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English Language & Literature A Level at Coombe Girls' School

Course description

It is essential that all students are keen and adaptable readers. The best candidates will constantly be advised to stretch themselves with further independent reading. The course also requires that students write a range of assignments (including, in the second year of the full A level, a challenging course work assignment).

These will test the candidates’ ability to analyse, recreate and opine about some of the texts they have studied in class. Research and wider reading are, of course, activities connected with more independent tasks. It is therefore very important that students considering English are confident in their ability to express themselves with clear, sophisticated and organised writing as necessary.

Discussion is a big part of English lessons at A level. Without the variety of ideas generated by this activity broad textual understanding will be limited which ultimately can restrict the quality of coursework and exam responses. Students will therefore be expected to offer opinions, make educated guesses and substantiate and develop their assertions from the start of the course.

Course content

A Level

 Voices in Speech and Writing – Students study a range of talk in literary, non-literary and digital texts through reading of an anthology and a drama text from a prescribed list. They will be tested at the end of the course in a 2 hour and 30 minutes exam through a comparative essay and an extract-based essay on the chosen drama text.

 Varieties in Language and Literature – Students study two texts (one compulsory anchor text and one other literary text from a chosen theme. They will be tested at the end of the course in a 2 hour 30 minutes exam with an essay on an unseen prose non-fiction extract linked to a studied theme with another essay question based on the anchor text.

 Investigating and Creating texts (Coursework) – Students will study two texts (one fiction, one non-fiction) which relate to a topic of their own choosing. Two assignments will be then be completed: 1 – the creation of two pieces of original writing (creative nonfiction and fiction); 2 – a piece of analytical commentary which reflects on the studied texts as well as the pieces of created writing.

AS Level

 The AS exam will be taken at the end of the first year of teaching. All material covered for this stage of the exam will be transferable as necessary to the study of the full A level. The two stages will be coteachable.

Entry requirements

Students are required to have gained a B grade in both English and the English Literature at GCSE.


See course content.

Future opportunities

Employers need people who can crisply and concisely convey information, as well as those who can use their initiative is responding to and manipulating ideas they receive.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Coombe Girls' School directly.

Last updated date: 14 July 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years