English Language & Literature

English is a popular subject at A Level and our students achieve highly; we have a 100% pass rate, some 30% of our students achieve A*/A grades and 90% each year achieve A*-C grades.


The English Language and Literature specification has been developed in conjunction with teachers and universities to create an accessible and stimulating course in which students engage creatively and independently with a variety of spoken, written and multi-modal texts.


The course has been designed with a focus on the integration of language and literature, which enables students to see how linguistic and literary methods are related and to explore these links in their work.


Courses Offered

A Level English Language and Literature (AQA)

Syllabus Breakdown

AQA A Level English Language and Literature


Paper 1: Telling Stories (Exam unit – 3 hours)

  • Section A (closed book): the representation of place

  • Section B (open book): point of view and genre in prose

  • Section C (open book): the forms and functions of poetic voice


Paper 2: Exploring Conflict (Exam Unit – 2 hrs 30 mins)

  • Section A (open book): writing about the role of the individual in society

  • Section B (open book): conflict in drama


Unit 3:  Independent Critical Study: Texts across Time (non-exam assessment)

  • Making Connections – investigation on a chosen theme and texts.

  • A personal investigation that explores a specific technique or theme in both literary and non-literary discourse (2,500 – 3,000 words).

Minimum Entry Requirements

In addition to our general Sixth Form entry requirements of 5 good GCSE passes at grade 4 or higher, students will need to achieve a grade 5 in GCSE English Language and English Literature.

Why Study English Language & Literature? 

Offering clear progression from GCSE English and English Literature, these courses require a variety of assessment styles, such as re-creative writing, commentary writing, discursive essays and research-based investigative writing.  This allows students to develop a wide range of skills, including the ability to read critically, analyse and undertake independent research, which are invaluable for both further study and future employment.


English Language and Literature is highly regarded at

 A level as it teaches students to analyse in depth and communicate ideas clearly.  The reading, study and analysis undertaken during the course complements students’ work in other subjects, as they gain a better understanding of writers’ methods and the power and versatility of language.

Wider Opportunities

Extra-curricular activities, which are designed to support students’ learning, as well as enhance their interest in English Language and Literature, include theatre trips, lectures and workshops run by visiting writers.


Past activities have included a trip to Westminster Hall to hear talks by Germaine Greer, Melvin Bragg, Tony Harrison and Simon Armitage. Other outings included Ben Wishaw’s Hamlet and Birdsong starring Ben Barnes as well as a private screening of the new film version of Macbeth.


Students have also produced their own programmes and versions of texts, including a documentary on travel in London, filmed on location during the half term holiday and a number of food programmes such as Ready, Steady Cook.

What Can I Do Next? 

English Language and Literature is useful in a number of careers and is an obvious starting point for students considering a career in newspaper or magazine journalism and the media in general.


Other career options include Primary and Secondary School teaching, as well as any occupation which involves report writing and communication skills such as Social Work, the Probationary Service, the Police Force and the Legal Profession.

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The Knights Templar School Sixth Form

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The Knights Templar School

Park Street, Baldock, Hertfordshire