The course we follow is AQA English Language and Literature B (This will link you to the full course specification and links to past examination papers). Throughout the course, students will study a range of literature including plays, poetry and prose, as well as having the opportunity to investigate how language is used and manipulated in a variety of contexts. Texts studied on the course may include The Great Gatsby, the poetry of Robert Browning, King Lear and Glengarry Glen Ross.

 

AS Level

Unit 1 - ELLB1F - Introduction to Language and Literature Study

60% of AS, 30% of A Level

1 hour 45 minutes written examination

Two questions: one on an unseen text(s) related to the theme(s) of the Anthology, produced by AQA as a set text; the second on the Anthology itself.

 

 

Unit 2 - ELLB2 - Themes in Language and Literature

40% of AS, 20% of A Level

Coursework Unit

Two-part assignment on chosen pair of texts: discussion of a set theme in relation to the texts; a piece of creative writing, demonstrating understanding of texts as a whole.

 

 

A2 Level

Unit 3 - ELLB3 - Talk in Life and Literature

30% of A Level
2 hour written examination

Two questions: one based on extract from prescribed play; one requiring comparison of unseen texts.

 

 

Unit 4 - ELLB4 - Text Transformation

20% of A Level
Coursework Unit

Coursework folder of transformed texts and associated commentary or commentaries.

 

How to encourage students to enhance their A Level achievement:

- Follow us @GSASixthFormLit and @GSAEngLang. Our twitter feeds are updated regularly with links to wider reading, relevant current affairs and academic studies related to the texts on the course.
- Revise and re-read examination texts. Make revision notes on each text as you go along to avoid stress at the end of the academic year.
- Revise and make revision notes on new ideas and terminology regularly to minimise stress at the end of the course.
- Study guides are available for most texts on the course. Reputable publishers include York Notes, Letts and Phillip Allan.

 

Useful Web Links for Study Guides:

- York Notes - Currently there are some free, downloadable revision cards available and free limited trials of their new online resources.

- Spark Notes - Covers some of the texts on the course and is completely free.

- Universal Teacher - Covers many language and literature topics.

 

 

Where could it lead? Degree courses in English Language & Literature

As the study of English Language is becoming more popular, there are an increasing number of universities offering courses that combine the study of language and literature.

- Newcastle University

- Lancaster University

We study OCR A Level English Literature. The specification can be found here.


Students read a range of texts including novels, poetry and plays. They will study the effects of language and structure in literature and be encouraged to consider alternative, critical interpretations and the context in which texts are produced and received.

 

Students study the following texts:

  • Measure for Measure – William Shakespeare
  • A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams
  • The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
  • Paradise Lost – John Milton
  • Sylvia Plath poetry
  • The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  • She Stoops to Conquer - Oliver Goldsmith or An Ideal Husband – Oscar Wilde
  • On Chesil Beach – Ian McEwan

 

Students are also encouraged to read widely, particularly within the Gothic genre to develop a wider appreciation of the genre.

 

 

NEA (Non-examined assessment - formerly coursework)

Students complete two pieces of essay based coursework: one based on the poetry of Sylvia Plath and the other on a comparison between two texts. It is worth 20% of the total A Level grade.

 

 

What students can do to enhance their A Level achievement:

  • Follow us on Twitter @gsasixthformlit - Our twitter feed is updated regularly with links to wider reading and relevant literary resources.
  • Re-read set exam texts and maintain comprehensive notes in clearly marked folders, in order to facilitate easier revision.
  • Read a range of Gothic texts for example Dracula, Frankenstein, The Castle of Otranto, Northanger Abbey to develop a detailed understanding of genre conventions.

 

 

Study Guides

Various online and paper study guides are available for the texts we study. We find York Notes particularly useful. Links to relevant online resources can be found on the sixth form English intranet pages here: https://sites.google.com/george-spencer.notts.sch.uk/english/a-level-literature

 

 

Where could it lead?

English Literature compliments a wide range of courses and careers.

Courses and careers it can lead to most specifically:

  • Degrees in English Literature
  • Degrees and careers in journalism and creative writing
  • Careers in advertising, academic research, publishing, teaching, law

 

English Language

We study AQA GCSE English Language. The specification can be found here.

 

For English Language, students sit two final exam papers:

  • Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing - 1 hour 45 minutes – worth 50%
    • For Section A, students read and answer questions on one piece of literary fiction.
    • For Section B, students produce a piece of descriptive or narrative writing.
  • Paper 2: Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives - 1 hour 45 minutes – worth 50%
    • For Section A, students read, compare and answer questions on one nineteenth century non-fiction text and one modern non-fiction text.

    • For Section B, students produce a piece of non-fiction writing to explain, instruct, advise, argue or persuade in the form of a letter, article, text for a leaflet, text of a speech or an essay.

 

All texts in the examination will be unseen.

 

Students will read and analyse a range of fiction and non-fiction texts in preparation for their final exams. All resources and practice exam style tasks can be accessed by students via the English Intranet: https://sites.google.com/george-spencer.notts.sch.uk/english

 

 

English Literature

We study AQA GCSE English Literature. The specification can be found here.

 

Students study the following texts for English Literature:

  • Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth – William Shakespeare
  • An Inspector Calls – J. B. Priestley
  • A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
  • Anthology Poetry – Love and Relationships
  • A range of unseen poetry

 

 

Study Guides

We recommend the CGP series of study guides for both English Language and English Literature. These are available to purchase from school at key points in the school year; letters will be sent out about how to purchases these via Squid. They are also available on Amazon and from other suppliers.

  • CGP New English Language AQA Workbook ENAW41
  • CGP New Spelling, Punctuation & Grammar Complete Study and Practice EGS42
  • CGP New English Literature AQA Unseen Poetry Study and Exam Practice EUAR42
  • CGP GCSE English Text Guide 'A Christmas Carol' ETCC41
  • CGP GCSE English Text Guide 'An Inspector Calls' ET144
  • CGP GCSE English Text Guide 'Romeo and Juliet' ETR44
  • CGP GCSE English Text Guide 'Macbeth' ETM43
  • CGP GCSE English Literature AQA Poetry Guide – Love and Relationships Anthology RHR43

The course we follow is AQA A Level English Language 7702. Students' learning is based around the core language levels: lexis, grammar, discourse, phonology, pragmatics and graphology. The linguistic terminology and concepts these introduce are then applied to a range of texts across a variety of contexts. It is imperative that students revise this new terminology regularly in order to build up a strong linguistic vocabulary.

Students will explore the following areas of language study:

  • Language and Gender
  • Language and Occupation
  • Language and Social Groups
  • Accent and Dialect
  • Language Change
  • Child Language Development

 

 

NEA (Non-examined assessment - formerly coursework)

The NEA comprises a portfolio of: a language investigation, a piece of original writing, an annotated style model and a commentary on this piece of writing. It is worth 20% of the total A Level grade.

 

The language investigation will focus an area of linguistic interest that students select themselves. Previous work has included analysis of political speeches, language change over time, children's writing, gender differences in conversation and online communications.

 

For the original writing piece, students will be introduced to different genres and encouraged to select their favourite to emulate in their own writing. Students will analyse existing style models of their chosen genre and will have to adopt similar linguistic features and analyse the impact they are intended to have on their audience.

 

 

What students can do to enhance their A Level achievement:

  • Follow us @GSAEngLang Twitter - Our twitter feed is updated regularly with links to wider reading and relevant current affairs.
  • Read language based opinion articles in the news regularly.
  • Revise and make revision notes on new ideas and terminology regularly to minimise stress at the end of the course.
  • Keep a scrapbook of examples of interesting uses of language and consider how the linguistic methods can be applied to them.
  • Visit the A Level English Language intranet pages regularly to access relevant resources for classwork and revision: https://sites.google.com/george-spencer.notts.sch.uk/english/a-level-language

 

Specification Link: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/as-and-a-level/english-language-7701-7702

 

 

Suggested wider reading and study guides:

  • Giovanelli, M et. al, English Language A/AS Level for AQA Student Book (2015) Cambridge University Press
  • Crystal, D. (2003) (2nd edn) The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the English Language, Cambridge University Press
  • Crystal, D. (2002) The English Language, Penguin
  • Pinker, S. (2003) The Language Instinct, Penguin
  • Gardiner, A. English Language: AS & A2 Study Guide
  • (Forsyth, M. (2011) The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll through the Hidden Connections of the English Language, Icon Books)
  • Carter, R. et al. (2001) Working with Texts (2nd edition), Routledge

 

 

Where could it lead?

English Language compliments a wide range of courses and careers.

 

Courses and careers it can lead to most specifically:

  • Degrees in English Language or Linguistics
  • Degrees and careers in journalism and creative writing
  • Careers in advertising, academic research, publishing, public relations, teaching

For English Literature, students will study A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and poetry from the examination anthology. For English Language, students will be developing skills in the following areas: 

  • Writing imaginatively – narrative and descriptive
  • Responding to fiction and literary non-fiction extracts
  • Producing written texts to a specified audience, purpose and form in which they give their own perspective on that theme, as a response to non-fiction texts such as articles, letters and blogs
  • Speaking and Listening

 

 Students will sit mock examinations throughout the year to assess their understanding and progress. We follow the AQA syllabus for both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. Details can be found by following the links below.

 

 

Course Details