St Augustine's Catholic College

A Level English Language & Literature

80% of this A Level is exam based, with a mixture of open and closed book conditions. The remaining 20% is made up of an investigative piece of coursework. The course is taught over the full two years and all components are taken/submitted at the end of the two year teaching period. There is an emphasis on both literary and non-literary texts, as well as the study of spoken texts and the composition of re-creative writing.

Exam Paper 1: Telling Stories 40% 3 hours

Section A: Remembered Places

Students study the AQA Anthology: Paris. The anthology includes a wide range of text types with a particular emphasis on non-fiction and non-literary material. In this part of the subject content, students explore speech and other genres. They study a wide range of linguistic and generic features, as well as related issues around questions of representation and viewpoint in texts taken from a range of time periods. Closed book exam.

Section B: Imagined Worlds

In this part of the subject content, students explore the imagined worlds of these texts which are characterised by unusual narratives, narrators and events. Students also consider key aspects of the texts which place them in particular contexts of production and reception. Open book exam.

Students will study one of the following four texts: Frankenstein, Dracula, The Handmaid’s Tale or The Lovely Bones

Section C: Poetic Voices

This part of the subject content is concerned with the nature and function of poetic voice in the telling of events and the presentation of people. Open book exam.Students study poems from one of four poets within the AQA Poetic Voices Anthology:

  • John Donne, Robert Browning, Carol Ann Duffy or Seamus Heaney

Exam Paper 2: Exploring Conflict 40% 2h30m

Section A: Writing about Society

Students study one of four texts: Into the Wild, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: or the Murder at Hill House, The Great Gatsby or The Kite Runner

In this section of the exam, students will use their base texts to produce a ‘re-creative’ piece of writing and to then write a commentary on their original piece. Open book exam.

Section B: Dramatic Encounters

Students study one of four plays: Othello, All My Sons, A Streetcar Named Desire or The Herd

In this part of the subject content, students explore the ways that conflicts are presented, the meanings that can be inferred from the language use and the contextual reasons for these conflicts. As part of their study, students analyse areas relevant to the study of drama and dramatic discourse. Open book exam.

Non-exam Assessment: Making Connections 20%


This part of the subject content focuses on language use in different types of text. It is called 'Making Connections' because it requires students to make active connections between a literary text and some non-literary material. The connections must be based either on a chosen theme or on the idea that particular linguistic strategies and features may occur in the different types of material. This area of the course provides an individualised experience for students, enabling them to demonstrate their ability to initiate and sustain independent enquiry. Texts prescribed for study for the examined units may not be chosen, but further texts by the same authors or from a similar source are acceptable. This investigation amounts to roughly 3000 words of work.