Course Content: AQA English Literature B 7716/7717
Candidates would normally be expected to have successfully completed a GCSE in English Literature at grade 6. This course is taught over two years leading to a terminal examination for A2. Candidates will not normally be entered for AS external examination and accreditation.
Year 1 Course Content
Tragedy (40% of A Level)
Students study set texts all linked by tragedy and theories around this:
- ‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller
- ‘Othello’ by William Shakespeare
- ‘Tess’ by Thomas Hardy
At the end of this year we begin to prepare the NEA coursework element by exploring a range of critical theories about literature in the AQA Critical Anthology. Students select two texts to read over the summer, each one linked to a specific critical school.
Students are also set summer reading of crime fiction.
Year 2 Course Content
Non Examined Assessment (coursework) 20% of A Level
The Non Examined Assessment (NEA) is drafted, improved and submitted. This is two studies of 1,500 words. Each study is on a different critical school and centres on an approved text.
Crime (40% of A Level)
Students study set texts all linked by crime and theories around this:
- ‘Hamlet’ by William Shakespeare
- ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan
- A selection of poetry by Crabbe, Browning and Wilde
The final examination will also include analysis of a previously unseen crime fiction text.
Assessment in A Level English Literature
We expect students to complete the course at A2. They will sit two exams.
Paper One – Aspects of tragedy
Worth 40% of A Level
2 hours and 30 minutes
75 marks closed book (no set texts in the exam room)
There are three sections: work on an extract from Shakespeare; a separate Shakespeare essay question; a question linking two texts. Each answer is worth 25 marks.
Paper Two – Crime
Worth 40% of A Level
75 marks open book (set texts in the exam room)
There are three sections: analysis of a piece of writing which the student hasn’t seen before; an essay question on one text; an essay question which links two texts. Each answer is worth 25 marks.
Setting in A Level English Language and Literature
As this is an Option Block, there is no setting for A Level English Literature nor English Langauge and all students at all levels work within the same groups. This is supported through carefully differentiated delivery of the curriculum.
Homework is set in line with the School Homework Policy.
At A Level English Literature the intended length of homework should normally be 5 hours per week.
- Homework typically includes practice exam questions, consolidation homework, creative tasks, wider reading around set texts/genres and flipped learning work.
- In addition, there is a high level of expectation that students continue to read widely for pleasure, use the school Theatre Club to develop their understanding of drama, explore journals and critics in the School Library and take part in lectures/visits arranged during the year.
Supporting your son or daughter in A Level English Literature
- Encourage discussion about the course and the materials and texts they are reading
- Talk about their topics in class, new words or new uses of existing ones, language controversies
- Support your son/daughter to take part in extra activities such as lectures, visits and trips
- Encourage wider reading around the subject
- Make sure that your son/daughter equipment for lessons – A4 files and paper plus pens, notes and filing materials
- Help them to spot where they need more help and encourage them to participate fully
Revision and Support Materials
Schoolchildren sat English GCSE exam only to find they’d spent a year being taught the WRONG poems
- Students spent part of academic year studying wrong part of syllabus
- Faced with a comparison exercise, pupils realised they hadn't been taught the relevant texts
- The teacher responsible sent an email to parents issuing an apology
By Alex Ballard
Published: 15:51 GMT, 9 July 2014 | Updated: 15:55 GMT, 9 July 2014
Schoolchildren were left dumbfounded in a GCSE English exam after discovering they had spent the past year studying parts of the wrong syllabus.
The error, which was described as ‘inexcusable’ by parents, meant that the students came to one section of the exam and had no knowledge of the texts included.
Pupils at Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form College in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, sat the AQA English Literature exam in May.
Mix-up: Pupils at Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form College in Brighton and Hove were directed to study the wrong texts for a GCSE exam
During the assessment they were instructed to compare an unseen poem to three verses they knew - after studying them in lessons.
But instead, they were faced with four never-before seen poems.
Parents received an apologetic email from the teacher of the class admitting to the fault, but they insist the error is unacceptable.
Headteacher Janet Felkin insisted efforts will be taken to make sure the error doesn't happen again.
She said: 'We went immediately to the exam board who are taking their own steps.
'Mistakes do happen but we are taking action and it won’t happen again.'
A spokeswoman for the assessment board AQA said: 'We are currently working with Blatchington Mill School to look into this matter.
'In most circumstances where students have studied the wrong text by mistake, we work to find the most appropriate solution so that they are not disadvantaged.'
AQA added that there are a number of allowances which can be made under what is known as ‘special considerations’ - but at this stage it is too early to say what those could be.
However, a guide to the special consideration process by the Joint Council for Qualifications states:
'Centres are advised that it is their responsibility to ensure the correct texts are taught.
Under pressure: Blatchington Mill School pupils sitting a GCSE exam, like these pupils here, had learned the wrong texts (file picture)
'Where this has not happened there can be no guarantee that a candidate will receive ‘special consideration’.
'Incidences such as these will be investigated by the official awarding body on a case-by-case basis.'
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