“Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts.”
Mrs Meredith – email@example.com
EXAMINING BOARD & QUALIFICATION
OCR – A LEVEL
Please see current prospectus for further information
WHY STUDY THIS SUBJECT?
If you enjoyed English at GCSE and want to take your study further, then this is the course for you. This broad course takes a ‘back to basics’ look at language and applies those skills to the study of literature. You will learn a lot about how writers create meaning and have a chance to create some pieces of your own in the creative writing elements of the course.
Unlike its full course equivalents, this course focuses on a broad range of skills, allowing you to develop your skills as both a reader and writer; you will explore both the literary and linguistics elements of spoken and written texts and then apply this knowledge to your own creative writing.
WHAT SKILLS WILL I DEVELOP?
You will read widely and critically, covering a wide variety of texts, and building your skills of analysis through discussion in class and written essays.
You will learn a variety of literary and linguistics terminology to apply to your reading of both fiction and non-fiction, furthering your understanding of how language creates meaning in a range of different textual settings.
You will consider the contexts in which texts are written and received, using this knowledge to inform your interpretations, and developing your ability to compare and contrast the styles, methods and intentions of different writers.
Literacy is fundamental to this course, and you will learn how to use language more effectively in order to shape your reader’s response, both in analytical essays and in your own original writing.
WHAT WILL I STUDY?
A combination of fiction and non-fiction, modern and traditional texts will be studied, and you will explore them from both a literary and a linguistics perspective; for example:
- How is dialogue used in A Streetcar Named Desire?
- How is setting used in The Great Gatsby?
- In what ways does Ian McEwan use suspense in Atonement?
You will explore a range of non-fiction and real life, spoken texts to consider how they are designed and crafted and you will study a prose novel, poetry and a play, exploring them analytically and creatively.
The emphasis of this course is on ‘The Reader as Writer and The Writer as Reader’ and, having studied your set texts, you will then have the opportunity to create your own original writing, both non-fiction and creative writing.
HOW WILL I BE ASSESSED?
Component 1: Exploring and comparing non-fiction and spoken texts (1 hour) = 16%
The exam board provides an anthology of texts for this part of the course.
Component 2: The stylistic and dramatic analysis of poetry and plays (2 hours) = 32%
Texts range from Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire to poetry by Carol Ann Duffy
Component 3: Analysis of narrative in a modern novel followed by an original creative writing task plus commentary (2 hours) = 32%
Texts range from Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby to Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake to Ian McEwan’s Atonement.
Non-Exam Assessment: Comparison of two non-fiction texts plus a piece of original non-fiction writing = 20%
Students this year are currently comparing We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
WHAT ARE MY POST-18 OPTIONS?
Many universities will value this A level and the careers it will help you into are widely varied. This course will help you to develop your spoken and written communication, an essential skill for any job! It pairs well with other arts courses (essay-based subjects) or with the social sciences too.
WHAT EXTRA-CURRICULAR OPPORTUNITIES ARE THERE?
The English Department runs many trips throughout the year, including to the British Library and to local and national theatres.
Where possible, there are also opportunities to work with local writers, developing your creative writing and to hear local authors speak about their craft.
Trips to talks and lectures specific to the subject may also be part of the course.