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English Literature - Cambridge Pre U at Chesham Grammar School

Course description

  • Cambridge Pre-U Literature in English offers opportunities to explore a range of texts and approaches to them. Teachers can foster interest and enjoyment in the subject by selecting syllabus content from Chaucer to contemporary literature.
  • The course emphasises breadth as well as depth of teaching and learning, providing scope to cover key areas of the canon while also following areas of individual interest.
  • The linear assessment structure means that you are tested at the end of the two-year course. This allows you to approach the examination in a mature and confident way with time to formulate your viewpoints and develop your knowledge, understanding and skills. By the end of the course, you will have had time to consider and revisit texts after studying a wide range of literature.
  • The syllabus encourages literary debate and discussion. It raises questions which elicit your independent, supported views, judgements and comparisons. You are rewarded for offering informed independent views which result from genuine engagement with the study of literature.
  • The question papers promote wide reading, developing skills in responding to writers’ use of language, form and style.
  • The Personal Investigation enables you to pursue a topic which engages your interests and imagination. The word limit enables you to work in depth, but at the same time requires you to discriminate in your choice of supporting evidence and to develop economy in writing.

Course content

The syllabus is designed to encourage you to read both closely and widely, beyond the demands of assessment, to enjoy your reading and to be able to debate your responses to it. The syllabus aims to encourage: 

  • a critical and informed response to texts in a range of forms, styles and contexts
  • the use of knowledge and understanding of individual texts to explore comparisons and connections between texts, informed by an appreciation of the traditions of English literature
  • an understanding and appreciation of the ways in which writers use form, structure and language to shape meaning and effect
  • confident, independent, reflective engagement with a range of texts, leading to effective expression of responses to texts in speech and writing
  • the use of critical concepts and terminology with understanding and discrimination
  • reflection on your own responses to texts, informed by other readers’ interpretations, with an awareness of the contexts in which texts were written and the significance of cultural and historical influences upon readers and writers
  • a habit of critical thinking.

Entry requirements

For Advanced level courses, students will be expected to have successfully completed GCSE level examinations, with an average score of 46 points from their best eight GCSEs.

The average is worked out by converting each grade to a numerical score where:

A* = 58, A = 52, B = 46, C = 40, D = 34, E = 28, F = 22 and G = 16 b.

In an A level subject to be taken there is a requirement of grade B or above at GCSE (Grade A or above in Maths, Music and the Sciences), either in the subject itself or in an appropriate related subject in the case of new courses, as indicated on the subjects’ requirement. At least a C in English Language and Mathematics.

Subject Specific

GCSE Grade B or above in English Literature


Paper 1

Poetry and Prose 2 hours examination. 25% weighting. Written paper, externally set and marked, 50 marks

Paper 2

Drama 2 hours examination. 25% weighting. Written paper, externally set and marked, 50 marks

Paper 3

Comment and Analysis 2 hours 15 minutes examination. 25% weighting. Written paper, unseen texts, externally set and marked, 50 marks

Paper 4

Personal Investigation Coursework. 25% weighting. Externally marked project, 25 marks

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 30 April 2015
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