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English Literature A Level at Beechen Cliff School

Course description

The English Literature A’Level has been redeveloped and the new course blends the study of traditional literary texts, that provide an important grounding in the works of writers such as Shakespeare and Chaucer, with very contemporary literature that reveals the revolutionary responses of writers to their predecessors. To enrich your experience of the writers and the landscapes that inspired them, we will also visit some important landmarks during the course and see some of these texts in performance.

Course content

Component 1: Shakespeare, Drama and Poetry (40%)

Critical analysis of a Shakespeare text, either Hamlet or Measure for Measure. In addition, students will study the nineteenth century play, A Doll’s House by Ibsen, and compare this with Chaucer’s poetry

Component 2: Comparative and contextual study (40%)

In this unit, students have the opportunity to study the wealth of literature that emerged from America between 1880 and 1940. As well as comparing two nineteenth century American novels you will consider the characteristics of all fiction during this period through the analysis of unseen extracts.

Component 3: Coursework folder (20%)

Two essays will be completed for this internally assessed task:

Task 1: A close reading task in which students identify and consider how attitudes and values are expressed in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming.

Task 2: A comparative essay in which students explore connections between the poetry of Seamus Heaney and the short story collection The Dubliners written by James Joyce.

Further information

English and History are often viewed as a good combination, particularly if the eventual aim is to continue to higher education in an arts or humanities subject. Employers, colleges and universities want students who can show balance in their subject choices, particularly if it means they can combine essay writing skills with the manipulation of scientific data. Institutions and employers in the field of engineering, for example, increasingly cite English as a desirable combination with Mathematics and Physics A’Levels.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 May 2017

Key information