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English Language and Literature A-level 2017

You will have the opportunity to study all aspects of English, analysing literary and non-literary texts as well as examples of spoken language. You will be able to write in a variety of different forms, including fiction in the second year.

What do I learn?
You will be following the OCR (EMC) specification.

First year (AS)
Unit 1: Exam –Exploring Language. Anthology of non-fiction spoken and written texts.
• You will have to compare the way meaning is conveyed in two texts from the anthology.
• You will have to write your own non-fiction text based on one of the pieces from the anthology.

Unit 2: Exam – Exploring Literary Texts.
• You will study The Great Gatsby by F.
Scott Fitzgerald and Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake

Second year (A2)
Unit 1: Exam - This will be based on the anthology studied at AS and unseen texts.

Unit 2: Exam –Poetry and Drama: In addition to the poetry text studied at AS you will study Jerusalem by Jez Butterworth .

Unit 3: Exam-Reading as a Writer, Writing as a Reader
• You will have to write analytically on the novel studied at AS.
• You will have to produce a passage of narrative writing and write a commentary on it.

Unit 4: Independent Study (Coursework)
You will write an analytical comparison of two texts, one non-fiction from a list set by the Board and one (fiction or non-fiction) of your own choosing. One must have been written after 2000.
What do I gain?
You will develop the skills necessary for further academic study, such as strong report writing, essay writing and study skills, including presentation skills.

You will also improve the wider skills vital for success in further study or employment, including self-confidence, speaking in front of others, working with others, taking responsibility and managing your time. By the end of the course you will have benefited from individual support, including clear advice about Higher Education and careers.
What do I need?
All A-level students must have six C grades in academic subjects at GCSE, including English and maths, at grade 5 but excluding PE, Dance, IT i.e. subjects with a large practical component.

For this subject you will need GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature at grade 5.
What do I gain?
With 3 A Levels the possibilities are endless. You can progress to higher education to study a variety of different subjects at Degree level. A Levels also offer a high standard of education which many employers require as part of their entry criteria onto training programmes. An A Level in English Language and Literature will allow you access to university to study a broad range of humanities subjects since the analytical and conceptual skills that you will acquire are transferable. English is a subject that is valued by universities.
What else do I need to know?
Formal assessment is through examinations and (in some subjects) through coursework. The examination periods are in May/June. There will be a range of regular assignments, essays and class based assessments to help you develop your study skills for the next educational step. Individual learning targets are set each term and you will receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets.

case study

Chinese student Qi Wang (known as Emma) was living in Australia when she decided that a UK education would help her towards her future career. 
 
Having done her research, Emma realised that the UK education system was more rigorous academically and a better fit for her future ambition of studying maths or statistics at the University of Cambridge. She is now studying the Science A-levels Pathway (Chemistry, Physics, Maths and Further Maths) at Reading College, part of Activate Learning.  
 
Emma found out about Reading College through her agent. She was impressed by the list of universities that previous students had gone to, such as Oxford, Cambridge and UCL, combined with the lively atmosphere and the excellent transport links to London and Heathrow Airport.
 
Emma said: “My teachers are really knowledgeable and helpful, especially my tutor Anna. They are very organised, too. We do lots of mock exams, which is helpful. I ask a lot of extra questions after class and they are always very patient and help me.”
 
“The A-level managers and staff helped me to apply to the UCL summer schools and advised me about how best to write my statements – I got a place! The library staff are also really helpful. I like the quiet study room and spend quite a bit of time there when I am not in lessons.”
 
During her time at Reading College, Emma has also got involved with the Students’ Union and volunteered at open events. She said: “I had the opportunity to talk to lots of different people, which I enjoy. It helps me with my English, as well as learning more about British culture.” 
 
She also won several awards at the A-level Star Awards, including the Further Maths and Physics Awards. Her Physics tutor said: “Emma's thirst for knowledge, her self-motivation to improve and achieve her maximum potential and her work ethics are outstanding. Emma achieved a Silver Award on the AS Physics Olympiad Challenge. Just two marks off a Gold!” Emma also won an award for ‘biggest contribution to college life’.
 
Coming to live and study in England away from her parents has helped Emma become more independent, preparing her for life at university. She lives with a host family who are very friendly. She has learnt to do things like open a bank account and learnt about British culture and everyday life.
 
Emma said: “I would recommend Reading College. Living in an English environment and meeting English people every day is far better than being at a language school. If you want to come abroad to study, an Activate Learning college will give you more opportunities to improve your English.”
 
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