Awarding Body:OCRCourse Duration:1/2 Years

Minimum Entry Requirements

5 GCSE’s at grades A* - C including Maths and English. (a Grade B or above in GCSE English Language is recommended).

This course will develop:

• your interests in and enjoyment of reading and discussing literary texts;
• your knowledge and understanding of a wide range of English literature texts;
• your skills of literary analysis.

This qualification gives you the opportunity to study literature across the genres of prose, poetry and drama, and to read around concepts of literature and literary analysis.

You will have many opportunities to participate in activities such as theatre trips (including a residential stay in Stratford-upon-Avon), background lectures and workshops.

Course Content

The focus here is on introducing the next level of literary study, looking at how to use critical ideas as well as exploring a great range of texts from different genres.

In the lower sixth you will study:

  • a drama text: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • two novels: The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters and The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Poems of the Decade 2001-2011: an anthology of the Forward books of poetry

In the upper sixth you will study:

  • A Shakespeare play (e.g. Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, Measure For Measure, Antony and Cleopatra, The Tempest)
  • The selected works of a poet or a range of poets from a poetic period (e.g. Chaucer, Donne, Milton, Coleridge, Keats, Tennyson, Rossetti).
  • Two texts of any genre for coursework.
  • Additionally, there will be an unseen text element to the examination.

Methods of Teaching

Each student is taught by a team of two teachers and much of the work is conducted through discussion groups, both large and small, with topics sometimes being presented by the students themselves or through the use of a variety of media. As well as developing a wide understanding of the texts, we focus on the student’s writing skills and critical faculties. We value independent reading and have excellent resources, including a very popular and extensive intranet site.

Methods and Patterns of Assessment

80 % of the mark will be assessed through final exams.
20% of the mark will be assessed through internal coursework.

Financial Implications

Students will need to purchase their texts, so there is an annual cost of around £25. We ask for students to buy their texts early in the academic year so there is no delay in obtaining books later in the course. The college has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.

Career Progression

English Literature is highly valued for the skills of writing, reading, analysis and emotional intelligence that it develops in its students. These skills complement any career or programme of study and are vital for success in all walks of life. At degree level, it is often combined with History, a language, or social sciences. English Language is also a good partner course. It is highly regarded by admissions tutors on courses such as Law, Business and Journalism. Higher education courses in English are very popular and demanding. The subject provides a useful entry qualification for careers in advertising, writing, the media, journalism, drama, education, social and administrative services, librarianship, business management, and a wide range of professions. Non-arts inductries (e.g. engineering, medicine, etc.) are increasingly taking emotional intelligence and high levels of literacy into consideration.

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