A Level English

HEAD OF DEPARTMENT: MRS P AGER (Hons) (Middlesex), PGCE (Anglia)
Email: pager@stedmundscollege.org

This information can be also downloaded at the bottom of this page.


The syllabus aims to develop an appreciation of an informed personal response to literature in English in a range of texts in different forms, and from different periods and cultures, the interdependent skills of reading, analysis and communication, effective and appropriate communication and wider reading and an understanding of how it may contribute to personal development.

Candidates are required to answer questions on a range of poems, prose and plays, with options from the canon of English Literature and modern texts in English.

Paper 3 – Poetry and Prose: Students answer one question on poetry and one on prose.

Paper  4 – Drama: Students answer two questions; one on each of two different plays.

Paper 5 –  Shakespeare and other pre-20th Century Texts: Students answer one question on a Shakespeare play and one on another pre-20th Century text. Students are required to submit coursework throughout the course which will include two essays on different texts.

Key skills

All students are taught the need for technical accuracy and attractive presentation. They are trained to deploy a range of persuasive and rhetorical devices in order to effect the clear exposition of an argument, both verbally and in writing. The ability to develop, debate and defend an informed opinion is a crucial element of our studies.

Enrichment opportunities

Extracurricular events and activities such as visiting authors, specialist speakers, reading competitions, inter-house drama and theatre trips supplement and enhance the work in the classroom.

We aim to instil in our students a love of literature and reading and to give them the facility to express themselves confidently, fluently and accurately in their analytical writing. By studying great authors both past and present, students will be able to assess and appreciate literary texts by placing them within the context of 1000 years of English literary heritage.

We believe that the study of English fosters a student’s personal, moral and intellectual development.  Our aim is to produce sensitive, confident, cultured individuals who are able to discriminate effectively, identify key qualities and values then express their judgements cogently in both written form and orally. Above all, we believe that English should be innovative and challenging; a subject that students look forward to and enjoy.

Higher Education

The study of English is key to the pursuit of any number of professions and careers requiring flexible and sophisticated communication skills, including Law, Journalism, Marketing, Teaching and Publishing.

English as a Second Language

We offer these courses for international students, which will help them gain entry to a UK university.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

This course may be followed in Rhetoric I and/or Rhetoric II (depending on the level of proficiency of the student) and leads to IELTS examinations which may be taken at various times during the school year.
The course teaches the English core skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. It is expected that the student will start the course with a minimum level of IGCSE ESL Grade (C) or IELTS score of Band 6.0. All non-native speakers are advised to sit this examination. Students should achieve a score of at least Band 6.5 for university entrance.

Additional classes

In addition to scheduled IELTS classes, support classes are provided in academic writing and for pupils following Rhetoric I and Rhetoric II English Literature.