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Blackfen School for Girls

Blackfen School for Girls

Raising aspirations - releasing potential

English Literature A Level


Exam board: OCR

Why study this Subject:

English Literature is a rigorous, stimulating and challenging qualification which allows the opportunity to study a wide range of texts. The aims of this course are to encourage you to develop your interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies.  This A Level allows you to undertake independent and sustained studies to deepen your appreciation and understanding of literature, including its changing traditions, offering you excellent preparation for study at undergraduate level.

This qualification will enable you to:  Read widely and independently both set texts and others that you have selected for yourself.  Explore and understand a wide range of texts.  Develop and effectively apply your knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in writing.  Explore the contexts of the texts you are reading and others’ interpretations of them.  Engage critically and creatively with a substantial body of texts and be able to respond to appropriately.  Develop the valuable transferable skills of sustained research and composition


In Year 12 students study:
The Bloody Chamber (short stories) by Angela Carter
An Ideal Husband (play) by Oscar Wilde or A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
Anthology of Christina Rossetti poems
The Picture of Dorian Gray (novel) By Oscar Wilde
Begin work on coursework in the summer term:
Selection of Carol Ann Duffy poems: The Feminine Gospels - leading to a 1,000 essay
The Color Purple (novel) By Alice Walker and A Streetcar Named Desire (play) by Tennessee Williams - leading to a 2,000 word comparative essay

Year 13:
Complete and write two coursework essays.
Read The Tempest or Twelfth Night by W Shakespeare
Read Dracula By Bram Stoker(or other gothic text)
Explore Literary Criticism around texts studied.
Revise for exams.

How will I be Assessed:

2 essay based exams totalling 5 hours . Coursework (20%)

Future Courses

English Literature/Language degree, journalism, finance, publishing, teaching, law and public relations.