English A Levels at Hellesdon: Language, Literature or Creative?

The course leaflets available from the menu will give you an indication of the match between these subjects and careers. As a rule of thumb you might consider taking both Language and Literature if you wish to have a career in "writing" or "speaking" professions, such as teaching, the Law, or journalism. Language is not easier than Literature, but it overlaps with many disciplines with wider career paths than the traditionally academic Literature. If you want to work in journalism, advertising or become a freelance writer, or just want to hone your writing skills, we suggest you also enrol for Creative Writing. Note that for all three subjects you must enjoy reading.

English Literature (OCR)

The highly respected OCR course is being introduced this year for the first time, and provides students with an interesting and varied selection of classical and modern texts. The AS modules focus on novels and poetry from 1800-1945 for the exam, while the coursework compares texts from after 1900, including one post-1990.

The A2 exam concentrates on Shakespeare and pre-1800 Poetry and Drama, while the coursework, "Texts in Time", is an extended study of literary texts across genres. This year A2 will focus on war literature for the coursework essay, while exam texts include Blake, Songs of Innocence and Experience, Chaucer, The Wife of Bath's Prologue and Tale, and Ford, 'Tis Pity She's a Whore.

English Literature (Edexcel)

Edexcel English Literature will continue to be taught to present AS students until the examination. Information and resources are available from the menu link.

English Language (Edexcel)

AS Language coursework as taught at Hellesdon consists of two creative pieces—a choice from a story based on an anecdote, a journalistic interview, and from a dramatic monologue or a speech about a language topic—together with
two commentaries.

At A2 you produce a linguistic investigation into an area of language of your choosing, plus a stylistic imitation of a newspaper or magazine article, where you write about your topic for a target audience.

The exam at AS consists of a variety of questions testing your expertise in Linguistics, while at A2 you use historical and global knowledge of English to analyse and compare texts, while the second part tests knowledge of Child Language Acquision.

Read the Specifications available from the menu for more details.

Full access to the complete online Oxford English Dictionary is granted to students on this course.

Creative Writing (AQA)

Following a very successful first year, this innovative course, open to students of other departments as Enrichment, will continue as a discipline taught in workshops outside the normal timetable.

Its AS and A2 qualifications feed naturally into Creative Writing courses at university, and it is hoped this year to have closer tie-ups with Higher Education providers, as well as inviting published writers to act as guest workshop coordinators.

Students are issued with notebooks allowing them to write on a daily basis, building up to a 3,000 word portfolio at AS (plus a 1,500 word commentary), covering two different forms of writing, and a 4,000 word portfolio at A2 (with a 2,000 word commentary). The exam, which counts as 40% of the qualification, features various writing challenges.

There is a dedicated site for our writers' group: Minutemen 350 (see the menu on the left). Once the AS portfolios are "freed" at the end of November they will be published on the site.