English Language and Literature

Studying the combined English Language and Literature A Level provides the opportunity to develop skills in understanding and manipulating language that are useful across the spectrum of studies both at A Level and beyond.

These transferable skills provide a valuable foundation for wider academic study. Students have the opportunity to engage creatively and independently with a wide range of spoken, written and multimodal texts. This allows considerable freedom in study and the opportunity to create a portfolio of creative responses. Students will also explore contemporary social, historical and cultural issues through the study of a range of contemporary and early texts. 

Why Choose English Language and Literature

A wide range of career and higher education opportunities are available as a result of studying this course

  • It develops higher communication skills and an ability to apply linguistic and literary critical concepts
  • English Language and Literature can be studied separately or as a single subject in higher education or can be combined with a range of other subjects
  • It forms a sound basis for study in any arts-based subject in combination with subjects such as History, Philosophy, Law, Politics or Foreign Languages
  • It leads into further training in areas such as Journalism, Media or Law
  • It leads into careers in Marketing, Public Relations, Copywriting, Speech and Language Therapy, Publishing, Advertising, Editorial Work, Script Writing and many others
  • It can lead directly into employment rather than higher education

Exam Board

Further information on the English Language and Literature A Level can be found on the Edexcel website. 

AS Level

Unit 1 - Exploring Voices in Speech and Writing 
Leading to a two part examination on voices in speech and writing, and voices in literature, using Doyle’s Paddy Clark, Ha Ha Ha.

Unit 2 - Creating Texts 
Leading to coursework written for distinct reading or listening audiences, and a commentary on your work using Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good.

A2 Level

Unit 3 - Varieties in Language and Literature
Leading to a two part examination on unprepared prose and prepared drama or poetry, using Pinter’s Betrayal and Williams’ The Glass Menagerie.

Unit 4 - Presenting the World 
Leading to the creation of two substantial fiction and non-fiction prose creations, and a commentary on both, using Shelley’s Frankenstein and Hosseini’s The Kit.


Unit One - Exploring Voices in Speech and Writing (examination) 

  • 60% of AS Level marks
  • 30% of A2 Level marks

Unit Two - Creating Texts (coursework)

  • 40% of AS Level marks
  • 20% of A2 Level marks

Unit Three - Varieties in Language and Literature (examination)

  • 30% of A2 Level marks

Unit Four - Presenting the World (coursework)

  • 20% of A2 Level marks

Trips, Activities and Extension

The English Department runs a substantial extra-curricular programme incorporating guest speakers, authors, poets, workshops, attending Sixth Form English conferences, theatre visits, debating and public speaking teams, and poetry recitation competitions.

Visiting Authors and Speakers

There are a number of guest speakers who visit the School to present and discuss their work with students. 

Theatre Trips

The Department run a number of trips to Theatre productions which have included; Harold Pinter’s Betrayal and Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

Inter-School Competitions

Students have the opportunity to take part in Inter-School competitions such as Poetry by Heart, Debating and Public Speaking.