A Level English Literature

English at A Level is one of the most important, fulfilling and enjoyable courses on the curriculum. Our students do very well and take home grades they will be proud of for a lifetime. But more than this, our students learn to communicate, to enquire, to explore and to challenge the world around them via a journey through some of the greatest texts ever written. We believe in the potential of our students to succeed and thrive in their study of English. We offer a rich and exciting course that will provide students with the tangible skills required to function in an ever changing world. We will ensure our students are encouraged to express themselves creatively and we will celebrate their identity.

Outline of the Course:

This course provides a variety of opportunities to explore literature. The idea of the course is to read texts within a shared context, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives. The course encourages students to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal responses.

Year 1:
This unit is examined. Students are required to study an anthology of love poetry and a Shakespeare play throughout the year. There will be an exam at the end of the year that will be a passage based Shakespeare question, and a poetry question from an Anthology of love poetry through the ages. (Pre or post 1900).

In this section of the course students will study two prose texts. Your exam will also include an unseen prose extract and question. There will be a written exam at the end of this unit that will include a question on an unseen prose extract and a comparative question on the two prose texts students have studied.

Year 2:
This unit is examined. Section A of the exam asks students to answer a passage based Shakespeare question and to write an essay response to a linked question on the Shakespeare play they have studied.

There is also a compulsory essay based question on two unseen poems.

This is also an exam. Here students will study modern literature – that is literature written after 1945. Students will have a written exam at the end of this unit that asks them to respond to one compulsory question on an unseen extract, and then an essay question that asks them to link two of the texts they have studied.

Students also have Non – exam assessment here in which they produce an extended essay (approx. 2,500 words) comparing two texts they have studied. At least one of these texts needs to have been written pre 1900.

Entry Requirements:

In order that students have full access to everything we study and that they enjoy the course, we ask that they have a Level 5 in their GCSE English Language and Literature. We do accept C grades on the course, as long as it comes with a strong reference from their English teacher. Further, it is preferable that they have completed the double course at GCSE, although this is not an essential requirement.


We ask that students come equipped with an open mind, a desire to read and a keenness to develop their independent study skills. The course is a busy one, so sticking to deadline and regular attendance are a must. We have a good track record of ensuring students are challenged and a high percentage achieve A and A* grades; these students enjoy debate, discussion and wider reading as suggested by our dedicated and knowledgeable staff.

More than just the classroom:

The high percentage of A and A* grades in English at Newquay Tretherras is down to the students’ desire to succeed, their love for the subject that develops over the course, and their commitment to progressing. Added to this are dedicated staff who have superb subject knowledge and keep the students’ success at the centre of all they do. Staff are available after school and in lunch times and work with small groups of students, often offering one-to-one sessions, in order to ensure students are motivated and progress rapidly. Nowhere do the students fall more in love with literature when they can see it and feel it. As such, we aim to take the students on a variety of theatre trips and we often welcome guest writers and poets in to work with our students. We have arranged for students to be guests at Cambridge University, even having sample lectures in a variety of English courses and many of our students choose to study English at degree level and beyond.

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