English – KS5
Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13
KS5 Co-ordinator: Ms V Radley
For A-level English Literature, students study a range of texts – poetry
novels and plays – from the 1500s to the present day. Students will study six
texts a year and will complete an exam unit and a coursework unit each year.
Our focus is on developing students’ independent learning skills. Students are
expected to read widely outside of lessons. The department will provide a range
of opportunities to support students through this, from extra-curricular
activities and trips to book clubs and tutorials.
At Year 12, you will study a total of six texts across two core units
which make up your AS qualification. After a two week Induction to A Level
Literature unit at the beginning of September, you will start on Dramatic
Genres: Comedy, which is the coursework unit worth 40% of the AS. The current
text choices are As You Like It (William Shakespeare) and Educating Rita (Willy
Russell), and you will write a piece of coursework on each text.
At the beginning of the Spring Term, you will begin to study four texts
for your Examination Unit – Aspects of Narrative – which is worth 60% of the
AS. The current text choices are The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald),
Birdsong (Sebastian Faulks), The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)
and a selection of poetry from the AQA anthology.
In Year 13, you will begin by studying three core texts for your A2
examination unit, which you will sit in the January of Year 13. This unit is
called Elements of the Gothic, and the current texts are Frankenstein (Mary
Shelley), Macbeth (William Shakespeare) and The Bloody Chamber (Angela Carter).
We also teach Dr Faustus (Christopher Marlowe) as an extra-curricular option at
lunchtimes and after school. In the Spring Term, you will complete two pieces
of coursework for your A2 coursework unit, which is called Further and
Independent Reading. The first piece of coursework is based around World War
One literature, and involves comparing two texts across a main theme. The
second piece of coursework involves studying a range of critical approaches
such as Marxism and Feminism, and applying the key ideas to a text of your
We follow the AQA English Literature B specification, and all mark
schemes used for teacher assessment are taken straight from the AQA
Students are set weekly essays based on either sample coursework
questions, or past exam questions, which are marked by their class teachers and
awarded a numerical mark according to the AQA mark scheme. Students also sit
timed essays and mock exams in order to prepare them for their external
examinations, which take place in May (AS) and January (A2 – re-sit option in
June of A2).
Students are set homework after every lesson at A Level – either a
longer essay, a shorter piece of analytical writing, independent research,
reading critical material or something similar. In addition to this, students
are expected to complete a reflective Learning Journal after every lesson in
order to further and consolidate their knowledge and understanding of the text
they are studying.