We teach two English A Levels at Poole High School: English Literature and a combined English Language & Literature course, both of which are regarded as facilitating subjects at Russell Group Universities.
Both courses encourage students to read a range of texts and to get to grips with a variety of linguistic and literary critical theories. Independent study and research is the key and a good attitude and determination to do well will help support students through some challenging subject matter.
Students will study two Prose texts – at least one of which will be pre-1900 – from an umbrella theme. Themes include: Science and Society; the Supernatural; and Crime and Detection. This year’s texts have been drawn from the Science and Society section and include a comparison of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Students will be required to explore attitudes and values, genre features and conventions as well as exploring writer’s use of language, form and structure. Poetry is also studied as a separate module and includes poems drawn from a particular period or named poet from a designated literary period, such as Metaphysical or Romantic poetry; further Poetry studies include a selection of post-2000 poetry, including an Unseen element.
Students will develop their awareness of critical theory through a study of Tragedy or Comedy. Their study will include a detailed exploration of a Shakespeare Play as well as the critical analysis of a modern play. Ample time will be given for revision and development of studies as well as for the completion of their coursework unit which involves a comparison between two literary texts of their choice.
There are three exams: one each in Poetry, Prose and Drama.
Future Opportunities and Careers
English is a highly regarded subject and opens up a variety of careers including: journalism, marketing, public relations, human resources and teaching. It pairs well with a variety of other subjects from all disciplines.