Sixth Form (A Levels)

Online A Level English Literature


Our online A Level English Literature course is aligned with the A Level English Literature syllabus, and offers an enriching journey through some of the most celebrated works in English literature. Students will engage in deep readings, interpretations, and evaluations of canonical texts, exploring their themes, meanings, and historical contexts. This A Level English Literature online course not only refines your analytical skills but also encourages you to make connections between classical literary themes and contemporary issues.

Furthermore, the course nurtures creativity by incorporating creative writing exercises that allow you to apply the literary techniques studied. As you progress through the A Level English Literature course online, you’ll cultivate a deeper self-understanding and a personal response to the literature at hand.


Homework, Assessment and Reporting

Students enrolled in the online English Literature A Level are expected to complete at least one piece of homework per subject each week. Effective study habits are crucial, and students are encouraged to revise lesson notes to reinforce learning. Adhering to a guiding principle, each student is advised to devote an hour of independent study for each hour of classroom instruction.

Our assessment strategy is meticulously structured, featuring Level 5 internal assessments in June and Level 6 internal mock assessments in November and March. Comprehensive reports follow these evaluations, capturing students’ attainment and effort levels along with insightful comments from Success Coaches and the Head Teacher. These reports are issued at the end of the Autumn and Summer terms for Level 5 and after the mock assessments for Level 6 in the Autumn and Spring terms.

Parental Engagement

Parents are strongly encouraged to take advantage of their family Teams account to maintain ongoing dialogue with teachers. This engagement allows for more nuanced and detailed tracking of student progress than is possible through a traditional annual parent consultation evening.

Our A Level English Literature online course is more than an academic endeavour; it’s an exploration into the depths of literature and self, setting a strong foundation for further studies in English Literature at university level.

Click here to see this year’s Assessment and Reporting schedule

For L6, taking exams in 2024:

Tennessee Williams, ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

Maya Angelou, ‘And Still I Rise’

‘Stories of Ourselves Vol. 1’, published by the Cambridge University Press

Unseen Literature

William Shakespeare, ‘Hamlet’

Shelagh Stephenson, ‘An Experiment with an Air Pump’

Geoffrey Chaucer, ‘The Merchant’s Tale and Prologue’

Toni Morrison, ‘Beloved’

For considerably more information, please click here:

2023-24 L6 English Literature Reading List

The paper contains three questions.

Candidates answer two questions:

Question 1, and either Question 2 or Question 3.

Questions carry equal marks. Each question is based on one passage (or thematically related shorter passages) printed in the question paper.

Texts will be drawn from a range of English language sources such as advertisements, brochures, leaflets, editorials, news stories, articles, reviews, blogs, investigative journalism, letters, podcasts, (auto) biographies, diaries, essays, scripted speech (e.g. a speech by a politician) and narrative/descriptive writing.

Each question is in two parts:

(a)  commentary on the use of language in the passage(s). [15 marks]

(b)  directed writing task based on the passage(s). [10 marks]

In all questions, candidates are required to:

  • identify distinguishing features of the texts, relate them to the function and context of the writing, and organise information in their answers
  • comment on aspects such as vocabulary, figurative language (e.g. use of metaphor and simile), word ordering and sentence structure, formality/informality of tone, and the communication of attitudes, bias or prejudice, structure
  • write for a specific purpose and/or audience using appropriate vocabulary, tone, and style

Candidates are advised to spend approximately 15 minutes reading the whole paper before they begin writing. Dictionaries may not be used.

The paper contains two sections:

Section A and Section B. There are three questions in each section.

  • Candidates answer two questions: one question from Section A and one question from Section B
  • Questions carry equal marks.

Section A: Imaginative writing (i.e. imaginative/descriptive)

  • Candidates choose one out of three questions.
  • Questions require a narrative or descriptive piece of continuous writing of 600–900 words (or two shorter linked pieces of 300–450 words).
  • Candidates are required to show that they can write imaginatively, using language to create deliberate effects, e.g. in conveying a mood or describing a character.

Section B: Writing for an audience (i.e. discursive/argumentative)

  • Candidates choose one out of three questions.

It is the parents’ responsibility to arrange their child’s examinations; our teachers will provide all the support required. Most students will sit their examination papers at a school or college who accept private candidates. Some students sit their examinations at private examination centres.

Suggested Summer 2023 reading:

Tennessee Williams ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ (extension: Tennessee Williams, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire,’ ‘The Glass Menagerie’)

Maya Angelou ‘And Still I Rise,’ Maya Angelou ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings,’ and any research/reading into the Civil Rights movement, the Jim Crow laws

Colson Whitehead ‘Underground Railroad’, and see this National Geographic article: The Underground Railroad

Further reading and ideas:

Arthur Miller ‘Death of A Salesman’

Toni Morrison ‘The Bluest Eye’

Zora Neale Hurston ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’

Alice Walker ‘The Color Purple’

Eber Pettit ‘Sketches in the History of the Underground Railroad’

David G. Smith ‘On the Edge of Freedom’

‘Unseen’ background reading:

Poetry by Owen Sheers, Gillian Clarke, and Imtiaz Dharker as modern poets. Modern fiction to grab the attention: ‘The Animals in That Country,’ Laura Jean McKay; ‘Autumn,’ Ali Smith; ‘Kindred,’ Octavia Butler; ‘Love and other thought experiments,’ Sophie Ward; ‘The Bone Readers,’ Jacob Ross; ‘Children of Time,’ Adrian Tchaikovsky and ‘Piranesi,’ Susanna Clarke.

Texts for study in L5:

1) Tennessee Williams ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’

“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?—I wish I knew… Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can…”

An incredible, moving, inspiring Drama – I cannot wait to read this with you! Recommended edition: Methuen Drama.

2) Maya Angelou ‘And Still I Rise’

The following selection of poems:

Title: First Line:
A Kind of Love, Some Say Is it true the ribs can tell
Country Lover Funky blues
Remembrance Your hands easy
Where We Belong, A Duet In every town and village,
Phenomenal Woman Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
Men When I was young, I used to
Refusal Beloved, / In what other lives or lands
Just For A Time Oh how you used to walk
Junkie Monkey Reel Shoulders sag,
The Lesson I keep on dying again.
California Prodigal The eye follows, the land
My Arkansas There is a deep brooding
Through the Inner City to the Suburbs Secured by sooted windows
Lady Luncheon Club Her counsel was accepted: the times are grave.
Momma Welfare Roll Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
The Singer Will Not Sing A benison given. Unused,
Willie Willie was a man without fame
To Beat the Child Was Bad Enough A young body, light
Woman Work I’ve got the children to tend
One More Round There ain’t no pay beneath the sun
The Traveler Byways and bygone
Kin We were entwined in red rings
The Memory Cotton rows crisscross the world
Still I Rise You may write me down in history
Ain’t That Bad? Dancin’ the funky chicken
Life Doesn’t Frighten Me Shadows on the wall
Bump d’Bump Play me a game like Blind Man’s dance
On Aging When you see me sitting quietly,
In Retrospect Last year changed its seasons
Just Like Job My Lord, My Lord,
Call Letters: Mrs. V.B. Ships? / Sure I’ll sail them.
Thank You, Lord I see You

Where to start with Maya Angelou? Writer, Dancer, Civil Rights activist, multilingual… Her story, realised in seven volumes of autobiographical writing (beginning with ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ above – essential reading) serves as a kind of archetype of the African American struggle. So important a figure was she, that she was asked to recite at the 1993 inauguration of President Bill Clinton. Read on…

3) Colson Whitehead ‘Underground Railroad’

A phenomenal blend of fact: the ‘underground network’ that evolved to help the enslaved in the Southern States make the (dangerous) journey to the more sympathetic Northern States; fantasy: here, the network is imagined, to coruscating effect, as a physical underground railway…

Published by Fleet.



What can students expect to learn in the A Level English Literature online course?

The online A Level English Literature course aims to enhance students’ understanding of classic English literature. The course delves into the in-depth themes, contexts, and attitudes presented in historical texts. Students also learn to relate these themes to modern-day situations and engage in creative writing.

What does the English Literature A Level syllabus prepare students for?

Completing the A Level in English Literature paves the way for students to undertake a degree in English Literature at university. The syllabus aims to deepen students’ understanding of literature and themselves.

What is the homework and assessment structure for the online English Literature A Level course?

Students are expected to complete a minimum of one homework assignment per week in each subject. Additionally, internal assessments for Level 5 take place in June, while Level 6 mock assessments are conducted in November and March. Reports, which include grades and feedback, are issued at the end of specified terms.

How can parents monitor their child’s progress in the English Literature A Level online course?

Parents can stay updated on their child’s performance by using a family Teams account to maintain ongoing communication with teachers. This allows for a more comprehensive understanding of the student’s progress as compared to an annual parent consultation evening.

What is recommended for achieving success in the A Level English Literature course?

To achieve success in the course, it is advised that students spend an hour on independent study for each hour of class instruction. Regular revision of notes and consolidation of learning material are also highly recommended.

How to apply

Our school is nearly always full, with very few school places!

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