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English Literature A Level at Ilkley Grammar School

Course description

The aim of the course is to encourage the reading and study of literature through the lens of genre and theory, developing independent study of a range of texts within a shared context. The variety of assessment styles used, such as passage-based questions, unseen material, single text questions, multiple text questions, open- and closed-book approaches, allows students to develop a wide range of skills, such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research which are valuable for both further study, personal pleasure and enrichment and future employment.

Course content

Paper 1: Literary genres – aspects of tragedy. Poetry, prose/drama
Othello, Keats, Richard II

Paper 2: Texts and genres: elements of
Political and Social Protest Writing. Three texts; range of genres.
William Blake “Songs of Innocence & Experience”, Margaret Atwood
“The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Harvest” by John Crace

Non-exam assessment: Theory and independence
Study of two texts: one poetry and one prose text, informed by study of the Critical anthology
Two essays of 1,250 – 1,500 words, each responding to a different text and linking to a
different aspect of the Critical anthology
One essay can be re-creative. The re-creative piece will be accompanied by a commentary.

Entry requirements

General entry requirement for Post-16: 5 grade 4/C at GCSE, preferably including English and Maths. Specific entry requirements: Grade 5 in GCSE English Literature and Grade 4 in GCSE English Language.


Paper 1: written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes
closed book
75 marks
40% of A-level
Section A: one passage based question on set
Shakespeare text: Othello (25 marks)
Section B: one essay question on Othello (25 marks)
Section C: one essay question on remaining two texts: Richard the Second and Keats (25 marks)

Paper 2: written exam: 3 hours
open book
75 marks
40% of A-level
Section A: unseen extract (25 marks)
Section B: one question on one of the *set texts:
(25 marks)
Section C: one question on the remaining two
*set texts (25 marks)
*Set texts: The Handmaid’s Tale, Harvest, Songs of Innocence and Experience

NEA (coursework)
50 marks
20% of A-level assessed by teachers moderated by AQA

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ilkley Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 10 November 2017
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