English Literature

I love English because it’s the study of what makes us human. Reading a book is one of the most wonderful things a person can do. You can travel back in time, you can fly to the moon, you can see the universe in letters on paper. And when you sit and study these ideas, these things that people have dreamed up – you can see a person behind it. You can see their hopes, their dreams – and you get to share in them.

Mr Smith (Head of English)

English Literature is a highly academic course designed to enrich the literary appreciation and cultural awareness of all students. Students are taught in seminar-style classes, with lessons utilising a variety of different strategies building on the independent reading and research completed outside of the lesson. Across the challenging content, students develop their presentation and delivery, their critical understanding and evaluative skills alongside their clarity and precision in writing.

Students will read across various time periods, styles of writing and genres, from the older traditions of English literature to twenty-first century texts. The work produced ranges from detailed close analysis of the micro-elements of poetry and drama to comparing different novels – exploring the intersections of time periods, geography, class and gender. The course teaches students the skills to read well, to be critical, to form strict academic arguments and to be articulate: all of which are extremely important for university study.

Exam Board: Edexcel

Entry Requirements: Eight or more GCSEs at grades 9-4, including a minimum grade 6 in English Language and Literature.

Skills Gained

  • Appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage.
  • Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using academic English.
  • Acquire and use a wide analytical and critical vocabulary, including grammatical terminology, and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.
  • Develop research skills (whether linking to historical time periods or different critical ideas/theories)
  • Understanding of cultural trends and themes across literature from the last 500 years in English

Supporting Trips

  • Globe Theatre
  • British Library

Potential Careers

  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations
  • Education
  • Humanities at University