English Literature

Department of English Literature

Reading is the key to success across A level Literature and is essential to so much else we do in life. As well as developing analysis and interpretation skills, we use texts such as Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and , Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire to encourage debate and the discussion of moral, social, emotional and political issues. We encourage reading for pleasure, be it graphic novels, nineteenth century Gothic horror or autobiographies. We firmly believe that there is a genre to suit everyone.

Writing provides a crucial opportunity to express a personal and autonomous response to what we have read. We encourage students to engage with the different views of others and challenge or develop these in their own analysis. Whilst building on firm foundations of grammatical accuracy, structure and written form, students develop fluent and articulate writing so that they can communicate clearly and effectively.

Whether it is through engaging in the cut and thrust of debate, discussing themes in poetry, presenting research or discussing how to stage a play, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves orally in lessons.. A-level lessons are often discussion-led, allowing us to explore ideas and perspectives whilst encouraging students to make independent judgments.


“In English, our students gain a wide-ranging and thorough appreciation of both literature and language, in order to help to prepare them for the next stage of their lives. We aim to foster a love of reading and writing that underpins academic success in the broader curriculum, as well as developing a deeper understanding of the links between ourselves, people from different times and across cultures.”

Mrs V Johnson (Department Leader)