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ENGLISH LITERATURE - AS & A2 LEVEL at Astley Community High School

Course description

Both AS and A2 Level English Literature specifications offer integrated courses in which coursework and examination preparation is linked. Students build on the knowledge, understanding and skills they have acquired at GCSE; the course extends both their studies of and the range of their reading as well as developing techniques of analysis, evaluation and comparison of literary texts appropriate at these higher levels.


  • Study will cover a minimum of 6 texts at AS and a further 6 at A2 Level. A wide range of exciting texts and genres will be explored including:
  • At AS for coursework the genre of comedy is explored. We are currently studying ‘As You Like It’ and ‘Abigail’s Party’ and students must produce a piece of work on both.
  • For the examination Aspects of Narrative, they are studying ‘The Great Gatsby’ by F Scott Fitzgerald, ‘Birdsong’ by Sebastian Faulks and the poets Auden and Browning. The texts are challenging, but thrilling and provide a sound foundation for their studies in A2.
  • In the A2 examination students study the Gothic tradition – ‘Macbeth’ by Shakespeare, ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter, ‘Frankenstein’, by Mary Shelley and ‘Northanger Abbey’ by Jane Austen.
  • For coursework students complete an independent study where they will compare ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker with a text of their choice. They will also apply the critical anthology to a text of their choice.


The texts are explored in a variety of ways. Ranging from whole class to small group work, from preparing display material to close textual analysis of the works under discussion. Dramatisation of specific aspects of the literature is another teaching strategy employed. DVD and live theatre performances of set texts or adaptations of them are utilised on a regular basis to enhance students’ understanding. The resources of the School, in conjunction with the teaching methods used, enable students to respond through and beyond the traditional critical essay.

The course also requires the reading of recommended critical texts on chosen authors. The Library contains a wide range of such material that can be borrowed. Students are expected to show evidence of wider reading in their written assignments. They are encouraged to read widely around the prescribed texts. The Faculty supports general reading with a prepared Reading Handbook so that students acquire some knowledge of literature beyond the confines of texts studied solely for examination purposes.

Entry requirements

It should be noted that because of the high literacy demands of this course it is recommended that prospective students have at least a C grade at GCSE English Language and if studied, a grade C at GCSE English Literature.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Astley Community High School directly.

Last updated date: 07 May 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years