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OVERVIEW English Literature at A Level involves reading and exploring some of the most stimulating and influential poems, novels and plays that have shaped, and continue to shape, the world we live in. If you are interested in the big ideas which have forged who we are as thinking individuals, and have an ear for language and the way words create music and light, then English Literature is the subject for you. Over two years, you will hone your close reading skills and your ability to analyse and argue, both in speech and in writing. You will become a better thinker, a better communicator and a better writer. English Literature is a stimulating, well-respected (and facilitating) university subject in its own right and is essential for a number of important careers such as law, media, the performing arts and business. Indeed, if you want to read Law then English Literature is the most important subject to study. It is also a superb subject to take in conjunction with science subjects because it gives you important communication skills and helps make you a well-rounded, thoughtful individual. If you plan to study at a Russell Group or a similarly high-performing university, then English Literature is definitely a subject you should consider taking. THE A LEVEL COURSE In the Lower Sixth, you will build your close reading skills through the study of an exciting range of modern, accessible and stimulating poetry. In addition, you will study two novels: Frankenstein and The War of the Worlds. This component encourages lively discussion of the ethical and political ideas which underpin these works whilst also focusing on the craft of Mary Shelley and H G Wells. In addition, you will explore one modern play, Tennessee Williams’ classic tale of the American Deep South, A Streetcar Named Desire. In the Upper Sixth, you will study Shakespeare’s Hamlet, arguably his finest play, and one which speaks to the human condition and the emotional and existential dilemmas which engage and trouble us all. You will also study an anthology of poetry from the modernist period – with featured poets including Robert Frost, T S Eliot and E E Cummings. These are poems which, quite simply, everybody who wishes to understand the age they live in should read. You will also complete a piece of comparative nonexamination assessment which is an opportunity for you to work independently. We offer a range of influential and stimulating texts to study, from Brideshead Revisited and The Great Gatsby to Wuthering Heights and True Grit. All components of the course are externally assessed other than the comparative non-examination assessment. You will be assessed on a range of factors which include the ability to: • Write clearly and express ideas succinctly; • Analyse the ways writers shape meanings in their texts and explore how a single text may create a range of different interpretations; • Explore how contextual factors influence literary texts; • Make connections across texts. In addition to the texts studied as part of the course, the English Department also encourages wider reading through lunchtime discussion groups. The aim here is to cover a range of texts – from medieval to modern day – in an informal setting to inspire pupils to extend their reading and their love of literature. ENTRY / APTITUDE REQUIREMENTS You are likely to have achieved at least two GCSE 6 grades in English Language and Literature. More importantly, you should take pleasure in reading, the discussion of ideas and the art of writing. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Teaching is in sets, taught by two teachers. Opportunities will be provided for those pupils interested in reading English at university and specialist Oxbridge tuition is available: the department has a strong record of acceptance for Oxbridge and Russell Group universities. Exam Board: Edexcel Specification Name: English Literature

For further information please contact Mr Dobson 23

Profile for Exeter School

Sixth Form Options Booklet  

Sixth Form Options Booklet