English

Blenheim English Department aims to provide a curriculum that enables students to become:

  • Successful learners  who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve
  • Confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives
  • Responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society.

Students are encouraged to enjoy their English studies by a team of staff who provide lively, stimulating and interactive lessons to promote:-

  • Competence
  • Creativity
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Critical Understanding

And develop a range of skills focusing on:-

  • Speaking and listening
  • Reading for meaning
  • Writing for composition and technical accuracy

English teachers at Blenheim believe that English is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world, and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects. In studying English, teachers promote the development of skills in speaking; listening, reading and writing that students will need to participate in society and employment. Students learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.

We also believe that Literature in English is rich and influential. It reflects the experiences of people from many countries and times and contributes to our sense of cultural identity. We encourage students to learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts, gaining access to the pleasure and world of knowledge that reading offers.

Studying the patterns, structures, origins and conventions of English helps students understand how language works. Through the application of this understanding, students can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers.

We aim to develop such skills through the provision of a progressive curriculum that is engaging, stimulating and builds on these skills cumulatively through planned modules that enable students to achieve of their best.
 

Facilities

  • The Department is centrally located in its own suite of rooms
  • Each room is fitted with an interactive white board, networked computer and projector
  • The department has its own team room with networked computers and a printer
  • There is a `follow you` photocopier/printer located centrally in the English corridor linked to the network
  • The department has a shared area on the computer network where schemes of work and electronic resources are stored.
  • The department has a range of text and media resources
  • The department has use of a well-resourced Library where students have access to the Star Reader programme to promote reading
  • The department has access to computer rooms and a set of lap tops for use in lessons

A level English Literature

Course Outline

The two year course focuses on the study of literature from both the past and the present, covering a range of poetry, prose and drama.  It encourages the student to become an informed and independent reader of both prepared and unprepared texts, responding to them critically. The course is ideal for anyone who enjoys critically engaging with texts and may lead to a variety of University courses including English Literature. English Literature A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood. Studying texts within a shared context enables students to investigate and connect them, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives. English Literature A privileges the process of making autonomous meaning, encouraging students to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal responses.

Unit 1: Reading for meaning - Study of three texts linking to the theme ‘Love through the Ages’. One poetry, one prose and one Shakespeare.

Unit 2: Texts in shared Context – WW1 and its aftermath. Study of three texts one prose, one poetry and one drama.

Unit 3: Non-exam assessment: Independent critical study: text across time. 

Link to course specification

Assessment 

 Unit 1 – 3hr exam – Open book only for section C (worth 40% of total A level)

 Unit 2– 2hr 30 minutes open book exam (worth 40% of total A level)

 Unit 3 – NEA (teacher assessment and moderation by AQA) 2500 Independent Critical Study (worth 20% of total A level)

Enrichment Opportunities

Students are encouraged to participate in trips to the theatre, study days at universities and a reading group to support independent learning and reading for their wider reading ad study of literature beyond course set texts.

Progression

English Literature is an important facilitating subject which opens the door to many subjects at university level and career opportunities. It is well-respected as a course which develops skills in arguing a case, developing independent thinking and preparing students for becoming sophisticated communicators. 

A level English Literature and Language

Course Details

The two year course focuses on the study of literature and linguistics from both the past and the present, covering a range of poetry, prose and drama.  It encourages the student to become an informed and independent reader and writer of both prepared and unprepared texts, responding to them critically and creatively. The course is ideal for anyone who enjoys critically and imaginatively engaging with texts and may lead to a variety of University courses. Studying texts across different genres and developing language analysis leads to the development of written responses which can be an imaginative, creative and critical.
Link to course specification

Assessment

 Unit 1 – 3hr exam – Open book only for section C (worth 40% of total A level)

 Unit 2– 2hr 30 minutes open book exam (worth 40% of total A level)

 Unit 3 – Non examined assessment - 2500 word independent critical study (worth 20% of total A level)

Enrichment opportunities

This could take the form of reading, guided research, collecting data, analysing texts using specific linguistic methods or composing original pieces to prepare for coursework. Trips will be offered to university lectures and the theatre when suitable opportunity arises. Students should expect to work independently and read widely around the topics they are studying. To support wider reading, there is a KS5 reading group after school.

Student quotes

“I enjoyed the teaching and variety of the course as it was both creative and thought provoking!”

“My A level in Literature and Language inspired me to choose Language and Philosophy as my degree and I have been offered a place at Cardiff University”

Progression

The reading, research, essay writing and analytical skills developed through the Literature and Language A level support a wide range of university courses. English is good for any job that involves communication, writing and/or literary knowledge. These include: advertising, marketing, writing and journalism, law, consultancy, business, teaching, performing arts, academia, government, linguistics, foreign languages, media and design. Careers in the sciences, engineering, technology and maths also need more English than you think. Writing proposals, academic papers & articles and communicating with others is key to getting funding for projects and reaching people with your work.