding areas. Sixth formers are expected to lead by example and play a role in wider school life, be that mentoring younger pupils or organising charity and house events. In return, our Sixth Form enrichment programme enables them to experience activities ranging from very practical car mechanics workshops to more creative synchronised swimming sessions in the school pool!

      Pupils in our sixth form grow in confidence and maturity over the two years; they leave us with life-long friends and all the necessary qualifications and skills to succeed in life. The happy faces on results day speak volumes about the quality of the sixth form experience at our school.