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English Language and Literature A Level at Dunraven School

Course description

Students will study Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale and a collection of poetry by Carol Ann Duffy as part of a unit on ‘Imagined Worlds’. They will also be examined on non-fiction and non-literary texts from an AQA anthology about Paris.
As the students move on to A-level they will be reassessed on texts from the Paris anthology, as well as The Handmaid’s Tale and poems from Duffy’s Mean Time. They will also study a unit on ‘Conflict’ in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby.
In addition to the examined units, students will write a 3,000 word coursework essay exploring the presentation of a topic of their choice in both literature and non-literary texts.

Course content

Theme: ‘People and Places’ – non-fiction and non-literary texts in AQA Paris anthology.
Theme: ‘Imagined Worlds’ – Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, selected poems from Duffy’s Mean Time.
Theme: ‘Telling Stories’ – texts in Paris anthology, The Handmaid’s Tale, selected Duffy poems.
Theme: ‘Conflict’ – A Streetcar Named Desire, The Great Gatsby.

Entry requirements

A grade 6 in GCSE English language and English Literature


Paper 1 (40%) Comparison of two non-fiction texts about Paris (40 marks), response to extract from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
(35 marks), comparison of two Duffy poems (25 marks) - 3 hours
Paper 2 (40%) Recreation of and commentary on ‘The Great Gatsby’ (55 marks), analysis of an extract from ‘A Streetcar named Desire’ (45 marks) - 2 hours 30 minutes
Non Examined Assessment (20%) 3,000 words exploring a topic in fiction and non-literary texts

Future opportunities

A highly respected qualification which produces independent, critical thinkers. Students will develop vital skills in reading a broad range of literary and non-literary texts.
Students will also develop writing and communication skills, all of which are important to any career in either the public or private sectors. This A-level prepares students well for many studies at university, such as English, Creative Writing or Journalism.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 October 2017
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Key information

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