A-Level English Language at Winstanley College
English Language at A Level is very different from GCSE. Rather than studying poems or Shakespeare, we will explore how language is used in the world around us. This will include examining our own language and how our age, gender, geographical background all influence the words and phrases we use.
You will also work to complete your coursework – this is a fantastic opportunity to develop your original writing skills and choose a type of writing you really enjoy.
In second year, you will be continuing to build on some of those vital skills from year one. These include reading for meaning, discussion and analysis.
You will also discover some brand new topics, including exploring how children learn to speak and write, and how and why the English language continues to change and develop.
Finally, you will undertake a Language Investigation based on a topic such as language and power or gender. You will collect and analyse your own data and develop your independent learning skills.
Where are they now?
Lauren is now studying English and History at the University of Leeds.
She took a year out to be an Outdoor Instructor with Project Trust in South Africa, saying:
“It made me a different person. It made me really interested in thinking outside of my own little bubble. I’m now involved in promoting Global Citizenship to young people in the UK and am interested in sustainable aid”
She said that the Child Language Acquisition topic that she studied in English Language A Level was really helpful in understanding how best to interact with children.
Learning outside the classroom
We would love all of our students to get involved in English outside of lessons. If you are a keen writer, why not join the writers’ group, and contribute to our poetry or short story anthology? You could enter a writing competition, attend a session with a visiting writer or write an article for our departmental magazine. We are always on the hunt for relevant trips and visits and often run day trips to London for the theatre or British Library workshops.
We would encourage all English students to read widely and have lots of reviews, magazines and books in the department available for you to borrow. We also have a departmental blog where we post relevant articles to help support your studies.
We’ll ensure that you’re receiving all the help you need, for example you may benefit from working with a specialist tutor or you may simply need help with organising your file. Sometimes students just need a bit of extra help with structuring an essay, using quotations, or applying terminology.
Within the department, we offer one to one support, so if you need any extra help, we are happy to provide it.
If you’re keen to continue with English you will receive help with choosing which university and which course is right for you. We’ll support your development of interview skills, recommend (and lend!) books and inspire you with enrichment activities which will look great on your personal statement or CV. We keep in touch with students studying English at a whole range of universities, and enjoy passing on what we learn from them to you. Students also visit and give first- hand information about what study at different institutions is like.
From school pupil to Winstanley student
Most students feel English Language A Level is completely different from GCSE, so we don’t expect you to arrive knowing all the answers! The main thing we want from you is a fascination for English in all its forms. For English Language, this doesn’t mean Dickens or Robert Louis Stevenson, but it does mean a really wide range of non-fiction such as journalism, and spoken texts of all kinds. You’ll need to be able to read independently, but you’ll also need to be a keen writer-and be willing to learn to write ‘to order’-as professional writers do!
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Winstanley College directly.