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.


·      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 regular reading lessons

·      The department has access to computer rooms and makes regular use of Ipads throughout lessons.

School Trips

A number of school visits are arranged throughout the course of the year for all key stages. Theatre trips, and in house performances are some of the exciting opportunities.

Useful Links






AS and A level English Literature

Course Outline

A-Level English Literature introduces students to a wide range of texts from across 
the literary canon. The curriculum fosters a love of reading and provides them with 
the skills to apply critical readings as well as historical and cultural contexts to a 
range of different genres of texts. Pupils will be expected to show a willingness to 
read independently and engage in wider reading. Lessons include debate and discussions and students are encouraged to voice their ideas and opinions. The course is ideal for anyone who enjoys critically and imaginatively engaging with texts.

AS English Literature

At AS level students study a range of texts exploring the theme of love through the ages. This is divided into two exams: Love Through the Ages: Shakespeare and Poetry which comprises Shakespeare’s Othello and an Anthology of pre-1900 love poetry from the Renaissance to the Victorian period. The second exam focuses onLove Through the Ages: Prose in which students will need to answer one compulsory question on an unseen extract and for their second question they will write a comparative essay on Jane Eyre and Rebecca.

A English Literature

A level students take two exams. Pupils revisit the content from Year 12 for their first exam Love Through the Ages: Shakespeare’s Othello, pre-1900 poetry and Rebecca. In addition pupils study and practice skills for an unseen poetry comparison.  In their second exam students explore a range ofLiterature from 1945 to the present day for which they study Feminine Gospels, a collection of poetry by Carol Ann Duffy; Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. Pupils will also need to respond to an unseen extract from the contemporary period. At the beginning of Year 13 students write their coursework: an independent study and comparison of two literary texts on a topic of their choosing.

Link to course specification

The skills students develop:

The specification will enable candidates to:

·       Express themselves powerfully and imaginatively;

·       Engage critically with a range of texts;

·       Create and write sophisticated arguments in response to texts;

·       Apply multiple interpretations and critical readings to texts;

·       Develop and apply contextual references to their arguments;

·       Use reading skills to develop their written work;

·       Explore a wide range plays, poetry and prose across time


Students are assessed through external linear assessment.  The examinations will be in the summer term of Year 12 for AS and Year 13 for A2.

Year 13 students are also assessed through one piece of independent coursework.

 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.

The team run a number of additional revision sessions for students to come and develop their English skills in a more informal context.  


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


 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”


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.