English Literature A Level at Chadwell Heath Academy
The English literature curriculum features the study of a range of prose, poetry and drama texts from across the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The new curriculum places a greater emphasis on end of year examination, but coursework will still play a significant part in assessment. For students looking for greater control over the final results of their A-Level, this coursework is highly advantageous and rewarding, and will be worth 20% of the final A-Level grade. This may not seem like much, but having the advantage of the student being in control of their work is an asset that cannot be ignored. Students will develop the skills required to compare texts; to analyse the effects of language; your analytical skills will be sharpened and intensified; and to understand the significance of the contexts in which texts were written. Students deal with complex ideas, interpreting information, searching for patterns and examining texts in a wider context. History, culture, philosophy and human behaviour are all at the heart of English Literature. As such, English Literature is a wonderful companion to such courses as law, psychology, sociology, history, media and drama, as well as a fantastic change of pace to a timetable full of sciences or maths based courses.
The English literature curriculum covers a range of historical and modern texts, with students focusing on not just close analysis of the text, but the contexts the texts were written in - historical, cultural, biographical, theoretical and so on. In AS, William Shakespeare’s comedy Twelfth Night is studied along with The Miller’s Tale from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Tennessee William’s classic play A Streetcar Named Desire is also on the syllabus, along with either Angela Carter’s short gothic story collection The Bloody Chamber or Moshin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
In the full A-Level, we add in Oscar Wilde - his witty comedic play An Ideal Husband will be studied by all, as will the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy in her collection The World’s Wife, an examination of the conflicts between women and the men who try to dominate their lives. There will also be the study of two novels, one for exams - either Oscar Wilde’s dark, gothic The Picture of Dorian Gray or Andrea Levy’s tale of post-war Jamaican immigrants in Small Island - and one for coursework - students will read Khaled Hosseni’s tale of betrayal The Kite Runner or Zoe Heller’s psychological thriller, Notes on a Scandal.
All in all, English Literature is a fantastic subject, one whose analytical skills will stay with you for the rest of your life, regardless of whatever career path you may follow. Plus: you get to read!
* All students will sit the AS at the end of the first year, the topics covered at AS will then be further developed during the second year of A Level.
English literature is a fundamental part of the Russell Group’s list of facilitating subjects. Many careers paths benefit from this study; any job that involves communication or writing will find a study of English Literature to be a key to success. This includes jobs in the sciences as well, where writing proposals, academic papers and articles, and communicating with others is vital to getting funding for projects and reaching people with your work.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Chadwell Heath Academy directly.