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English Literature A-Level at John Port School

Course description

AS Level: This course lasts just one year and covers the following units:

  • Modern Poetry (study of an anthology of 28 poems written between 2002–2011.)
  • Prose Texts (study of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. These texts are to be compared and contrasted in the exam.
  • Modern Drama (study of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams.)

A Level: This course is two years long. You will start by studying for AS and will take the AS exam but only as a ‘mock’. Your second year will prepare you for the extra elements of the course needed to complete study for the full A level.

These are:

  • Study of ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare.
  • Study of how to respond to Unseen Poetry.
  • Study of Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath.’

Revision of all elements of the AS exams.

Production of one 2,500 word coursework essay comparing two texts. This is an independent research unit but you will, of course, be heavily supported by your teacher.

Entry requirements

The general entry requirement for the Sixth Form applies. This should include GCSE English at grade B or above.


This course is assessed with three end of Year two exams:

  • Paper 1: Drama (one essay on Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and one essay on Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire.’) Worth 30% of A level.
  • Paper 2: Prose (one essay comparing The Handmaid’s Tale to Frankenstein.) Worth 20% of A Level.
  • Paper 3: Modern Poetry (comparing one poem from your anthology to an unseen poem and responding to a question on Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath.’) Worth 30% of A Level

The final 20% of your grade comes from the coursework you have produced. When you take the A level exams at the end of Year 2, your marks replace your AS marks.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 September 2016

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years