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Sixth Form (KS5) English Literature
Examination Board: AQA
English Literature is an incredibly popular subject choice at A Level and has proved to be highly successful, especially with our most able students. The aim of the course is to encourage our students to develop their interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies whilst at the same time develop a range of reading skills such as the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research, which are highly valuable for both further study and future employment.
In the first year of the course students study a range of literary genres including drama, poetry and prose. This will incorporate the study of a Shakespeare play as well as a second drama text, a prose and poetry text. Typically, our students study: Othello, Death of a Salesman, Keats poetry and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in year 12.
The second year of the course will develop and enhance students’ knowledge and skills further with the introduction of a third drama text from pre 1900; students will also study a range of texts that share a familiar theme, drawing links and comparisons between them (typically the genres of tragedy and Crime and Punishment). There is also a non-exam component in the final year where students will be given the opportunity to pursue their own area of interest as well as develop personal and independent learning skills. Here, students will be able to explore some of the critical and theoretical approaches that form the basis for literary study which will, in turn, inform and illuminate their own reading of texts.
Over the course of the two years students can expect to study some of the following texts: ‘Othello’, ‘Death of a Salesman’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘The Remains of the Day’, ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, ‘Atonement’ as well as a selection of poetry from Hardy, Keats, Betjeman and Chaucer. Students will also be able to choose any text/genre/writer of their choice in relation to the coursework component of the course.
Sixth Form (KS5) English Language & Literature Combined
Examination Board: AQA
Combined English is a highly popular A Level choice at Audenshaw School Sixth Form. As the subject combines the study of both Language and Literature, students not only hone their analytical skills but also develop their creative writing ability through the exploration of both established and modern literary texts.
In the first year students study point of view and genre in prose fiction. Here they explore how writers present times, locations, events and characters through specific uses of language. They also consider important aspects of the fantasy genre and how contextual factors influence and shape meanings. Alongside this they will study the presentation of voice and identity in poetry, exploring the linguistic devices used in the telling of events and in the presentation of place. The final component studied in the first year is the presentation of place in an AQA Anthology of non-literary texts, which will include the analysis of spoken language, media texts and new technologies. All of which are linked to Paris!
The second year of the course develops and hones this learning further as students explore interaction and conflict in a drama text. Here they analyse the playwright’s linguistic choices in their presentation of characters; their use of stagecraft and the ways in which speech is represented. In the final year students will also refine their own creative writing skills through a textual intervention task. This involves recasting an episode from the text they have studied from an absent or underplayed perspective and then writing a commentary on it where they reflect on the choices they have made and their interpretive effects. The final year of the course also provides students the opportunity to work more independently on an extended, personal investigation. In this component they will undertake an enquiry into a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary texts of their choice from a selection. This will then be written up as a research report thereby preparing students for the transition to undergraduate study.
Here is an insight into some of the fabulous texts that are available to study on this course: ‘The Lovely Bones’, ‘The Kite Runner’, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, ‘The Great Gatsby’, ‘Into the Wild’, ‘The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher’, ‘Othello’, ‘The Herd’, ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Dracula’, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ as well as the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy, Browning, Heaney and Dunn.
By opting to study English Language and Literature Combined at A Level, students will improve their communication, analysis and writing skills. Students will be encouraged to form independent and personal judgments that are essential for many careers such as journalism, law, teaching and media.