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English Literature A Level at Orleans Park

Course description

Students wanting to take A Level English Literature will need to have a Grade 6 or above in their English Language and Literature GCSE. It is essential that students must have a love of reading and an interest in the issues that have inspired and divided writers from Shakespeare to E M Forster. In class, students will explore texts from across the canon, analysing works from writers as diverse as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Williams and Duffy.On this course, students will be encouraged to become independent critics through class and homework activities including group presentations, wider reading, critical essays and background research. They will also take part in a range of extra-curricular activities designed to enhance their love of literature. These will include book clubs, author visits, university lectures and regular theatre trips.

Course content

English Literature A Level places texts in their social and historical contexts and considers how works of literature have shaped our understanding of the world. The exploration of novels, plays and poems at A Level provides opportunities for provocative discussion and debate about social, political and moral issues which affect everyone.

Entry requirements

GCSE Grade 6 in English Language or Literature


Paper 1: Love through the Ages (40% of A Level) A study of three texts: poetry, prose and one Shakespearean play. Closed book, except for section C. 3 hour exam, 75 marks Open book in section C only. Section A: Shakespeare (Othello) Given extract to analyse, which students must link to the rest of the play. Section B: Comparison of 2 unseen poems on a given theme. Section C: Essay on a given them - students write about how this relates to a prose text and a poetry text they have studied. Students will study a collection of pre-1900 poetry, and a post-1900 novel (such as The Awakening, A Room with a View or Atonement). Paper 2: Texts in Shared Contexts Option 2B: Modern times: Literature from 1945 to the present day (40% of A Level) A study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, one drama. 2.5 hour exam, 75 marks. Open book. Section A: Set text - poetry. One essay question on a set text (Carol Ann Duffy’s The Feminine Gospels). Section B: Drama and Prose Contextual Linking. Students are given an unseen extract (prose or drama), and are asked to analyse the text focusing on a given theme. Students must then must write about the given theme in a drama text and a prose text they have studied (such as The Handmaid’s Tale, The God of Small Things, Oranges are Not The Only Fruit and A Streetcar Named Desire, Translations, All My Sons). Critical independent study: Texts Across Time (20% of A Level) A comparison of two texts on a theme decided by the student (one must have been written pre- 1900). 50 marks, 2500 word essay and a bibliography. One text will be taught in class, and one will be of the students’ own choice. Possible themes include:  The struggle for identity  Crime and punishment  Minds under stress  Nostalgia  Satire and dystopia  War and conflict  Representations of men / women  Representations of sexuality  Representations of social class and culture

Future opportunities

English Literature students can go on to study for a wide variety of higher level courses, including English Literature, English Language, Linguistics, Law, History, Media or Film Studies and Business Studies. Universities also like to see variety in their applicants, and many literature students have gone on to study Medicine, Engineering, Maths, the Sciences and Technology-based subjects. Students who have studied English Literature often find employment in Publishing, Law, Film, Television, Advertising, Public Relations, Education and the creative arts.

Further information

Applications to the Sixth Form for September 2019 open on Monday 1 October 2018 and close on Friday 11 January 2019.

Please apply for 3 courses plus a reserve choice.

Entry Requirements for September 2019: 6 GCSEs at Grade 9-4 with at least 3 subjects at Grade 6 (or equivalent Grade B) including English and Mathematics at Grade 4 or higher. Some subjects have specific requirements (as shown on the individual subject page) and we strongly advise that students have at least a GCSE Grade 6 (or equivalent Grade B) in the subjects they will study at A Level.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 17 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Course code: AQA English Literature A; 7712B

Contact details


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    • DIRECTIONS FROM A316 Leave the A316 at the St Margarets Roundabout. Join the A3004 (St Margarets Road). Pass St Margarets station on the right. Turn right onto Crown Road (A3004) Turn right onto Richmond Road (A305). Orleans Park is located on the left hand side. BY TRAIN Twickenham is served by trains from London Waterloo, Clapham Junction, Richmond, Ascot & Reading. BY BUS Services 33, 490, H22, R68 & R70 all stop outside the school on Richmond Road.