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English Literature at Calder High School

Course description

Welcome, especially if you relish the prospect of spending the next year reading a variety of entertaining and challenging Advanced Level texts: from the Elizabethan England of Shakespeare to the modern British novel, this course is for those who want to explore English Literature in depth.

This course is built on a central organising principle: that the exploration of reading processes can be an enriching way to approach texts. Within this central idea, Literature can be seen as consisting of possible groups of texts which can be categorised, and whose meaning can be negotiated in many different ways. In AS the focus is on comparing the ways in which stories are told and different interpretations are created.

In this course there are high expectations and of each and every student. From the very start we expect you to show initiative and the desire to consolidate what you will learn in class with a fair amount of independent study.

So prepare yourself to discuss and explore some of the most seminal works of Literature from the 17th century, right up to the present day.

Course content


Unit 1 Aspects of Narrative

Study of two novels, one written after 1990, and two texts from poetry 1800–1945

Assessed by one 2 hour examination requiring comparisons between texts

60% of AS marks, 30% of total A Level marks

Unit 2 Dramatic Genres

Study of two plays, one by Shakespeare, both from the genre of comedy

Coursework: A piece of work on each play, each piece to be between 1,200–1,500 words

40% of AS marks, 20% of total A Level marks


Unit 3 Texts and Genres

A minimum of three texts to be studied looking at one of two genres: Elements of the Gothic or Elements of the Pastoral

Assessed by one 2 hour examination requiring comparisons between texts

30% of total A Level marks

Unit 4 Further and Independent reading

A minimum of three texts to be studied, one being a pre-release of material containing critical writing on literature

Coursework: Two pieces of work: A comparative piece on texts chosen by the candidate (1,500–2,000 words), and a piece which applies the ideas in the pre-release material to a text(s) of the candidate’s choice (1,200–1,500 words)

20% of total A Level marks

Entry requirements

At least grades C in GCSE English and English Literature, preferably B or above

A genuine interest in language and reading for pleasure

Future opportunities

A high status qualification which supports a wide range of university courses and careers. Of particular relevance to careers involving communication and investigation, eg. law, journalism, teaching.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Calder High School directly.

Last updated date: 20 May 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September