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English Language A Level at North Leamington School

Course description

This is a course for students who love to read and have an interest in broadening their experience of literature across history, from the Renaissance to the 21st Century. We cover a range of texts: novels, short stories, plays and poetry, which we read and discuss together. There is also an independent reading strand to the course in which you can develop your own reading interests in detail.

We use a variety of assessment styles: passage-based questions, unseen material, single text questions, multipletext questions, open and closed-book approaches. These allow students to develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research; skills which are considered essential by both Higher Education Institutions and employers.

Course content

Year 12

The first year of the course is based around a thematic study:
Love Through the Ages

Students study:
A Shakespeare play
Othello, The Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure or
The Winter’s Tale
An Anthology of Poetry

Two prose texts for comparison from this list:
Jane Austen – Persuasion
Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre
George Eliot – The Mill on the Floss
Thomas Hardy – Tess of the D’Urbervilles
F.Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
EM Forster – A Room with a View
LP Hartley – The Go Between
Daphne Du Maurier – Rebecca
Ian McEwan – Atonement

Year 13

The exam component of the second year of the course is based around a contextual unit: Modern Times (1945 to the present day)

Students study:
A prose text from a list including:
Michael Frayn – Spies
Ken Kesey – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale
Kathryn Stockett – The Help
Alice Walker – The Color Purple
Jeanette Winterson – Oranges are not the Only Fruit
Graham Swift – Waterland

A drama text from a list including:
Tennessee Williams – A Streetcar Named Desire
Arthur Miller – All My Sons
Tennesee Williams – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

A poetry collection from a list including:
Carol Ann Duffy – Feminine Gospels
Seamus Heaney – New Selected Poems
Sylvia Plath - Ariel

There is also a unit, Texts Across Time, worth 20% of the A-Level, which gives an opportunity to develop their reading on a theme of their own interest. For example: The struggle for identity, Crime and Punishment, The Gothic, War and Conflict, Representations of Women and Dystopian Fiction.

Students select their own two texts, one pre-1900, and working with a coursework mentor, write a 2500 word academic essay

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 24 February 2017
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