Before embarking on my AS levels in English literature, drama and theatre studies, I had no idea how much these subjects would teach me about the world in which I live.  I have learnt so much about history, politics, society and psychology and even after half a term, I have become highly skilled at making connections between things I read or hear about. Yes, these subjects are about novels, and poems and plays, but these courses teach you so much more than how to study literature; they teach you about people, about the world and as a result about yourself.

The key skills you will develop are highly transferable and vital to any further programme of study or field of work.

You will;

•             develop your knowledge of literary analysis, as you explore the texts and their contexts.

•             learn how to structure a convincing and detailed argument; collating and responding to the views and opinions of others as you formulate your own interpretations.

•             become skilled in the art of discussion, debate, independent thinking and evaluation.

•             learn how to empathise, sympathise, question and disagree.

•             learn how to write fluently, articulately and persuasively.

By the end of the course you will have become a highly skilled and independent pupil, and more importantly you will understand the power of the written word.

AS or A Level English Literature is a very good passport to a number of different occupations, including journalism, law, managerial positions, advertising and media, performing arts and teaching, as well as to Higher and Further Education.


The Key Stage 3 English curriculum aims to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and developing their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. Throughout the key stage pupils develop skills in the main key areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening.


Pupils will develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information and learn how to read easily, fluently and with good understanding, while gaining an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage. They will acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.


Pupils will learn how to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.

Speaking and Listening

Pupils will become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate. They will confidently use discussion in order to learn and will develop key communication skills enabling them to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.



GCSE English Language enables pupils to explore communication, culture and creativity, to develop independent and critical thinking skills, and to engage with the richness of our language and literary heritage. Students are encouraged to read high-quality texts across a range of familiar genres and styles, to support them in acquiring a love of reading. They are also given the opportunity to experiment with their own writing in a range of contexts and styles.

GCSE English Literature develops pupils’ ability to engage critically with and explore a variety of texts across the major genres, including modern texts and texts from different cultures, as well as classic literature. Underpinned by a skills-based approach, the emphasis is on building pupils’ confidence in developing and articulating a fresh, individual response to texts that is supported and justified.

English Language examination preparation

Pupils will develop their comprehension, language analysis, critical reading and comparative analysis skills. They will explore strategies for approaching extracts from unseen prose fiction. They will build on and extend existing creative writing skills and develop their ability to write for different audiences and purposes.

English Literature examination preparation

Pupils will study range of literary texts including modern prose or drama, 19th century prose, themed poetry and Shakespeare.

Spoken language

Pupils will present and prepare a range of individual talk and group discussions.


In studying English Literature you will explore the psychology of characters, the motives of writers and the political, social and historical contexts in which texts were written and read. You will discover how writers succeed in shaping the responses and opinions of others. How they draw you into their world. How they make you laugh, cry or empathise. You will examine how writers from other countries and cultures write differently. The study of English Literature trains the brain and frees the imagination; it is about life and living and just where you fit into the world around you.

The course offers you the chance to study a rich variety of literature from many different periods. The texts are stimulating and interesting and there are several opportunities for you to choose your own texts, develop your own interests and (at A level) even try your hand at some creative writing of your own.

A Level

01 Drama and poetry pre-1900 -  Written examination - 60 marks (Closed text)

2 hours 30 minutes  40% of total A level

02 Comparative and contextual study -  Written examination -  60 marks (Closed text)

2 hours 30 minutes  40% of total A level

03 Literature post-1900 - Non examined assessment -  40 marks 20% of total A level


AS Level

01 Shakespeare and poetry pre-1900 -  Written examination - 60 marks (Closed text)

1 hour 30 minutes  50% of total AS level

02 Drama and prose post-1900 -  Written examination - 60 marks (Closed text)

1 hour 45 minutes  50% of total AS level


English and Drama – regular theatre visits.

English – Sixth Form conferences – focusing on specific authors/ genres.

In the past we have also run successful debating clubs and writing groups.

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