English Literature (A Level)

Entry Requirements: Grade 6 and above in English Literature and Language GCSEs

Course Overview

The course is split into three components: 

  1. Drama and Poetry Pre 1900 (40% of A level): for this component, students study one Shakespeare play (currently Hamlet) and two other pre 1900 drama and poetry texts (currently Rossetti’s selected poems alongside Ibsen’s A Doll’s House)
  2. Comparative and Contextual Study (40% of A level): our current choice of topic is Immigrant Experience literature; for this, we study Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Monica Ali’s Brick Lane for the comparative task, and a range of Immigrant Experience literature from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries for the close reading task.
  3. Non Exam Assessment (coursework – 20% of A level): for this component, students undertake a close reading essay of 1,000 words (currently Carol Ann Duffy, The World’s Wife) and a comparative essay of 2,000 words (currently Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry).

Students are encouraged to read widely around their course texts. To support this, students are set an independent reading task during their study of Immigrant Experience literature; they can select an Immigrant Experience text of their choice from a suggested reading list to read and deliver a short presentation to the class. 

By the end of the course, students have gained a fluent academic writing register, as well as the ability to analyse, compare, evaluate and formulate cogent arguments in response to a range of challenging literary texts. 


Homework /Independent Study Policy

  • 1 essay per week (alternate weeks from Teacher A and Teacher B) as written into schemes. 
  • Directed Time: independent study tasks will be set every week, which you will record on your Independent Study Tracker. This will include ‘flipped learning’ tasks such as primary and secondary reading in preparation for lessons, and knowledge acquisition tasks to help you to consolidate and practise learning from lesson work and KOs, e.g. studying sets for a topic on Quizlet. 


Enrichment: Every year, English A level groups participate in a range of enrichment trips and events including theatre trips, workshops, university visits, and lectures. The lecture series hosted by Haggerston invites university academics to visit the school and deliver a talk to our students on the texts they are studying. As well as giving our students a taste of English literature at undergraduate level, it also provides an opportunity for our students to meet with English A level students from other Hackney sixth forms. Under the present circumstances, our lecture series has currently moved online. 

By | 2021-09-29T10:18:01+00:00 March 3rd, 2021|