AS/A Level Course Content

English Language Course Guide.

The English Language A Level course covers a wider range of topics, including child language acquisition, variations of language in different texts and situations, language diversity (across regions and groups) and language change over time.  There are also opportunities for creative writing, with a directed writing task on one exam and a more open choice of creative writing in the coursework folder.

The coursework folder includes an individual language investigation and a piece of original writing, along with a commentary.  Students set their own topics for the investigation and creative writing coursework.

Paper 1: Language, the Individual and Society.

  • Section A - Textual Variations and Representations - this paper requires an analysis of two texts (one contemporary and one older), linked by topic or theme and then a comparison of the two.
  • Section B - Children's Language Development - a discursive essay on children's language development, with a choice of two questions.

Paper 2: Language Diversity and Change.

  • Section A - Diversity and Change - one evaluative essay from a choice of two (on either language diversity or language change).
  • Section B - Language Discourses - one question requires an analysis of how two texts use language to present ideas, attitudes and opinions - the second question is a directed writing task linked to the same topic as the previous texts.

Non-Exam Assessment: Language in Action.

  • A language investigation (2,000 words).
  • A piece of original writing an commentary (1,500 words in total).


English Language and Literature Course Guide 

The English Combined course requires students to analyse a wide range of texts from both a literary and linguistic perspective, including the analysis of spoken language.  The exams cover an anthology of texts related to the theme of Paris, as well as prose, poetry and drama texts which are studied in class.  The questions ask students to complete analysis of these texts, as well as directed transformative writing tasks.  

In the coursework folder at A level, students are required to submit a personal investigation looking into a theme or specific technique in both literary and non-literary texts.  

Paper 1: Telling Stories.

  • One compulsory question on the AQA Anthology: Paris (closed book).
  • One question from a choice of two on the prose set text (open book).
  • One question from a choice of two on the poetry set text (open book).

Paper 2: Exploring Conflict.

  • One piece of re-creative writing using a set text (open book).
  • Critical commentary on the piece of re-creative writing.
  • One question from a choice of two on the drama set text (open book).

Non-Exam Assessment: Making Connections.

  • A personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in literary and non-literary discourse (2,500-3,000 words).


English Literature Course Guide (AQA Specification A)

The English Literature A Level course includes two exam papers and a coursework project for which students set their own title.  The exams cover the topics of love through the ages and analysis of poetry, prose and drama studied in the lessons.  The coursework project focuses on a comparison of two texts from different periods of time.

Paper 1: Love through the ages

  • Study of three texts: one poetry and one prose text, of which one must be written pre-1900, and one Shakespeare play. Examination will include two unseen poems
  • Questions
    • Section A: Shakespeare: one passage-based question with linked essay (25 marks)
    • Section B: Unseen poetry: compulsory essay question on two unseen poems (25 marks)
    • Section C: Comparing texts: one essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

Paper 2: Texts in shared contexts

  • Choice of two options:
    • Option 2A: WW1 and its aftermath
    • Option 2B: Modern times: literature from 1945 to the present day
    • Study of three texts: one prose, one poetry, and one drama, of which one must be written post-2000
    • Examination will include an unseen extract
  • Questions
    • Section A: Set texts. One essay question on set text (25 marks)
    • Section B: Contextual linking
    • One compulsory question on an unseen extract (25 marks)
    • One essay question linking two texts (25 marks)

Non-exam assessment: Independent critical study: texts across time

  • Comparative critical study of two texts, at least one of which must have been written pre-1900
  • One extended essay (2500 words) and a bibliography

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