As english Literature handbook

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AS English Literature




Introduction 1

Expectations 2-3
The Transition from GCSE to A-Level 4

Data and Target setting

Assessment Objectives
Set texts 5-9

Reading Log

Wider Reading
Support 10


Key Dates Introduction
This handbook is to prepare, support and guide all students taking AS Level English Literature at The Rural Enterprise Academy. We hope that it provides you with all the relevant information you require and gives a helping hand in your English Literature studies.
We have high expectations of our students and provide high standards of teaching. This handbook will make clear what we expect from you and what you can expect from us.

We have the following expectations to help you achieve the best possible grade and to make teaching and learning enjoyable.

We expect you to:

  1. Undertake 5 hours of independent study which should take place during your timetabled study periods and at home.

  2. Complete assigned homework. It is essential to independently assess your own work and understanding, as well as to make sure that it is handed in on time.

If you are struggling or need clarification you must seek help (see ‘Support’ page).

  1. Have excellent attendance. If you are absent you must speak to your teacher and ensure you catch up on your work.

  1. You must be punctual to all your lessons. All lateness to class will be recorded.

  1. Write your own notes and keep them up to date. Your notes will be checked once every half term.

  1. Keep a wider reading log. This will also be checked once a half term

  1. Be fully equipped for lessons,

  1. Behave responsibly and follow instructions.

Failure to adhere to our expectations will result in ‘strikes’ being issued. If three strikes are given, a letter will be sent home. Two strike letters result in a Subject Report being issued. Being on report will also initiate a referral to the Head of Sixth form and your continuation on the course may be reviewed at this stage.

Our commitment to you:

  • You will be provided with high quality lessons

  • You will be set a challenging target – which can be increased

  • Work will be marked and progression targets set

  • Peer assessment will be put into place so that you can become familiar with assessment objectives.

Transition from GCSE to A-Level
Taking any A or AS Level is dramatically different from GCSE. There is an emphasis on independent study. You will need to work hard in your own time to achieve your full potential.
Our data is based on ALPS and defines the challenging target grades students should be aiming for relative to GCSE scores.
The minimum target grade according to ALPS data is as follows:





(On track

for A* at A2)







Assessment Objectives

Assessment Objective 1

Assessment Objective 2

Assessment Objective 3

Assessment Objective 4

AO1: Articulate creative,

informed and relevant

responses to literary texts,

using appropriate terminology

and concepts, and coherent,

accurate written expression

AO2: Demonstrate detailed

critical understanding in

analysing the ways in which

form, structure and

language shape meanings

in literary texts

AO3: Explore connections

and comparisons between

different literary texts,

informed by interpretations

of other readers

AO4: Demonstrate

understanding of the

significance and influence

of the contexts in which

literary texts are written and


Set Texts
Coursework Texts
The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
Top Girls – Caryl Churchill
Both of these texts and Feminine Gospels (see below) will be needed for the first term
Exam Texts
Feminine Gospels - Carol Anne Duffy
The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
A Streetcar named Desire - Tennessee Williams
We will also be studying a range of poems by W. H. Auden- copies of the poems will be supplied but it is recommended that you research his life. There are several good biographies available which can be bought or borrowed from your local library.

You will also need to undertake independent wider reading in preparation for your exam which is designed to assess both the breadth and depth of your reading.

Reading Log
As part of your independent studies for English Literature you should aim to read one wider reading text a fortnight from the reading list included in this guide and to complete a reading log for each text you read.

It is worth investigating your local library for these as even if they do not normally stock a particular text they will be able to order it for you.

Your reading log will be checked every half term.

Wider reading



Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart (Penguin, 1958)

James Baldwin

Go Tell it on the Mountain (Penguin)

Nadine Gordimer

July's People (Bloomsbury, 1981)

Radclyffe Hall

The Well of Loneliness + (Virago, 1928)

Zora Neale Hurston

Their Eyes Were Watching God + (Virago, 1937)

Andrea Levy

Small Island * (Headline, 2004)

Patrick McCabe

Breakfast on Pluto * (Picador, 1998)

Anne Michaels

Fugitive Pieces * (Bloomsbury, 1996)

Robert Tressell

The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists + (Flamingo, 1914)

Irvine Welsh

Trainspotting * (Vintage, 1993)

Jeanette Winterson

Oranges are not the only fruit (Vintage, 1984)

Richard Wright

Native Son + (Vintage, 1940)

Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse 5 (Vintage, 1969)

Rose Tremain

The Road Home (Chatto and Windus)

Kathryn Stockett

The Help (Penguin, 2009)

Autobiographies and Biography, Diaries

Maya Angelou

Autobiography, especially I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Virago, 1969)

Diana Souhami

The Trials of Radclyffe Hall * (Virago, 1999)

Nelson Mandela

Long Walk to Freedom (Abacus, 1994)

Memoirs and Interviews

Silvia Calamati

Women's stories from the North of Ireland * (Beyond the Pale Publications, 2002)

Bobby Sands

Skylark Sing Your Lonely Song (Mercier Press, 1982)

Malcolm X

Malcolm X Talks to Young People (Pathfinder, 1964-1965)

Alice Walker

The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult * (Phoenix, 1996)


Salman Rushdie

The Jaguar Smile: A Nicaraguan Journey (Vintage, 1987)

History and cultural commentary, essays and speeches

David Beresford

Ten Men Dead: The Story of the 1981 Irish Hunger Strike (Harper Collins,

Beverley Bryan, Suzanne Scafe, Stella Dadzie

The Heart of the Race (Virago, 1985)

Germaine Greer

The Female Eunuch (Harper Perennial, 1970)

Martin Luther King Jr.

I Have A Dream: Writings And Speeches That Changed The World (Harper, 1956-68)

Adhaf Soueif

Mezzaterra-Fragments from the Common Ground * (Bloomsbury, 2004)

Amrit Wilson

Dreams, Questions, Struggles South Asian Women in Britain (Pluto Press, 2006)



'Section 28 of the Education Act' 1988

Literary Criticism

Ralph Ellison

Shadow and Act (Vintage, 1967)

Dolly A. McPherson

Order out of Chaos: The Autobiographical Works of Maya Angelou (Virago, 1990)

Kate Millet

Sexual Politics (Virago, 1977)

Amrit Wilson

Finding a Voice: Asian Women in Britain (Virago, 1978)

Richard Wright

Blueprint for Negro Writing + (1937)

Jeremy Hawthorn ed.

The British Working Class Novel in the Twentieth Century (Hodder Arnold, 1984)


Brendan Behan

The Hostage (Methuen, 1958)

Sudhar Bhuchar

Child of the Divide * (Methuen Modern Plays)

Jim Cartwright

Road (Methuen Modern Plays, 1986)

Caryl Churchill

All plays * (some will be post 1990)

Claire Dowie

Why is John Lennon Wearing a Skirt? * (Methuen Modern Plays, 1996)

Brian Friel

Dancing at Lughnasa * (Faber, 1990)

Lorraine Hansberry

A Raisin in the Sun (Methuen Modern Plays, 1959)

Sarah Kane

Complete Plays * (Methuen Drama, 1998-2006)

Tony Kushner

Angels in America * (Nick Herne Books, 1992)

Martin McDonagh

Beauty Queen of Leenane * (Methuen, 1996)

Sean O'Casey

Three Dublin Plays: Juno and the Paycock + (1924), The Plough and the Stars + (1926), Shadow of a Gunman + (1923) (Faber)

Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman (Penguin, 1949)

Mark Ravenhill

Citizenship * (Methuen Modern Plays, 2006)

Ntozake Shange

Shange Plays 1- (Includes For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enough)

Timberlake Wertenbaker

Our Country's Good (Methuen, 1988)

International Connections (contributor Jackie Kay)

New Plays for Young People * (Faber 2003)


Simon Armitage

Dead Sea Poems * (Faber, 1995)

Gillian Clarke

Letter From a Far Country (1985)

Carol Ann Duffy

The Other Country * (Anvil, 1990)

Allan Ginsberg

Howl (City Lights Pocket Poet Series, 1956)

Langston Hughes

Collected Poems + (Vintage, 1930-1960)

Jackie Kay

Life Mask * (Bloodaxe Books, 2005)

Liz Lockhead

Dreaming Frankenstein and Collected Poems (Polygon, 1984)

Audre Lorde

Any – (some will be post 1990)

Grace Nichols

The Fat Black Woman's Poems (Virago, 1984)

Adrienne Rich

The School Among the Ruins * (Norton, 2004)

Lemn Sissay

Morning Breaks in the Elevator * (Payback Press, 1999)

Gertrude Stein

Tender Buttons + (Dover, 1914)

Alice Walker

Revolutionary Petunias and other Poems (Harcourt Brae Jovanovitch, 1970)

Benjamin Zephaniah

Too Black, Too Strong * (Bloodaxe Books, 2001)

Edited by Lemn Sissay

The Fire People: A Collection of Contemporary Black British Poets * (Payback Press, 1998)

Agnes Meadows

Woman (Waterways, 2003)

Gillian Clarke

A Recipe for Water (Carcaret, 2009)

Alice Oswald

The Thing in the Gap Stone Stile (Faber, 1996)

Grace Nichols

I Have Crossed an Ocean (Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 2010)

Carol Ann Duffy

Love Poems (Picador, 2010)

Jackie Kay

Darling (Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 2007)

Liz Lochhead

The Colour of Black and White (Polyfon, 2003)

Lenin Sissay

Rebel Without Applause (Bloodaxe Books Ltd, 1992)


Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits (Chile/Spanish) (Black Swan, 1985)

Alexandra Kollontai

Love of Worker Bees + (USSR/Russian) (Virago, 1930)

Manuel Puig

Kiss of the Spider Woman (Argentina/Spanish) (Vintage, 1976)

Alexander Solzenichen

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch (USSR/Russian) (Penguin, 1962)


Pablo Neruda

Residence on Earth + (Chile/Spanish) (Souvenir Press, 1933)


Bertolt Brecht

Mother Courage and her Children + (German) (Methuen, 1940)

Federico Garcia Lorca

The House of Bernarda Alba + (1936), Yerma + (1934), Blood Wedding + (1933) (Spanish) (Penguin)

Non fiction autobiography/diary/travelogue

Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl (Dutch) (Penguin, 1947)

Che Guevara

The Motorcycle Diaries (Argentina/Spanish) (Harper Perennial, 1952)

Nawal al-Saadawi

Memoirs from the Women's Prison (Egypt/Arabic) (1984)


If you feel you are struggling or you need to talk/discuss anything to do with the course or its teachers please feel free to speak to the members of the department.

If you are struggling with a particular aspect of work, the following may be of assistance:

  • Speak to your peers.

  • Use alternative mathematics books.

  • Use resources made available via pearltrees

  • Speak to your subject teacher


Useful resources are regularly uploaded to pearltrees

There are a range of study guides available from bookshops for many of the texts you will be studying but please be mindful of the academy policy on plagiarism if using these.

Key Dates

  • Please note Examination dates are provisional and have not yet been confirmed by the exam board

Coursework deadline

Creative Study

Final Drafts are due on or before Friday 9th January for submission to the exam board

Coursework deadline

Drama Task

Final Drafts are due on or before Friday 9th January for submission to the exam board



Friday 15th May a.m.

  • The date for publication of results for GCE examinations, Summer 2015 examination series, is Thursday 13TH August 2015.

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