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English Literature A Level at Darrick Wood School

Course description

This syllabus covers four units. The first of these is Poetry, the modern component of which is studied in Year 12, with the pre-1914 element studied in Year 13. The texts are currently Poems of the Decade, a gripping and often grisly collection of modern verse, and a poetry movement (currently The Romantics) or a collection of poems by a pre-1914 poet (for some of next year’s Year 13, John Donne). The second unit covers Prose, which explores different themes, such as The Supernatural or Science and Society, where science fiction masterpieces such as Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale are featured. This unit is mainly taught in Year 12, and revisited in Year 13. The third unit considers Drama, with Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire currently being studied in Year 12, followed by a Shakespearean tragedy, such as Othello or Antony and Cleopatra in Year 13. Coursework at A level (Unit 4) compares two texts connected by author, theme, or period, and students can also have an input into a selection of books for this option. The syllabus is exciting and refreshing, and should present an absorbing challenge to students embarking on it in 2019. The issues dealt with are powerful and shocking – prepare to be both horrified, and moved by timeless tales of passionate love. All human life is here!

Course content

A Level Units
Unit 1 - Drama [30% of A level]
Unit 2 - Prose Study [20% of A level]
Unit 3 - Poetry [30% of A level]
Unit 4 - Coursework [20% of A level]

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE English Literature
Grade 5 in GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics


Unit 1 – 30% of A level marks, one written examination lasting 2 hours 15 minutes
Unit 2 – 20% of A level marks, one written examination lasting 1 hour
Unit 3 – 30% of A level marks, one written examination lasting 2 hours 15 minutes
Unit 4 – 20% of A level marks, one essay of 2500 to 3000 words

Future opportunities

English Literature A level is a prestigious qualification to acquire, and is regarded very favourably by Russell Group universities in comparison to English Language or English Language and Literature. Its acquisition reveals an ability to think deeply and critically, and argue a good case. It is a springboard for many careers, such as law, journalism, politics, teaching, and the Civil Service. To study English opens many doors, and closes very few.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Darrick Wood School directly.

Last updated date: 20 November 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September


  • More information
    • By Road: From M25 Junction 4, take A21 towards Bromley. After approximately 4 miles turn right onto A232 Crofton Road . Continue for ½ mile and turn right into Mada Road. Turn right again at the end of the road and then immediately left.

      By Rail: Orpington Railway Station is approximately 7 minutes by taxi.

      Car Parking: Visitor car parking is available.