At KS5 we offer the new OCR AS and A-Level qualifications in English Literature and the AQA Media studies GCE. English literature has already been separated but Media Studies will not become two discrete qualifications until the summer of 2017.
“Literature offers the thrill of minds of great clarity wrestling with the endless problems and delights of being human. To engage with them is to engage with oneself, and the lasting rewards are not confined to specific career paths.”
It is important to us that all students with a love of literature get the broadest possible choices, so we offer a two-year course, which also includes the one-year AS.
Students begin study in Year 12 with units on poetry, Gothic literature, and Shakespeare, leading to an AS examination in the summer. Following on from that, they build on existing course components and take their A-Level at the end of Year 13. The course offers excellent opportunities for extension and extra-curricular learning, as the Shakespeare element has to be viewed as well as read. This means that trips to the Globe or Stratford-upon-Avon will be a must for all Literature students, and, in March of 2016 we are going to go to the Globe to see Twelfth Night – a real experience for all literature lovers. The AS does not include any coursework, is closed book, and has two papers.
The A-Level examination is just as exciting and offers a broad range of thematic groups from which texts are drawn. These thematic groups include topics such as Women in Literature, Dystopia, The Gothic, American Literature and The Immigrant Experience. Students study set and unseen texts for one of these groups. The two-year course includes a 20% coursework component alongside two longer examination papers. The coursework component is particularly exciting, as it offers students the opportunity to guide their own reading choices, and they study three texts in detail for two pieces of coursework.