English Language & Literature

Contact Teacher: Mr S Collins, Head of English Faculty

Exam Board: AQA


At Bishop Luffa School when you study English you learn about who we are, as a people, as a nation, and as one of the two billion other people on the planet who use English every single day, whether they are in Chichester, Chile, or China. You will study the rich heritage of the great writers who have used English over the last 1,000 years in their poems, plays, and novels: from Chaucer to Charles Dickens; from Shakespeare to Steinbeck. You will dive into the rich, deep worlds of stories, including those written in other languages and translated into English. You will also learn how to understand what people mean when they write or say something, whether fiction or non-fiction. And, most importantly, you will learn how people communicate with each other in different contexts, so that we become creative and imaginative 21st Century communicators ourselves.

English Language and Literature Learning Journey

(to follow)

Why study English Language and Literature?

If you love creative writing and reading, then this is the course for you. English Language and Literature A Level draws on the academic field of Stylistics in order to create an integrated course which brings together literary and non-literary discourses. You will learn how to write in different genres and how to analyse a wide range of texts, from spoken interactions, non-fiction texts to poetry, plays and novels.

Course details

Component One: Telling Stories

This part of the course focuses on how and why stories are told, the ways in which writers and speakers present stories, and how language choices help to shape the representations of different worlds and perspectives. There are three sections:

  • in Remembered Places you will study an anthology of a wide range of text types with a particular emphasis on non-fiction and non-literary material
  • in Imagined Words, you will study one of four fictional texts from: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; Dracula by Bram Stoker; The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood or The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • in Poetic Voices, you will study the works of one of the following: John Donne, Robert Browning, Carol Ann Duffy or Seamus Heaney.

Component Two: Exploring Conflict

This part of the subject content focuses on how language choices help to construct ideas of conflict between people, and between people and their societies. You will develop the skills to adapt and shape the original material (the base text) to respond to different re-creative tasks. You will learn how to write a critical commentary to evaluate their own writing. You will explain their own language choices and analyse their intentions in reshaping the writer’s original material.

In Section A, Writing about Society, you study one of four texts:

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House, by Kate Summerscale; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; or The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

In Section B, Dramatic Encounters, you will study one of:

  • Othello, by William Shakespeare
  • All My Sons by Arthur Miller
  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams or
  • The Herd by Rory Kinnear.

Component 3 – Making Connections

You will conduct an Investigation, which is a non-exam assessment. This provides an individualised experience for students, enabling you to demonstrate your ability to initiate and sustain independent enquiry.

How the course is taught and assessed

We expect you to take an active role in lessons through discussion, presentations and research.

  • Two teachers will deliver different areas of the course.
  • Support booklets are used to guide you through the course and help to make you an independent learner.
  • You will be expected to keep a log of your wider reading throughout the course.
  • You will be provided with opportunities to practise timed essays to develop your exam skills. Marking criteria, model answers and teacher feedback will be used to improve your performance. We aim to enhance your classroom experience with relevant study days/visits as available.

Component 1: written exam: 3 hours, 100 marks, 40% of A-level.
Component 2: written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes, 100 marks, 40% of A-level
Component 3: non-examined assessment: word count: 3,000, 100 marks, 20% of A-level, assessed by teachers, moderated by AQA.

Entry requirements

Grade 6s or above in English and English Literature GCSEs are required to study this subject at A-level.