English Language and Literature A Level at Holy Family Catholic High School
English is not just the name of our language: it means the capacity to read discerningly, to be able to say something about the purpose, the style, the effectiveness of what we are reading – whether it’s a newspaper article, an album review or Shakespeare. It also means the ability to write effectively, whether in the form of an academic essay, a formal letter, or a travel sketch. This course will introduce you to all these aspects of ‘English’ and ask you to practise a full range of your language abilities and literary insights. This course offers you a smooth transition from GCSE and allows you to divide your attention equally between both areas of English. You will explore how writers and speakers use language in a wide range of literary and non-literary texts, looking at poetry, prose and drama, as well as travel writing, biography, conversation transcripts, media articles and other texts. You will learn to write successfully for many different purposes and a variety of audiences.
You will follow an integrated course in which English Language and Literature are brought together through the study of literary and linguistic concepts. The combined course differs from those focused primarily on literature by extending its coverage beyond literature to explore differences and similarities between literary texts and others; it differs from those primarily focused on language by bringing the nature of literary discourse into sharper view.
You will study a novel and consider such matters as characterisation, point of view and narrative structure. You will also study the work of a poet. This part of the subject content is concerned with the nature and function of poetic voice in the telling of events and the presentation of people.
You will also study the AQA Anthology: Paris. The anthology includes a wide range of text types with a particular emphasis on non-fiction and non-literary material. In this part of the subject content, students explore speech and other genres. In studying, thinking, and writing about the anthology, students consider the ways in which writers and speakers present places, societies, people and events. You will also learn to write creatively by using base texts to create your own recreated original writing.
If you take the subject on to the full A Level you will also study a play as well as producing your own investigation (coursework) on a topic of your choice.
The entry requirements for a Sixth Form programme of study is at least 5 A* to C grades in five subjects. You will usually be expected to have a grade B in the subjects that you choose and some subjects have specific entry requirements. These will be outlined on Open Evening and in your guidance interviews. Students will also be expected to have a good record of behaviour and attendance. Any student who has not achieved a good pass grade in either GCSE Mathematics or English will need to follow resit programme in these subjects.
English is highly valued by university admissions tutors as a supporting subject in applications for almost any subject in higher education. Students have also often progressed from this course directly to English degree courses. An English AS/A2 level would be seen by employers as good evidence of thinking and writing skills.
Careers such as journalism, law, sales, teaching, administration, management, publishing and the civil service will all be relevant to an English A level.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Holy Family Catholic High School directly.