English Literature and Language and English Literature

Course Description 

A large number of students pursue English into KS5 on one of the two courses we teach at A-level: English Literature and English Language and Literature. We teach A-level English in small classes, encouraging students to work in groups and discuss their ideas with each other. A-level students enjoy reading widely and talk about their reading. They complete homework tasks and independently research and read around their subject areas. English at A-level demands the highest quality of written and verbal communication, and requires students to be imaginative and original in their generation of ideas. We monitor and support A-level students in their transition from KS4 to KS5. Many of our students have been inspired to study English and other related subjects at some of the country’s top universities.

Some students in Year 12 and 13 also resit their English Language GCSE with us, aiming to secure a grade 4 or above in this core GCSE. Students are taught in small classes and practise core examination skills; all sixth form students are expected to do their best to ensure that they leave Loxford with a pass as this GCSE is considered essential for entrance to Higher Education and future employment in quality institutions

At Loxford, we currently offer two English courses: English Literature (OCR) and English Language and Literature (AQA). Both of these courses provide opportunities for students to explore dynamic, engaging texts and develop their appreciation of the way writers construct their texts. We are proud of these students who have developed an exceptional range of skills in English and have produced critical and creative responses in response to the challenging demands of these new courses.

What is the requirement to study A Level English?
It is essential for students to be inquisitive and have a real passion for reading various forms of fiction and non-fiction texts. Having acquired at GCSE a basic appreciation of how writers and speakers construct texts in order to achieve their aims, students will need to hone their interpretive, analytical and evaluative skills to further explore how writers engage with their audiences.

Congratulations to all A Level students

English Literature 83% A*-C

Best of luck in your future pursuits and well done on all the hard work

Telling Stories

Paper 1 of the exam is divided into three sections: ‘Remembered Places’, ‘Imagined Worlds’ and ‘Poetic Voices’.
These are all exam units, for which students have to write essays under timed conditions which focus on the ways in which writers use stylistics and conventions relevant to specific literary forms to shape meaning, considering relevant contextual detail where applicable. They have to study a combination of non-fiction, prose and poetry texts. Students at Loxford will read The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood and a selection of poems from Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy. All students, regardless of education establishment, explore a range of non-fiction texts from the AQA anthology titled Paris.

Exploring Conflict
Paper 2 of the exam is divided into two sections: ‘Writing about Society’ and ‘Dramatic Encounters’.
These are both exam units. For ‘Writing about Society’, students have to recast an extract from The Great Gatsby into a different format, reflecting their understanding of characters and relationships, as well as the society that these exist in. They then write a commentary, explaining the decisions they made when recasting the extract, considering their language choices and links between the base text and the one they have created. ‘Dramatic Encounters’ requires students to explore the depiction of characters and themes in A Streetcar Named Desire, evaluating the effect of a range of linguistic and conventional devices specific to form.

Making connections
This is a coursework unit, for which students make connections between a literary text and non-literary material, based either on theme or how different types of material use idea particular linguistic strategies and features AQA encourage students to “initiate and sustain independent enquiry”. Students are expected to produce one essay of 3000 words.

Pre-1900 Drama and Poetry
This section of the course is assessed through examination. Students study A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, as well as selected poems by Christina Rossetti, exploring connections between these texts, influenced by their contextual background and critical theory applicable to the texts. They will also experience The Tempest by William Shakespeare, developing their close analysis skills as well as their ability to use critical theory surrounding the play to construct an argument about the text.

Comparative and Contextual Study
For this section of the course, students study the Gothic genre, exploring The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde as well as a range of relevant Gothic extracts to develop their skills of unseen extract analysis. These are all exam texts; students will be expected to analyse an unseen extract and write a critical essay that explores connections between the two set texts, informed by relevant contextual detail and critical theory.

Literature Post-1900
This is a coursework unit for which students complete two essays. The first is a close reading task, analysing a short extract from a 21st century play, The History Boys by Alan Bennett, and evaluating the presentation of characters and themes. The second task involves exploring contrasts and comparisons between two texts (Selected Poetry by T.S. Eliot and Fight Club by Chuch Palahniuk), informed by different interpretations and an understanding of contexts.

The study of A Level English enables students to study English language, English language and creative writing, English literature, English studies and linguistics in Higher Education. The course encourages students to become autonomous through guided teaching and learning. Teachers facilitate students in becoming independent thinkers and learners. This approach helps students familiarise themselves with expectations in academia and encourages them to strive for knowledge and excellence in this subject.

English students are considered valuable in virtually all career paths, from literature-related fields like libraries and research to communication-based roles in sales and ICT. Careers in journalism, teaching and management are particularly well-suited to English students. This challenging and traditional subject is welcomed by all employers.
A large number of our current cohort study A Level English to support their applications for Mathematics, Engineering and a range of science degrees, reflecting the wide skills set that the subject enables students to develop and engage that are beneficial beyond the subject itself.

What other subjects will support my career path?
History, Geography, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Media Studies and Sociology.