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Notre Dame High School

Notre Dame
High School

English Language and Literature

Why Study English Language & Literature?


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English Language and Literature students explore the art of expressing ideas, studying writers from Shakespeare to the present day, in both literary and non-literary texts. Students also compose their own creative writing.  

The range of literary and non-literary study includes prose fiction, drama, poetry, linguistics and literary non-fiction. The course encompasses all aspects of English study, allowing students to appreciate both the technical and the artistic elements of a diverse range of texts.

Why our students like this course

‘Studying English has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my A levels…’

'Studying English is revelatory: English Language and Literature develops your skills as a writer, and as a reader. You examine texts for deeper themes, meanings and context while closely analysing the texts and speech transcripts right down to the last pronoun and micropause.'

'The teachers are fantastic, supportive and even better, they know their stuff.  Studying English has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my A levels and I would recommend every aspect of this course.'

Entry Requirements

Minimum Grade 5 in GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature

Course Structure 

Exam Board: WJEC/Eduqas

Year 12

Teacher 1

Teacher 2

Aut. 1

The Color Purple:

You will study Alice Walker’s classic novel, exploring themes, characters and historical context.




You will start to study a range of classic poems from the Pre-1914 Poetry Anthology. In this term, you will be focusing on poems from early in the anthology – these poems date from the Elizabethan, Jacobean and Caroline eras.

Aut. 2

The Color Purple

You will complete your study of this novel and will produce an essay about it.  

Comparing 3 Speech Texts:

You will study a range of speech texts, from famous speeches to transcripts of spontaneous conversations. You will analyse the type of language people use to persuade and inform their audience and, in doing so, you will encounter a wide-range of language techniques.


Spr. 1

The History Boys

You will study Alan Bennett’s famous play, set in a 1980’s grammar school.


You will continue studying poetry, now focusing on poems from the Georgian/Romantic era.

At the end of this half term, you will produce a timed essay, comparing two of the studied poems with an unseen text.  

Spr. 2

The History Boys

You will complete your study of this play and develop skills for writing about it.

In Cold Blood

You will study Truman Capote’s true-crime, new journalism novel which describes the murder of a Kansan family – the causes and the consequences of this tragic event.

Sum. 1 and 2

Mock exam preparation and start of NEA (coursework).

You will prepare for the mock exams which occur in early June.

When you return to school, post mock exams, you will begin you NEA coursework.

In Cold Blood and preparation for mock exams

After completing the study of In Cold Blood, you will prepare for the mock exams, re-capping all the units you have studied this year.


Year 13

Teacher 1

Teacher 2


Aut. 1 and 2

NEA (coursework)

Focusing on a theme of either dystopia or the gothic (depending on which teacher you have) you will begin drafting two pieces of work, one creative and one analytical.


King Lear

You will study Shakespeare’s famous play, analysing its language, themes, characters and historical context.

Spr. 1 and 2

You will complete the NEA coursework in this term as well as undertaking a second set of mock exams in mid January.




Here you will return to the poetry anthology, studying more poems and preparing for the summer exams.

Spr. 2 and Summer 1

In this final period of the course, you will revise all the texts and units you have studied, in preparation for the exams which begin in late May.





Where does this subject lead me? 

The English Language and Literature course is an ideal preparation for Languages, Law, Psychology, Journalism, Linguistics and other pathways involving precise thinking and interpretation.

Further Advice

You can watch a great series of videos of people who are working in jobs that use English by visiting .

For example university courses and careers that can lead from this subject click here.

Creative Industries: explore a wide selection of creative careers

Apprenticeship courses: Info on what an apprenticeship is and courses available

How is it Assessed? 

The course is split into four components, three external examinations and one internally assessed coursework unit.

The coursework has two elements:

  1. The students carry out a comparative analysis of genre fiction. 
  2. The students show a mastery of creative writing skills, creativity, accuracy and style, both literary and non-literary texts are created.

Exam Board: EDUQAS

Contact a Teacher 

If you have any subject specific questions that you'd like to ask.  You are very welcome to contact the relevant Head of Subject.  To find their email address click on Teaching Staff.  For general enquiries, contact the 6th Form Team.