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Sixth Form

English Literature

 The Nature of the Course

The course we offer aims to encourage and extend an enjoyment and appreciation of English Literature based on informed personal response. Its underlying rationale is to allow students to develop an insight into a range of literary texts across the canon, and to enable them to develop a range of key skills, including the ability to produce independent literary judgements and to communicate these clearly and effectively.

Special Features

Our study of literary texts is enhanced, whenever possible, by departmental trips to productions at local and national theatres, and participation in the Literary Societies is to be encouraged too. We also subscribe to the excellent eMag and English Review, which are highly valuable resources for English scholars. A number of further extra-curricular opportunities (such as in-house Public Speaking competitions, national essay-writing competitions, assembly participation and creative writing clubs) are also offered.

Skills Demanded and Developed

This subject will particularly suit students who enjoy reading and discussing literature in an analytical way, have a good command of written English and are prepared to engage whole-heartedly in the ongoing debate about the representation of ideas within our culture. The subject is both intellectually stimulating and enjoyable.

As well as covering the A Level study of English Literature, this course will enable students to further develop key transferable skills which are essential to almost any career or degree choice made at eighteen. Some of these key skills are detailed below, together with examples of how they are developed within the subject:


  • Taking part in group discussions about texts.
  • Making presentations on aspects of texts, e.g. staging a scene from Shakespeare.
  • Presenting articulate and well-illustrated arguments on complex subjects.

Improving own learning and performance

  • Producing coursework essays based on reading a range of texts over a period of time.
  • Meet your coursework or reading targets.

    Working with others to:

  • plan and present a group performance of a scene from a play;
  • plan a group presentation based on texts studied.

Careers and Higher Education Implications

English both at A Level (where it is second only to Mathematics) and degree level is an extremely popular subject nationally. This is because it is widely recognised that the study of literature involves careful analysis and builds intellectual competence. English Literature combines well with most other A Level subjects, but particularly essay-based subjects.

Strong A-Level Combinations

Possible Degree Courses, Careers

History English 
Geography History 
Philosophy and Ethics Law
Politics PPE
Psychology Psychology
All Modern Foreign Languages Language Degrees
Latin Education
Classical Civilisation  
Performance Studies   



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