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English Literature A Level at William Howard School

Course description

AQA Specification A (7712)

TWO YEAR COURSE ONLY - Please note that there is NO AS examination at the end of Year 12. If you wish to take English Literature for ONE year, you will need to take AS Level English Literature, but bear in mind you CANNOT convert to full A Level with the AS course.

 

Course content

The specification encourages the exploration of texts in a number of different ways: 

  • the study of a literary theme over time
  • the study of literature through engaging with two of the main historicist perspectives, the diachronic (reading texts written across widely different time periods that explore the same theme) and synchronic (reading texts written within a narrower and clearly defined time period)
  • the study of various texts, both singly and comparatively, chosen from a list of core set texts and a list of chosen comparative set texts
  • writing about texts in a number of different ways.

Entry requirements

You must like reading!

You are strongly advised to have achieved at least a grade ‘C’ in GCSE English/English Language or Literature. You should have a genuine interest in a range of literacy texts and genres, for example, poetry, prose and drama.

Assessment

80% Examination 20% Coursework

Paper 1: Love through the ages

Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. Exam will include two unseen poems

Options for Poetry:

AQA ed. Anthology of love poetry through the ages: pre-1900

AQA ed. Anthology of love poetry through the ages: post-1900

Options for Shakespeare: 

  • Othello
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Measure for Measure
  • The Winter’s Tale

Options for prose text:

  • Jane Austen: Persuasion Pre-1900
  • Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre Pre-1900
  • Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights Pre-1900
  • Kate Chopin: The Awakening Pre-1900
  • Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D’Urbervilles Pre-1900
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
  • E.M. Forster: A Room with a View
  • L.P. Hartley: The Go-Between
  • Daphne Du Maurier: Rebecca
  • Ian McEwan: Atonement

Written exam: 3 hours

  • open book in Section C only (Comparing Texts)
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A Level

 

Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts

Option 2B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day

Study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000. Exam will include an unseen extract.

Section A: Core set texts

Students study at least one of the six core set texts listed below:

Prose

  • Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Graham Swift: Waterland

Drama

  • Caryl Churchill: Top Girls
  • Tennessee Williams: A Streetcar Named Desire

Poetry

• Carol Ann Duffy: Feminine Gospels (post-2000)

• Owen Sheers: Skirrid Hill (post-2000)

 

Section B: Chosen comparative set texts

Students study two texts. These texts can be taken from the following list or from the core set text list. Any text from the core set text list used in the Section A response, however, cannot be used in Section B.

Prose

  • Michael Frayn: Spies (post-2000)
  • Ken Kesey: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things
  • Kathryn Stockett: The Help (post-2000)
  • Alice Walker: The Color Purple
  • Jeanette Winterson: Oranges are not the Only Fruit
  • Richard Yates: Revolutionary Road
Drama
  • Brian Friel: Translations
  • Arthur Miller: All My Sons
  • Timberlake Wertenbaker: Our Country’s Good
  • Tennessee Williams: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Poetry

  • Tony Harrison: Selected Poems 2013 Edition
  • Seamus Heaney: New Selected Poems
  • Ted Hughes Birthday Letters
  • Sylvia Plath Ariel

Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

  • open book
  • 75 marks
  • 40% of A Level

Coursework: Non-exam assessment: Independent critical study: texts across time

Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900.

One extended essay (2,500 words) and a bibliography

  • 50 marks
  • 20% of A Level
  • assessed by teachers
  • moderated by AQA

Questions:

Section A: Shakespeare. One passage-based question with linked essay (25 marks)

Section B: Poetry. One question on printed poem (25 marks)

AQA Anthology of love poetry through the ages (pre-1900 or post-1900)

 

Paper 2: Love through the ages: prose

Study of two prose texts from the following:

  • Jane Austen: Persuasion
  • Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre
  • Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
  • Kate Chopin: The Awakening
  • Jonathan Coe: The Rotters’ Club
  • George Eliot: The Mill on the Floss
  • Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
  • E.M. Forster: A Room with a View
  • L.P. Hartley: The Go-Between
  • Daphne Du Maurier: Rebecca
  • Ian McEwan: Atonement

Exam will include an unseen prose extract

Written exam: 1 hour 30 minutes

  • open book
  • 50 marks
  • 50% of AS level

Questions:

Section A: Unseen prose. One compulsory question on unseen prose extract (25 marks)

Section B: Comparing prose texts. One comparative question on two prose texts (25 marks)

Future opportunities

You will learn a wide range of transferable skills: you can extend your analytical skills by continuing to study towards an English/English Literature degree. Many students who have studied English Literature A Level progress to careers in Teaching, Law, Media (especially Publishing, Journalism, Advertising, Marketing), Librarianship, Archives, Events Management…even Banking and Accountancy!

A Level English Literature is a subject that will open many doors for you.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact William Howard School directly.

Last updated date: 04 October 2016
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