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ENGLISH LITERATURE delivered at St Thomas Aquinas School at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School

Course description

AIM OF THE COURSE The course aims to encourage you to develop your interest and enjoyment in literary studies through reading widely, independently and critically so as to become confident and reflective readers of a range of texts. The course also provides you with an introduction to the traditions of English literature.

Course content



In this section, you will start to think about how Shakespeare presents different relationships in his work, such as his tragic play Othello – a play with themes such as forbidden love, race, manipulation and death.

Poetry and Prose

For this section, you will study Bronte’s dark and passionate Wuthering Heights. You will also study the poetry of a range of authors to think about how writers have considered the theme of relationships throughout time. You will start to compare the two texts, considering how some similar themes and relationships are presented in texts written at very different times. You will also start working with unseen material.

YEAR 13 SUMMARY – A Level qualification

Love Through The Ages – Exam worth 40% of A Level

This unit is comprised of the texts studied in Year 12 and unseen material. You will consider how perceptions and presentations of love in Literature have changed throughout time. You will build on your skills, thinking about love and marriage, forbidden love, social conventions and taboo, jealousy and guilt, truth and deception and so on.

Modern Times – Exam worth 40% of A Level

In this component, you will study examples of Literature written since 1945. The past 70 years have seen huge change in attitudes and ideas of morality, technology and social structures to name a few and you will consider how these issues have been reflected in, and perhaps shaped by works of Literature. For this unit, you will focus on Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale’, Tennessee Williams’ dramatic and atmospheric play A Streetcar Named Desire as well as a collection of poetry by Carol Ann Duffy.

Coursework - 20% of A Level

This section of the course allows you to choose your own text(s) for study. You will write an essay comparing two texts which will be linked in some way. For example, you might study the Gothic genre through Marlow’s play about a man who sells his soul to the devil, Dr Faustus and another Gothic text of your choice.

Entry requirements

You should have achieved an Average Point Score across all your GCSE subjects of 43+ and a grade ‘6’ in both English subjects.

Future opportunities

As a subject concerned with communication and the ability to analyse and develop ideas in detail, an AS or A Level in English is useful for progression in a wide variety of careers including: journalism, teaching, acting, law, the Civil Service, occupational therapy, Human Resources, speech therapy, writing, media and advertising. However, the skills based approach means that it is a useful and valuable subject to have studied prior to a huge range of degree courses and careers, including those that you might not automatically expect!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School directly.

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September