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English Literature A level at Ellesmere Port Catholic High School

Course description

At AS and A2 you will be introduced to a wide range of literary texts, from different genres and periods.

You will be expected to engage with novels, poems and plays. You also will be exploring certain texts in their historical, social and literary context.

In addition, you will be encouraged to consider various interpretations of texts and to construct your own independent and informed responses.

Course content

Unit One: Aspects of Narrative

Written Examination: 2hours (60% of AS marks)

The aim of this unit is to look at how different writers construct their texts and how they create a range of effects. 

You will be expected to study four texts, leading up to a two hour exam.

For example, you may read The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini, which is a powerful story about the situation in Afghanistan, alongside The Great Gatsby and a selection of poetry. This broad range of texts is excellent pre paration for the rest of the A Level and University.

Unit Two: Coursework

(40% of AS marks)

In Unit Two, you will be expected to produce two pieces of coursework on the subject of Tragedy.

The maximum you will produce altogether is 3000 words, which is significantly less than your GCSE coursework! You will focus on one Shakespeare play, 'Hamlet' and any other Tragedy, ranging from Tis Pity She's A Whore to Death of a Salesman. In this section you may be creative. For example you could write a monologue from the point of view of one of the characters. 

Unit Three: Texts and Genres

(30% of total A Level marks)

This unit will see you plunge into the world of the Gothic. You will be expected to study at least three texts. You may focus Frankenstein, Macbeth and Dr Faustus for example. This will lead up to a two hour paper in which you will explore different aspects of Gothic Literature!

Unit Four: Independent Study

(20% of total A Level marks)

Finally, this unit begins to move towards preparation for University. You will produce two pieces of coursework for a folder of 3,500 words maximum. You may read whatever texts you choose. At least two of these need to be compared, and in your second essay you will explore critical ideas behind your text. This independent study is an invaluable way of preparing you for university.

Entry requirements

If you want to have a successful experience of A Level Literature then there are a number of questions you will need to ask yourself.

  • Are you a reader? You should be an enthusiastic fan of reading a range of literature. Your experience of texts at GCSE and lower school should have been positive.
  • Can you express yourself well in speaking and writing? Unlike GCSE Literature, A Level Literature is heavily marked for your ability to write clearly and coherently.
  • Therefore you should have attained at least grade C in both GCSE English Language and Literature.
  • Do you enjoy the theatre? A Level Literature will require you to show an understanding of plays as they appear on the stage, rather than simply as text.
  • Can you name a favourite novel, play and poem? If not, seriously question whether this course is for you.

Future opportunities

A study of Literature prepares you for the future in many ways. Literature is a life enhancing experience, containing a vast range of human insight and thought. Equally you may find your own creativity is fired and you may be encouraged to write, for pleasure or for publication.

Practically, Literature and the skills explored, open up a number of career pathways for you, including; teaching, journalism, law, Public Relations, broadcasting, and of course published writing.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ellesmere Port Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 19 September 2016
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September


  • More information
    • By Rail

      The closest station is the Overpool Railway station. Further information can be obtained from National Rail. Station info hereand you can plan your journey here.

      By Bus

      Numbers 401, 1 and 3 travel with Ellesmere Port Catholic High School Area. The services all run frequently from the Sutton Way Bus stops (Google map)
      Online bus timetables for Arriva (401) and First (1 & 3).

      By Taxi

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      By Bicycle

      Surrounded by the suburbs of Cheshire and Wales, the school is easily accessible by bicycle or on foot. As part of our commitment to sustainable living, we encourage the use of local cycle routes. Cycle parking facilities are provided at the school for students, staff and visitors.