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English Language & Literature A Level AQA A Level at Kingdown School

Course description

Paper 1:

Telling Stories: ‘Paris Anthology’; ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ – Margaret Atwood; ‘Meantime’ Carol Ann Duffy.

Students will study the set texts above, focusing on:

  • Point of view and characterisation
  • Presentation of time and space/place
  • Narrative structure
  • The ways in which texts present places, societies, people, relationships and events
  • The influence of contextual factors
  • Different generic conventions and different purposes for communicating ideas


Paper 2:

Exploring Conflict: Students will study ‘The Great Gatsby’, F. Scott Fitzgerald, focusing on the ways that writers:

  • Present people, their points of view and their relationships with others
  • Shape the narrative structure and present events/time/places
  • Reveal the speech and thought processes of the characters and narrator(s)
  • Use situations of conflict to express ideas about societies and their values.

This paper includes re-creative writing where students must develop skills to show awareness of:

  • The nature of monologue and dialogue
  • How changing point of view, genre, context, purpose, audience or mode can re-shape meanings
  • How aspects of the narrative might be developed further
  • The importance of specific moments in time or descriptions of place.

Students will also study a drama text: ’Othello’ William Shakespeare, focussing on how the playwright:

  • Represents natural speech features
  • Uses language to create characters
  • Shows characters asserting power via their language and behaviour
  • Uses the idea of conflict to create dynamic narratives and address the wider themes of the play.

Entry requirements

GCSE English grade (9-6) and Maths (9-4)) plus 3 GCSEs at grades A*-C. A grade 6 is essential in either English Language or English Literature.

Students will develop their skills in English through the integrated study of language and literature. 


  • Paper 1 40%
  • Paper 2 40%
  • Coursework 20%

Non-Exam Assessment (Coursework):

  • Making Connections: Students will choose two texts to study and investigate a specific area, chosen by the student, of language and linguistic study.

Future opportunities

This course is an excellent foundation for students intending to study English Literature or Linguistics at University.

It would be perfect for a range of career options including teaching, journalism, the law and publishing.  

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 December 2016
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Key information


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    • As part of raising our students' aspirations for their futures, we offer access to all Year 12 students to a Higher Education Convention. This enables students to ask questions and gather information from prospective Higher Education establishments. This, plus the work carried out in weekly House Forums, enables students to make an informed decision about their Post 18 education and employment.

      Sixth Formers at Kingdown School, who aspire to apply to Oxbridge Universities, are given specialist support. Kingdown School also offers the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) which is a valuable opportunity for students to focus on a project of their choice whilst developing their skills in research, writing, referencing, presenting and much more.

      Kingdown School runs an extensive leadership programme for students. Students have the opportunity to be part of the School Leadership groups which include: School Environment. Sport, Teaching and Learning. Army. Information Technology and Community. Students also have the opportunity to apply to become Head Students, House Captains, Vice House Captains or be a IC55 Leader. These opportunities are also supported by students being able to develop leadership skills whilst mentoring younger Students.