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English Literature A-Level at Capital City Academy

Course description

In English pupils follow an engaging and challenging curriculum designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity and develop sophisticated skills in, and understanding of, language use and its effects.  We aim to develop our pupils’ literacy skills and encourage them to be life-long learners who read for pleasure and think critically and analytically. Underpinning this ethos, students at Capital City Academy will, from the outset, analyse challenging anchor texts that have canonical value, before tracing links to other related texts, allowing them to understand the development of human thought and to recognise patterns within language use. Our curriculum is designed so that students write extended essays weekly, allowing them to cultivate their resilience and developing rigorous analytical and creative writing skills.

A Level English Literature is suitable for you if you:

• Read for pleasure and enjoy reading

• Want to learn how to think critically about a range of texts and theory

• Enjoy learning about different social, cultural, historical and political contexts and how this has influenced authors over time

• Enjoy challenging discussions

Course content

  • The curriculum in English is designed to enable students to:
  • develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively when speaking and writing;
  • learn how to use a wide range of vocabulary, and correct grammar, spelling and punctuation; develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed when writing;
  • experience a range of literature with a wide variety of appeal drawn from contemporary and modern texts, texts from across the globe and texts which have had a significant influence on our English literary and cultural heritage;
  • develop their own interpretation skills and to make insightful, individual responses to texts;
  • explore the universality of literature and consider how literature represents the human experience enabling readers to come to a deeper awareness about themselves and their world. Pupils are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. Pupils develop analytical and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.

Component 1

• Shakespeare - Hamlet

• Drama and poetry pre-1900 – The Duchess of Malfi and Christina Rossetti

Component Two

• Close reading in a chosen topic (dystopia)

• Comparative and contextual reading from chosen topic area (dystopia) – 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale

Component Three (coursework)

– The Bell Jar, A Streetcar Named Desire and Feminine Gospels

• Close reading or recreative task

• Comparative essay

Additionally, students will read a range of critical theory


Entry requirements

Students must achieve at least grade 6 and grade 5 in GCSE English Language or English Literature. Students entering the Level 3 Academic Pathway must have an APS of 42 or above.


All examinations will be taken at the end of Year 13.

Paper 1 - Drama and poetry pre-1900 – 2 hours and 30 minutes (40% of A Level)

Paper 2:- Comparative and contextual study – 2 hours and 30 minutes (40% of A Level)

Coursework - Literature post-1900 (20%)

Future opportunities

A number of university courses either specifically require A Level English Literature (or state that is it highly desirable) such as: English Literature, Law, History, Sociology, Medicine, Humanities, Economics, Philosophy and Ethics, Classics and MFL. A Level English Literature also provides valuable skills in careers including journalism, creative exploits and the media, the law, public relations and politics and education. The skills developed in English Literature are needed in almost any workplace!

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Capital City Academy directly.

Last updated date: 06 December 2016
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