KS5 English

KS5 Overview


Within the English department at Cardinal Newman we offer three A levels: English Language and Literature, English Literature and Media Studies. Historically the English department have been very successful in ensuring A level students gain outstanding results in the A Levels we offer; for example 100% of students attained an A*- C grade in both English Literature and English Language and Literature in 2017.

Each subject will consist of PPE assessments in order to track how your child is progressing and to assess if there are any misconceptions that shall be addressed. We offer intervention sessions in order to support students in achieving their potential and provide personalised Action Plans to ensure learners know how they can independently increase their success.


English Literature

Exam Board: Edexcel

Duration: 2 year linear course (AS is not offered)

Unit Overviews: All exam units are open book.

Component 1: Drama (30%)

‘Othello’ by Shakespeare and Critical Essay Anthology are analysed in relation to an examination question.

‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams is analysed using contextual knowledge to further key ideas.

Component 2: Prose (20%)

A comparative essay in which the theme of the supernatural is analysed in ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker and ‘The Little Stranger’ by Sarah Waters.

Component 3: Poetry (30%)

‘Poetry of the Decade’ anthology are compared with an unseen poem on a theme given within the examination.

Various poems by John Donne are analysed before being asked to write on two of them in the examination.

Component 4: Coursework (20%)

This is a 2500 word essay that compares two texts on a given theme. There is a free choice of texts to compare.




English Language and Literature

Exam Board: Edexcel

Duration: 2 year linear course (AS is not offered)

Unit Overviews: All exam units are open book.

Component 1: Voices in Speech and Writing (40%)

Students will analyse texts within ‘Voices in Speech and Writing: An Anthology’ in order to answer the examination question.

Also, ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams with be explored to support students in their ability to analyse language choices.

Component 2: Varieties in Language and Literature (40%)

Students will read a wide range of non-fiction texts on a given theme, in preparation for responding to an unseen text.

They will also study ‘A Room with a View’ by E.M. Forster and ‘The Bloody Chamber’ by Angela Carter and compare them on the theme of ‘encounters’.

Component 3: Coursework (20%)

Students will write their coursework based on the theme of journeys using ‘The Kite Runner’ as a stimulus.


Media AS/A Level (first assessed 2018)

Exam Board: OCR

Duration: 2 year linear course

Paper 1 (32.5%)

Section A: News - Students will be required to explore how and why newspapers and magazines are evolving in media products.

Section B: Media Language and Representation - Learners will explore media language and representation, through media products for advertising, marketing and music videos.

Paper 2 (37.5%)

Section A: Media Industries and Audiences - Learners will explore media industries and audiences through media products set by OCR for radio, video games and film.

Section B: Long form television drama - Learners will engage in an in-depth study of television as an evolving, global media form.

Coursework (30%)

Learners will create a cross-media product in response to a given brief



Media A2 (Final Assessment May 2018)

A2 Media Exam

Section A: Theoretical Evaluation of Production

Question 1(a) requires candidates to describe and evaluate their skills development over the course of their production work, from Foundation Portfolio to Advanced Portfolio. The focus of this evaluation must be on skills development, and the question will require them to adapt this to one or two specific production practices. The list of practices to which questions will relate is as follows:

• Digital Technology

• Creativity

• Research and planning

• Post-production

• Using conventions from real media texts

In the examination, questions will be posed using one or two of these categories.


Question 1(b) requires candidates to select one production and evaluate it in relation to a media concept. The list of concepts to which questions will relate is as follows:

• Genre

• Narrative

• Representation

• Audience

• Media language

In the examination, questions will be set using one of these concepts only.


Section B: Contemporary Media Issues

One question to be answered from a choice of six topic areas offered by OCR. There will be two questions from each topic area. The topic areas require understanding of contemporary media texts, industries, audiences and debates. Candidates must choose one of the following topic areas, in advance of the examination and, through specific case studies, texts, debates and research of the candidates’ choice, prepare to demonstrate understanding of the contemporary issue. This understanding must combine knowledge of at least two media and a range of texts, industries, audiences and debates, but these are to be selected by the centre.





A2 Media Coursework

Students create an extract from an original documentary TV programme, lasting approximately five minutes, together with:

• A double-page spread from a listings magazine focused on the documentary;

• A newspaper advertisement for the documentary.

Students will continue to use the Adobe Master Collection but will also use editing software such as IMovie and Final Cut.



See links here for course booklets for English Literature and English Language and Literature. Within each there are recommended reading lists, mark schemes and salient information that will support you in your studies.



English Literature Course Booklet

English Language and Literature Course Booklet


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