English Language and Literature A Level at Ivybridge Community College
In the first year you will read about food…yes food. Texts range from a Nigella transcript to an extract from Oliver Twist; a modern ‘Micky-take’ on Oxbridge banquets to pancake making with Little Grey Rabbit; and my favourite, Samuel Beckett and the making of toast.
Naturally you can choose which texts to write about in the single ‘sit-down’ exam at the end of the first year. In addition, you’ll be asked to submit a folder of your own writing. The stimulus texts might be, say Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye as texts about ‘Escape’, but you choose the passages and genres in which to respond. Alice in Wonderland ended up in Hogwarts in some of our more successful new writing this year.
In the A2 year there will be two more units, the coursework one consisting of transformations of texts you’ve chosen and read. An example might be to take a story like Dr Jekyll and rewrite it as journalism, film script, psychiatric report or whatever. It sounds easy, but pushes you to your limits creatively, with an accompanying commentary in which you explore the whole process you’ve gone through. If you want to show off your skill as a writer, the A2 folder is a perfect means to do so.
Some of the writing in previous years has ended up in publication, on websites and periodicals. The examined unit is all about understanding the spoken word. You may have to look at a transcript of a conversation and to explore which is the dominant speaker, what are the gender issues, and who might have ‘won’ the competition for status. In addition you’ll be asked to transfer your knowledge to the reading of a play text.
In order to be considered for an Advanced Subsidiary Course, which leads to a full Advanced Level, students will be expected to have gained an absolute minimum of five GCSE grades at C or above in Mathematics and English, with a minimum of B grades in their chosen subjects having been studied at a higher tier. Students achieving a C grade at GCSE in their chosen subject may be accepted only by negotiation and agreement with the Team Leader for that subject.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ivybridge Community College directly.