Hamstead Hall Academy

Hamstead Hall Academy
Part of the Hamstead Hall Academy Trust Hamstead Hall Sixth Form

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"Success for All through Hard Work and Harmony"

English

To access the English Language Revision Area please click here

To access the English Literature Revision Area please click here

English is fundamental to success and is the key to all learning. It is the subject that enables pupils to gain access to all other subjects. It is the subject that enables pupils to make sense of the world around them. It is the subject that enables pupils to form opinions and express them effectively. English teaches pupils empathy and compassion and it teaches pupils to be more tolerant and accepting of others’ viewpoints. English can offer pupils the opportunity to visit different places around the world and travel through various time periods; meet a variety of people and engage with a diverse range of experiences. And we do all this without leaving the classroom. English is simply amazing.

-Miss Davis, Head of English

Useful Links

Read Theory is used to test the pupils comprehension. It provides small exercises for them and there are usually 8 questions in total per set. It then adapts the texts to suit the pupils reading age. It lets the pupils know straight away if they have the answers right/wrong so is a useful tool for helping them practice. 

A-Level Subject Information 

English Language & Literature Combined A-Level

About Combined English

This A-Level is probably the most similar to the GCSEs you are currently studying. You will be required to read and study literary texts and apply language analysis to enable you to explore meaning and representations.

What will I study?

You will study a range of different texts both literary and non-literary and make comparisons between them. You will also create your own texts and investigate a chosen area of language for your coursework.

How many exams are there?

There are 2 exams: Paper 1 and Paper 2, both worth 40% of the A-Level course.

 

Paper 1 – Telling Stories

Section A

Remembered Places

For this unit you will study an anthology of a wide range of texts with a particular emphasis on non-fiction and non-literary material to do with ‘Places’.

For the exam, you will be given two texts from the anthology to compare how writers present their ideas about the places they have written about.

Section B

Imagined Worlds

For this unit you will study a novel which has an unusual narrative or event.

For the exam, you will be given an extract from the novel and will be asked to analyse how particular ideas are presented in the extract and the novel as a whole.

Section C

Poetic Voices

For this unit you will study an anthology of poetry written by one chosen poet.

For the exam you will be given one poem from your chosen poet and you will be asked to compare that one poem with another from the studied anthology.


Paper 2 – Exploring Conflict

Section A

Writing about Society

For this unit you will study a novel that explores the theme of conflict.

You will also study how to write a range of different text types.

For the exam, you will be provided with an extract from your novel, and will be asked to recreate the extract into a new text type in order to explore an underrepresented theme or absent character.

You will then be expected to write a commentary about what you have created, how you have created it and why you have created it.

Section B

Dramatic Encounters

For this unit you will study a play that explores the theme of conflict.

For the exam, you will be provided with a point in the text and will be asked to analyse how particular ideas are presented by the playwright.


Coursework

The coursework will require you to carry out an investigation on a chosen area of literature and language in order to explore how language is used in different types of text. You will be expected to make a connection between a literary text and a non-literary text.

For example: How a key theme or characters is presented in a literary text and how that compares to a non-literary text.

What key skills will I learn?

Analysis; interpretation; evaluation; clear communication; organisation; an ability to write creatively and academically; debate ideas; develop your personal voice and independence.

Why do employers and universities value this A-Level?

Studying English A-Level will enable you to learn how to read, write and communicate more effectively, which is not only a necessary skill for university but also an essential life skill.  In addition, at its core is the skill of independent thinking and the ability to think and analyse ideas in depth.


English Literature A-Level

 

About English Literature

English Literature is a Russell Group University subject which means that it is highly valued by Universities.  You will be required to read and study literary texts: prose fiction, drama and poetry

What will I study?

You will study a prose text, a Shakespeare text and a poetry collection which relate to the Literary Genre of Tragedy.  You will also study two novels and collection of poetry linked to either the Crime Genre or Social protest.

How many exams are there?

There are 2 exams: Paper 1 and Paper 2, both worth 40% of the A-Level course.

Paper 1 – Tragedy

Section A

 

Shakespeare: either, King Lear or Othello

You will be given an extract from the play and be asked to write an essay style response.  This will focus on the key ideas and themes related to the genre of Tragedy.

Section B

Shakespeare: either, King Lear or Othello

You will be given a thematic question on the play and will be asked to analyse how particular ideas are presented in the extract and the play as a whole.

Section C

Death of a Salesman and Keats poetry

You will be given a thematic question on the text and will be asked to analyse how particular ideas are presented in the text as a whole.

 

Paper 2 – Exploring Crime/Social Protest

Section A

Unseen

You will be given an extract from either genre which is an unseen extract from either: prose, poetry or drama. You will be required to analyse this in relation to the genre studied

Section B

Hamlet/Atonement/Browning

 

Or Kite Runner/Handmaid’s Tale/Blake

 You will be given a thematic question on the play and will be asked to analyse how particular ideas are presented in the extract and the text as a whole.

Section C

Hamlet/Atonement/Browning

 

Or Kite Runner/Handmaid’s Tale/Blake

You will be given a thematic question on the play and will be asked to analyse how particular ideas are presented in the extract and the text as a whole.


Coursework

The coursework will require you to explore a novel and poetry collection.  You will create your own question to explore and will apply a specific criticism to each text. For example: How a key theme or characters is presented in a literary text.  The coursework folder makes up 20 per cent of the final A Level grade.

What key skills will I learn?

Analysis; interpretation; evaluation; clear communication; organisation; an ability to  academically; debate ideas; apply literary theories to a range of texts; manipulate language; explore meanings created and challenge other’s ideas; develop your personal voice and independence.

Why do employers and universities value this A-Level?

Studying A-Level will enable you to learn how to read, write and communicate more effectively, which is not only a necessary skill for university but also an essential life skill.  In addition, at its core is the skill of independent thinking and the ability to think and analyse ideas in depth.

Possible Careers:

Law, publishing, marketing and advertising, project management, teaching, roles in the media, HR, Sales, copy writing and editing. 

 

English Language A-Level

About English

A-Level English Language is probably the most similar to the GCSEs you are currently studying. You will be required to read and study multi-modal texts and apply language analysis to enable you to explore meaning and representations.

What will I study?

You will study a range of different texts both literary and non-literary and make comparisons between them. You will also create your own texts and investigate a chosen area of language for your coursework.

How many exams are there?

There are 2 exams: Paper 1 and Paper 2, both worth 80% of the A-Level course.

Paper 1 – Language, the individual and society

Section A

Textual variations and representations

2 texts (1 contemporary + 1 older text) linked by topic or theme.

·         Analysis and Comparison of the two texts

 

Section B

Children's language development

 

Discursive essay on children’s language

development, with a choice of two questions

with data provided on spoken, written or

multimodal language

 


Paper 2 –
Language diversity and change

Section A

Diversity and change

 

One question from a choice of two:

·         evaluative essay on language diversity or language change

 

Section B

Language discourses

 

Two texts on a topic linked to the study of diversity and change.

·         Analysis of how the texts use language to

present ideas, attitudes and opinions

·         Directed writing task linked to the topic and

ideas in the texts

 

 

Coursework

There is also coursework which is worth 20% of the A-Level course.

Language in action - coursework

Language investigation: Students will produce an investigation in an area of individual interest. For example, this might include studies of:

  • representations of different individuals, social groups or nationalities
  • regional dialect
  • gendered talk
  • the language of new communication technologies
  • children’s language use
  • norms and variations in usages of different kinds
  • the language of the media
  • code switching and mixing between English and other languages
  • the language of different occupations or pastimes
  • historical changes in English over time.

 

Original writing with commentary: Students will produce one piece of original writing based on one of the following three areas:

  • The Power of Persuasion
  • The Power of Storytelling
  • The Power of Information and one accompanying commentary.

 

What key skills will I learn?

Analysis; interpretation; evaluation; clear communication; organisation; an ability to write creatively and academically; debate ideas; develop your personal voice and independence.

 

Why do employers and universities value this A-Level?

Studying English A-Level will enable you to learn the variety of assessment styles used, such as data analysis, discursive essays, directed writing, original writing and research-based investigative writing and develop a wide range of skills. These include critical reading, data analysis, evaluation, the ability to develop and sustain arguments and a number of different writing skills which are vital for both university and future employment.

 Media Studies A-Level

About A level Media

This A-Level courses will give you an opportunity to study a range of Media platforms and texts, as well as gain an understanding into the theoretical framework that underpins the course. You will be required to analyse a range of representations used in different media products and analyse the media language used to create those representations. You will also study media audiences and how audiences respond to media texts, understand how certain media industries operate and consider the social, historical, political, economic and cultural contexts that influence them. 

What will I study?

You will study a range of different texts and industries like newspapers, online, social and participatory media, radio, video gaming, film, long form television drama, music video, advertising and marketing and magazines. You will also be required to create a media product of your own in a making media unit. This will be based on a brief given by the exam board. In addition to this you will be given the opportunity to study a range of theorists from the theoretical framework and evaluate critically the arguments put forward by them.

How many exams are there?

There are 2 exams: Paper 1 Media Messages and Paper 2 Evolving Media, both worth 35% of the A-Level course. The coursework element equates to 30% of the A- Level course.

 

Paper 1 – Evolving Media

Section A

News, Online, social and participatory media

For this unit you will study a range of newspapers including two set texts- The Guardian and The Daily Mail. You will be required to analyse the media language used and consider how media conventions create ideological viewpoints and perspectives. You will also be required to consider relevant theorists and contexts.

Section B

Music Video,

Magazines

Advertising and Marketing.

For this unit you will study the language and representation used in three different media products by analysing the set products. Music videos, The Big Issue Magazine and set adverts chosen by the exam board. You will need to consider how the language and representation in these texts is used to present certain viewpoints and ideologies. You will also need to consider how media representations convey, values, attitudes and beliefs within these texts.

 

Paper 2 – Evolving Media

Section A

Media Industries and Audiences

 

Film, Video gaming and Radio

You will study three media industries and the set texts set for these areas of study. The Jungle Book, The BBC 1 Breakfast Show and Minecraft. There will be an opportunity to consider how these industries operate and have evolved over time, in terms of production, distribution, digital convergence and audience interaction.

Section B

Long Form Television Drama

For this section of the exam you will study two long form television dramas. One in a foreign language and the other, an English speaking American drama. You will need to draw together knowledge and understanding from your full course of study, including different areas of the theoretical framework and media contexts. In addition to this you will need to evaluate the usefulness of relevant media theories in understanding long form television drama.

 

Coursework

The coursework element of the course is a unit which requires students to create their own media text. This is based on a set brief released by the exam board every year on the 1st of March. There will be an opportunity to use a range of software to create either print, radio, film or television products. Each product has an element of digital media to accompany it, in the form of a website with two linked working pages. One of these must be audio/visual content.

For example: Previous briefs have included a fashion magazine with linked website.

What key skills will I learn?

Analysis; interpretation; evaluation; clear communication; organisation; an ability to write creatively and academically; debate ideas; develop your personal voice and independence. Analyse the codes and conventions used across a range of different media texts and consider the ideological messages behind them.

Why do employers and universities value this A-Level?

Studying Media A-Level will enable you to learn how to evaluate the media critically and gain and insight into critical theory. In addition to read, write and communicate more effectively, which is not only a necessary skill for university but also an essential life skill. The theoretical framework along with the making media elements of the course, mean that students are exposed to a range of media software, thus gaining skills considered an attribute in today’s current media climate.