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English Literature at The Long Eaton School

Course description


At A Level students will:

  • study a range of Literature, linked by the theme of tragedy and social and political protest
  • become confident, autonomous readers
  • broaden their understanding of genre and categorisation
  • learn to make connections between texts
  • extend their skills of interpretation
  • consider the ways in which texts can be subjected to different types of critical approach
  • engage with a range of theoretical ideas

The course as a whole involves:

  • an understanding of how meaning is created and how interpretations arise
  • an exploration of the reading process
  • a particular focus on genre
  • a particular focus on meanings in texts and how they are made
  • a particular focus on different interpretations of texts 
  • an opportunity for independent choices with coursework
  • the study of Shakespeare, novels, poetry and drama
  •  the study of literature over time
  • discussion and debate to help develop an independent voice

Course content


Literary Genres 40% of the final assessment

Our chosen option is Tragedy with the study of Shakespeare’s Othello, Miller’s Death of a Salesman and a selection of poetry by Keats.

Written examination ‐ 2 hour 30 minutes closed book i.e. texts and quotes have to be learnt – there is no access to the texts in the exam. There are three questions ‐ one on a passage from a set text, one essay on Shakespeare and one question linking two texts.

Texts and Genres 40% of the final assessment

We will study one option:

Option 2B , Elements of Political and Social Protest Writing which can include: Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale William Blake Songs of Innocence and of Experience Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner The choice will be made with staff and students involved, but the option involves a study of three texts, one post ‐ 2000 prose text; one poetry and one further text, one of which must be written pre ‐ 1900.

Written examination – 3 hours open book i.e. students will have access to all the texts they are studying but no additional notes or guidance. There will be three questions – one on a passage from a set text, one essay question on a set text and one question linking two texts.

Theory and Independence 20% of the final assessment

This final component is coursework, not an examination, so allows far more choice of text and approach to suit individuals within the class. At the core is the idea of offering a range of texts designed to allow students to read widely, to be challenged and to engage with wider theories of literature including:

• narrative theory

• feminist theory

• Marxist theory

• eco ‐ critical theory

• post ‐ colonial theory

• literary value and the canon.

In this component, students write about two different literary texts. One of the texts must be a poetry text and the other must be prose. Each text must be linked to a different section of the Critical Anthology.

Students produce two essays of 1250 ‐ 1500 words. One response will be a conventional essay; the second can be re ‐ creative (as in a creative approach to a text) or a conventional essay.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Long Eaton School directly.

Last updated date: 10 October 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September