Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

English

Head of Department: Mr David O'Reilly

Students who enjoy studying English at GCSE can choose from two different A Levels. English Literature develops and deepens students' understanding of novels, poetry and plays, in the contexts of their creation, while English Language invites students to deconstruct the mechanics of our langauge and its use and evolution.

English Language A Level

If you are interested in the mechanics of language and how language works on a variety of different levels in our lives then this is the A level for you. It opens doors to a wide range of careers, some of which are: journalism, marketing, PR and the wider media industries. It requires an analytical approach to reading and writing and a passion for analysing grammar and words;

English Language is a very different study at A Level than GCSE: here the emphasis is on methods of exploring spoken and written language in use through the study of:

  • how purpose, audience and context impact upon language production and reception;
  • linguistic concepts (lexis, grammar, phonetics/phonology, pragmatics, discourse and graphology) as analytical tools;
  • methods of exploring, categorising and grouping spoken and written language;
  • how spoken and written texts reproduce ideas about cultural values and assumptions, focusing on three topic areas – Language and Gender, Language and Power, Language and Technology.

Students will develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise through the study of:

  • register and style;
  • the characteristics of genres and sub-genres;
  • the purposes and skills of planning, drafting and redrafting;
  • the skills associated with analysing a reviewing the writing process and the reception of their own texts.

We follow the AQA (B) specification. Assessment is through a combination of coursework and examination.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: subject specific study days delivered by leading academics in the field of English Language.

For more information, including admission criteria, see the Sixth Form Options booklet.

English Literature A Level

English Literature is an enriching A level that enhances and deepens students' engagements with texts and the world in which they were written. It enables students to question texts in an more analytical manner and develops students' ability to become critical readers.

Literature students explore and analyse the written word and are encouraged to:

  • read widely and independently all set texts and others that they have selected for themselves;  
  • engage creatively with a substantial body of texts and ways of responding to them;
  • develop and effectively apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in speech and writing;
  • explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others' interpretations of them;
  • deepen their understanding of the changing traditions of literature in English;
  • develop creative and informed responses to literary texts, using appropriate terminology and concepts, and coherent, accurate written expression.

We follow the OCR specification. Assessment is through a combination of coursework and examination

Extra-curricular opportunities include: subject-specific study days delivered by leading academics in the field of English Literature.

For more information, including admission criteria, see the Sixth Form Options booklet.

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