This is a two year linear course (AQA) designed to appeal to students who enjoy the study of both language and literature and are keen to develop their skills of close analysis of a range of texts - both literary and non-literary.
Paper 1: Telling Stories
This paper is all about how we tell stories. You will study an anthology filled with a range of non-fiction and non-literary texts all about the city of Paris. Through the anthology you will explore the ways in which the writers express their ideas about place through different contexts and genres.
You will also study the dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale by Maragaret Atwood and explore how she brings an imagned and disturbing world to life through a distinct narrative voice and structure; as well as analysing how character and place is interconnected.
By studying the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy, you will explore how relationships, time, memory, space and place are all represented and captured through a distinctive poetic voice.
Paper 2: Exploring Conflict
Through the study of Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner, a novel about love, loss, betrayal and changing cultural landscapes, you will develop your understanding of how power and identity are represented by writers by studying the way that Hosseini presents spoken language in his novel.
You will demonstrate your understanding of how conversation works through recreating elements of the novel and evaluating the language choices you make.
You will also explore how tension and conflict is created by a writer through the close analysis of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, delving into the power dynamics of a family facing a clash of cultures.
Independent Investigation: Making Connections
As part of your studies you will produce an independent investigation into how different texts present a similar theme, idea or concept, building on your understanding of the fiction and non-fiction texts you study in your first year. This is a comparative, analytical piece of writing and will allow you to take a more in-depth approach to texts you enjoy.
Methods of Teaching and Learning
The course encourages an active, varied and experimental approach to textual study including group discussions, presentations and independent study. It develops skills of reading, writing and analysing texts. This is a course for those of you who love to read and write, and would like to develop more sophisticated responses to a wide range of texts and genres.
Theatre visits, visiting speakers and workshops are held throughout the course. There is also a residential trip to Paris on offer to support the unit on remembering places.
Method of Assessment
There are two exams based on the study of the set texts. The first exam is on Telling Stories (3 hours) and the second exam is on Exploring Conflict (21/2 hours). The exams are worth 80% of the qualification and each exam is equally weighted. The coursework is worth 20% of the qualification.
You will have access to a range of resources to support your learning. You will work from booklets, worksheets and textbooks, as well as the set texts. DVDs, computers and other IT facilities also support the teaching and learning for this course.
English Language and Literature combines well with a wide range of other subjects. Through it you are offering evidence of high quality communication skills and an ability to be creative and analytical. These skills are widely transferable and make you marketable for higher education and employment.
You are expected to provide your own copies of the set texts. This should not be a barrier to your decision to choose this course as there is support available for those meeting certain requirements.
There are no specific course charges, but you could expect to spend up to £25 over the two years on the set texts, plus you will want to budget for stationery, equipment and educational visits.
The trip to Paris incurs a higher cost but this will be communicated well in advance.