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A level English Literature Years 12 & 13

Specification

EDUQAS - The specification and assessment structure can be found at the link:

https://www.eduqas.co.uk/qualifications/english-literature-as-a-level/#tab_overview

Literature that has survived the test of time has done so because it is still relevant to us today. It is about LIFE and it is about YOU. And the great thing about studying English Literature is that it embraces so many other areas in which you might be interested – history, philosophy, art and psychology being just a few.

Component 1 - Poetry

Section A: Poetry pre-1900 (open-book, clean copy) - Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale

In the face of vociferous protestations from his friends, age-withered January selects a radiant young wife. His beloved—innocence embodied, to the untrained eye—wastes little time acquainting herself with his servants. Taking advantage of her husband’s blindness, she explores her carnal appetite with little regard for dignity. Chaucer’s genius is to elevate her transgression to the level of gender politics; as deities intervene to decide the plight of future man and woman, the full import of January and May’s relationship is revealed.

Section B: Poetry post-1900 (open-book, clean copy) 30%

One question from a choice of two based on the poetry of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.  Drawing on nature, mythology, ancient lore and the occult, Ted Hughes’ work cast a spell over readers from the publication of his first volume of poetry. It was a voice that took on an increasingly personal tone, culminating in the searing power of Birthday Letters, his final volume and only account of his relationship with Plath, the iconic poet and Hughes’ former wife who committed suicide in 1963.

“Whether Plath wrote about nature, or about the social restrictions on individuals, she stripped away the polite veneer. She let her writing express elemental forces and primeval fears. In doing so, she laid bare the contradictions that tore apart appearance and hinted at some of the tensions hovering just beneath the surface of the American way of life in the post war period.” Oates put it more simply when she wrote that Plath’s best-known poems, “many of them written during the final, turbulent weeks of her life, read as if they’ve been chiselled, with a fine surgical instrument, out of arctic ice.”

Component 2 - Drama

Section A: Shakespeare (closed-book)

One two-part question based on the reading of King Lear - possibly the greatest play ever written about the human condition.

… since the Sixties the play has been regarded as Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy. It speaks with special power to a world of global conflict and a sense of impending apocalypse. The on-stage blinding of Gloucester (“Out, vile jelly!”) is the most terrifying moment in all Shakespeare. For a long time, King Lear seemed either too vast or too horrific for the stage. Charles Lamb, writing in the early 19th century, was typical in proposing that Shakespeare’s anatomy of the human condition was so profound and tempestuous that the play could not be staged…

Section B: Drama (closed-book)

Dr Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

Marlowe had a reputation as a rule-breaker and outsider. Does this early seventeenth century play criticise or seek to arouse audience sympathy for its protagonist, who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for 24 years of power and pleasure? Is this pioneering drama, a medieval morality play or a tragedy?

Lucy Prebble’s Enron

One of the most infamous scandals in financial history becomes a theatrical epic. Mixing classical tragedy with savage comedy, it reviews the tumultuous 1990s and casts new light on the financial situation we find ourselves in today.

Component 3 – Unseen Prose & Poetry

Unseen Texts Section A: Unseen prose 20% One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen passage of prose, taken from one of two prescribed periods (1880-1910 and 1918-1939.) Bring what you are interested in to class and take ownership of your studies.

Section B: Unseen poetry

One question from a choice of two, analysing an unseen poem or poetry extract.

Component 4 - Prose Study

One 2500-3500 word assignment based on the reading of two prose texts from different periods, one pre-2000 and one post-2000. There is lots of CHOICE!!!

Take a look at the English Literature pages on the VLE for more details.

How is the course delivered?

For each unit you will be provided with background and underpinning knowledge. However, you will increasingly be expected to work independently and seek out additional research.

You will have opportunities to learn through small group discussion, seminar, teacher led note-making and annotation of hand-outs, independent reading, personal research (including use of the net) and presentations. This will be supported by reference to relevant TV and DVDs as well as live productions and 'cultural visits'. Your personal enjoyment and success will of course be increased by reading a range of other texts and critical works.

What qualities and qualifications do I need to study English Literature?

Under normal circumstances you will have passed GCSE English and English Literature at Grade 6 or better. You are likely to enjoy the course if you:

  • Enjoy reading a range of literature.
  • Want to keep our options open for a wide range of college/university courses and careers.
  • Enjoy thinking about, debating and discussing key issues.
  • Want to study a subject that relates to your past, present and future experiences.
  • Enjoy completing coursework and undertaking a degree of personal research.
  • Can accept a degree of personal responsibility for your development.
  • Think you will enjoy it!!!

Studying this subject will provide you with the opportunity to read a wide range of texts from different genres, cultures and historical periods. You will be able to pursue personal interests linked to the texts, to explore different interpretations and to further develop your analytical skills. If you pursue the course rigorously and energetically your qualifications will provide you with the 'transferable skills' much prized by universities and employers.

What will English Literature lead to?

Virtually whatever you want! A solid/good result in English Literature will secure you an acknowledged qualification. It confirms your grasp of a wide range of transferable skills - your ability to communicate effectively, to construct logical and well substantiated arguments, to be objective, and to respond appropriately to the written word. All these skills are valuable in themselves, but are also much prized by universities and employers.

English Literature can be studied as an honours degree, a joint honours degree or as part of a 'general arts' degree all of which provide an excellent basis for success in most professions/occupations. The A Level provides a firm foundation for the study of arts, humanities and social sciences at college or university (e.g. law, languages, history, philosophy, psychology, journalism, media studies).

Year 12

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 Paper 3

Post-2000 Specified Poetry and Unseen Poetry

Responding to poetry

2

Paper 2

‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood

Responding to prose texts
Spring Term
1 Paper 1 and Paper 3

‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood

Comparing prose texts
2 Paper 1 and Paper 3

Romantic poetry

‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams

Responding to Poetry

Responding to drama
Summer Term
1 Paper 1 and Paper 3

Romantic poetry

‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams

Responding to Poetry

Responding to drama
2

Non-Examined Assessment

Satellite Coursework Texts

Responding to literary texts

Year 13

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1

Component 4

A 2500-3500 word assignment based on the reading of two prose texts by different authors, one published pre-2000 and one published post-2000.
Poetry and drama will be taught alongside this.

Coursework should be completed by the end of term

Component 4 requires more detailed and extensive research and wider reading and therefore the assimilation of more material in the 3500 word essay.
2

A 2500-3500 word assignment based on the reading of two prose texts by different authors, one published pre-2000 and one published post-2000.
Poetry and drama will be taught alongside this.

Coursework should be completed by the end of term

Component 4 requires more detailed and extensive research and wider reading and therefore the assimilation of more material in the 3500 word essay.
Spring Term
1

Component 1 and 2 texts will continue to be studied.

Component 3 – Unseen Prose and Poetry to be introduced.

 

Please see EDUQAS website for a breakdown of the relevant assessment objectives

2

Component 1 and 2 texts will continue to be studied.

Component 3 – Unseen Prose and Poetry to be introduced.

  Please see EDUQAS website for a breakdown of the relevant assessment objectives
Summer Term
1 Consolidation of textual knowledge and quotations; presentations on major themes

 

Revision and essay practice

Assessments

Resources Topic Type of assessment
CAT 1 Post-2000 Specified Poetry and Unseen Poetry Essay
CAT 2

‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood
Essay
CAT 3 Essays on all texts

End of year Mock Exam

CAT 4 Test on holiday reading Written assessment
CAT 5 Coursework

Written assessment

CAT 6 Final Examination Mock Examination

Main Resources

Resource Details Term
Set texts

Poems of the Decade

ISBN-13: 978-0571325405

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Must be the Penguin Classics edition

ISBN-13: 978-0141439471

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Must be the Vintage Classics edition

ISBN-13: 978-1784873189

English Romantic Verse (ed. David Wright)

ISBN-13: 978-0140421026

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Must be the Methuen Drama edition

ISBN-13: 978-1408106044

Hamlet by William Shakespeare (this will only be taught in Year 13)

Must be the Heinemann Advanced edition

ISBN-10: 0435193104

1

 

 

1

 

 

1

 

 

4

 

 

4

 

 

6

     
Recommended reading

There is a wealth of critical essays and guides to the texts on the internet.

Please see induction materials and links on the FROG VLE

All
Recommended Websites

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/english-literature-2015.html

All
Equipment Ring binder folder, file dividers, pen and highlighters All

Enrichment opportunities

Activity Day and time or term
   

Where Next