Course Content: AQA English Literature B 7716/7717
Candidates would normally be expected to have successfully completed a GCSE in English Literature at grade 6. This course is taught over two years leading to a terminal examination for A2.
Year 1 Course Content
Tragedy (40% of A Level)
Students study set texts all linked by tragedy and theories around this:
- ‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller
- ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare
- ‘Tess’ by Thomas Hardy
At the end of this year we begin to prepare the NEA coursework element by exploring a range of critical theories about literature in the AQA Critical Anthology. Students select two texts to read over the summer (one must be a novel and one must be an anthology from a poet), each one linked to a specific critical school. Each essay must have a different critical school attached.
Students are also set summer reading of crime fiction.
Year 2 Course Content
Non Examined Assessment (coursework) 20% of A Level
The Non Examined Assessment (NEA) is drafted, improved and submitted. This is two studies / essays of 1,500 words. Each study is on a different critical school and centres on an approved text – one prose, one poetry.
Crime (40% of A Level)
Students study set texts all linked by crime and theories around this:
- Hamlet by William Shakespeare
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
- A selection of poetry by Crabbe, Browning and Wilde
The final examination will also include analysis of a previously unseen crime fiction text.
Assessment in A Level English Literature
We expect students to complete the course at A2. They will sit two exams;
Paper 1: Tragedy [ Y12 texts] and Paper 2: Crime[Y13 texts ].
Students have two Literature teachers who work side by side. Each teacher will set a termly, timed and in the classroom, exam style assessment.
Paper One – Aspects of tragedy – covering Year 12 studies
Worth 40% of A Level
2 hours and 30 minutes
75 marks closed book (no set texts in the exam room)
There are three sections: work on an extract from Shakespeare; a separate Shakespeare essay question; a question linking two texts. Each answer is worth 25 marks.
Paper Two – Crime – covering Year 13 studies
Worth 40% of A Level
75 marks open book (set texts in the exam room)
There are three sections: analysis of a piece of crime writing which the student hasn’t seen before; an essay question on one text; an essay question which links two texts. Each answer is worth 25 marks.
Setting in A Level English Language and Literature
As this is an Option Block, there is no setting for A Level English Literature nor English Language and all students at all levels work within the same groups. This is supported through carefully differentiated delivery of the curriculum.
Homework is set in line with the School Homework Policy.
At A Level English Literature the intended length of homework should normally be 5 hours per week.
- Homework typically includes practice exam questions, consolidation homework, creative tasks, wider reading around set texts/genres and flipped learning work.
- In addition, there is a high level of expectation that students continue to read widely for pleasure, use the school Theatre Club to develop their understanding of drama, explore journals and critics in the School Library and take part in lectures/visits arranged during the year.
Supporting your son or daughter in A Level English Literature
- Encourage discussion about the course and the materials and texts they are reading
- Talk about their topics in class, new words or new uses of existing ones, language controversies
- Support your son/daughter to take part in extra activities such as lectures, visits and trips
- Encourage wider reading around the subject
- Make sure that your son/daughter equipment for lessons – A4 files and paper plus pens, notes and filing materials
- Ensure class files are kept well organised and effective for revision
- Help them to spot where they need more help and encourage them to participate fully