According to the French writer and filmmaker, Jean Cocteau, “A poet is a liar who always tells the truth.” In an age where the online spread of information has created so much uncertainty and ‘fake news’, the moral and human truths explored in English Literature are more vital and relevant than ever.
At Key Stage 5, we offer English Literature AQA A level, (Specification B). The course focuses upon genre, meaning all texts in Paper 1 are explored for aspects of tragedy and all texts in Paper 2 are studied for elements of crime. There are also two pieces of work required for the NEA (non-examined assessment, or coursework) where pupils write critical essays in response to their chosen prose text and poet respectively, through a critical lens, via AQA’s Critical Anthology. For this, wider reading and investigation are essential so that students can develop their reading of their chosen texts and consider them in new ways. Students study Shakespeare’s King Lear, Miller’s Death of a Salesman and a selection of Keats from AQA’s Tragedy anthology for Paper 1 and McEwan’s Atonement, Christie’s ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and poems by Crabbe, Browning and Wilde via AQA’s crime anthology, for Paper 2. Wherever possible, we exploit our connections with the academic staff at the University of Birmingham and the RSC to expand and enrich our students’ understanding and appreciation of their set texts.
English is a very popular subject with our students, proven by the exceptional uptake for A level English literature at UoB School.
Ms S Astley
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