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English Literature

Our students will move from initial readings to more in-depth consideration of all key texts across the two year programme of study. The texts have been chosen for maximum engagement and the study takes place through group discussion and closer reading strategies. Students will also need to have a strategic approach to unseen prose and poetry, as well as complete a NEA (non-examined assessment, mentored and moderated by their teachers) comparing two novels of their choice, one written post 2000. This is the perfect opportunity for them to explore areas and genres of more personal taste. Our current prescribed examination texts include:

  • A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams- we explore the tragedy of Blanche Dubois and the destruction of the most famous ‘Southern Belle.’
  • Mean Time by Carol Ann Duffy- an opportunity to grapple with an exciting and emotive collection from our former Poet Laureate, covering childhood, love, loss and grief.
  • The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin. Once termed ‘the saddest heart in the post-war supermarket’, our students enjoy the challenge of Larkin’s characteristic and often humorously dark pessimism. They then endeavour to compare the thematic concerns of these two poets.
  • The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster- we have chosen a perfectly tragic Jacobean comparative piece to compare to A Streetcar Named Desire, with corruption, deceit and the staggering abuse of power in 16th century Italy.
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare. This is a poignant interrogation of his last play, his farewell to stage and provides our students with an exciting combination of the best of all the elements of Shakespearean stagecraft.