Studying English Literature at A Level builds on the skills developed at Key Stage 4. At the heart of the teaching is an emphasis on reading texts within a shared context, in that no text exists in isolation, but is the product of the time in which it was produced. Hence, both classic and contemporary literature is enjoyed throughout the course. This equips students with the knowledge and skills needed for the examinations, but also opens up a rich, challenging and coherent approach to analysing texts which provides the basis for further study at a higher level.
An A Level in English Literature is important for an array of reasons. Not only does it develop critical evaluation and analytical skills, it also fosters communication and debate – key disciplines which are valued and encouraged across the work place in today’s society. It complements other humanities subjects such as History, Theology and Modern Foreign Languages, but it is also viewed as a valuable appendage to scientific subjects because of its focus on analysis, critique and communication.
An A Level in English Literature is seen as a respected academic discipline. To this end a student should have obtained a very good GCSE grade in the subject in order to be equipped to engage with the advanced subject content. A love of reading is essential; enjoyment of discussion, debating and clarity of written expression are also mandatory in order to be able to access the curriculum - both inside and outside - of the classroom.
This is a highly stimulating but also enormously enjoyable course. Moreover, an A Level in English Literature opens doors to careers such as Law, Journalism, Advertising, Business, Teaching, and Publishing, as well as being considered a valuable asset in the Medical world.
‘The man who does not read books has no advantage over the man that cannot read them.’