Department Leader: Frances Dempster
The examination board for this qualification is AQA.
English Literature A’s historicist approach to the study of literature rests upon reading texts within a shared context. Working from the belief that no text exists in isolation but is the product of the time in which it was produced, English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood.
Students should be prepared to cover a whole range of concepts and ideas from the following topics:
In Year 12
- An introduction to the historicist nature of studying literature.
- A selection of poems from an Anthology ranging from poems of the 16th century to 1900.
- A comparison of two short novels written in different time frames. Currently students are working with The Awakening by Kate Chopin and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
- A thorough analysis of a Shakespeare play. Currently students are working with Othello.
- Unseen prose analysis of texts based on the themes of love and relationships.
All these literature texts are based around the theme of Love through the Ages.
Students will complete a formal mock at the end of Year 12 based on this content.
In Year 13
The topics covered in Year 12 will be revised:
- The Great Gatsby and pre-1900 poetry Anthology
- Unseen prose appreciation
And the following new content will be added based on a ‘modern times’ unit:
- An analysis of a collection of modern poetry. Students are currently working with Owen Sheers’ collection Skirrid Hill.
- Students will have to compare the representation in literature of modern life and identity through this poetry as well as one prose text and one drama text. Currently students are working with Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams and The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
- Students will complete a unit on comparing unseen poetry from modern times.
Finally, students will need to complete a non-examined assessment (coursework) based on independent study of two literature texts. One will be written before 1900.
There will be a formal mock in Term 3 to assess examination skills. Students will sit two examinations in the summer session.
This course is assessed with a mixture of two examinations and one internally assessed and externally moderated non-examined unit.