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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle






This course is designed to encourage students to read widely and independently, to explore literary texts for their own intrinsic value and to set them within their appropriate literary, cultural and historical contexts.  A willingness to read widely and to share an informed and personal response is most necessary.


The course consists of three units:

Unit 1. The Drama and poetry pre-1900: students explore three texts: Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and a selection of poetry by Christina Rossetti.

Unit 2. Comparative and contextual study (American Literature 1880-1940): students undertake detailed analysis of two novels, Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, exploring how far these two classic texts are representative of American writing in this fascinating period of history.

Unit 3. Literature post-1900: students produce two pieces of coursework based upon the poetry of Anne Stevenson, Pinter’s classic play The Homecoming, and a novel of their choice, as negotiated with teaching staff.


Internally assessed, externally moderated coursework unit comprising a comparative essay and a close reading (20%), and two end-of-course examinations (80%).


English Literature is one of the most highly regarded qualifications at this level and is considered a ‘facilitating subject’ for entry to Russell Group universities. Students develop analytical skills that are highly sought-after by employers, and gain a nuanced understanding of the ways in which language is used. These are skills that are easily transferable between disciplines, and as a result students go on to further study in a wide variety of fields. More than this, however, it provides a valuable educational and cultural background for any ambitious student.


In order to study A level English Literature you should have gained at least a grade 6 in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

If you have any questions regarding this course please see Dr Gallivan.