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English Literature A Level at Coombe Boys' School

Course description

It is essential that all students are keen and adaptable readers as the Literature course demands that you read at least 8 set texts plus unseen poetry. Having said this, the best candidates will constantly be advised to stretch themselves with further independent reading. The course also requires that students write a range of assignments. Students will have to complete one challenging piece of coursework in the second year of study.

These will test the candidates’ ability to analyse, make links between and opine about some of the texts they have studied in class. Research and wider reading are, of course, activities connected with these largely independent tasks. It is therefore very important that students considering English are confident in their ability to express themselves with clear, sophisticated and organised writing as necessary.

Discussion is a big part of English lessons at A level. Without the variety of ideas generated by this activity broad textual understanding will be limited which ultimately can restrict the quality of coursework and exam responses. Students will therefore be expected to offer opinions, make educated guesses and substantiate and develop their assertions from the start of the course.

Entry requirements

Students are required to gain a B or above in both English and English Literature at GCSE in order to access this course.


A Level Drama – Students study one Shakespeare play and one other drama from either the genre of Tragedy or Comedy. They will be tested at the end of the course in a 2 hour 15 min exam by writing an essay on each text.

Prose – Students study two prose texts from a chosen them (one must be pre 1900). They will be tested in a 1 hour exam at the end of the course.

Poetry – Students study a selection of poetry from a post-2000 collection along with either a range of poetry from a literary period or a range of poetry by a named poet. They will be tested in a 2 hour 15 minutes exam at the end of the course with a comparative and an essay question.

Coursework – Students study two freely chosen texts linked by theme, movement, author or period before writing an extended comparative essay on both.

AS Level The AS exam will be taken at the end of the first year of teaching. All material covered for this stage of the exam will be transferable as necessary to the study of the full A level. The two stages will be co-teachable.

Future opportunities

Employers need people who can crisply and concisely convey information, as well as those who can use their initiative is responding to and manipulating ideas they receive.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Coombe Boys' School directly.

Last updated date: 13 July 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 - 2 Years