English Literature - Year 13


With texts that touch on human nature, philosophy, psychology, religion, politics and the whole gamut of human experience, English literature is a lively, challenging and stimulating subject to take. Recognised as a “facilitating subject”, the skills it develops are transferable to almost any future degree or career. In depth reading, very close analysis, synthesising ideas, developing one’s own empathetic skills and understanding, all these are crucial to a well-rounded, intelligent mind.

We follow the OCR English Literature A-Level


Course Content

Year 13 Subject Content

  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Post-2000 Poetry
  • Hamlet
  • Close Reading Coursework
  • Comparative Essay Coursework

The first half of the course continues with their study of “Hamlet”. We then focus on the Close Analysis part of the coursework, studying Duffy’s “Feminist Gospels” - or a post-2000 anthology of the student’s choice - and completing a very close critical appreciation of one of the poems. After that, we revise the Victorian texts and start on exam practice and technique.

In the other half of the course, we complete the Comparative coursework based on “Streetcar” and “Catcher” and then return to our Dystopian texts in preparation for the summer exams.


Independent work is set by staff each week. 


Formative assessment is ongoing throughout the year. Summative assessment is conducted at least half termly on each unit.

Terminal Assessment

Paper 1

Section A             

  • Close analysis of Hamlet extract [15]
  • Hamlet essay [15]

Section B              

  • Comparison of Rossetti and Wilde [30]

Paper 2

Section A             

  • Critical appreciation of unseen dystopian extract [30]

Section B

  • Comparative essay on Orwell and Atwood [30]

Non-examined Assessment (Coursework)

This counts for 20% of your final grade and consists of two parts.

  1. A close analysis of a chosen poem and how it relates to the broader collection. 1,000 words, 15 marks
  2. A comparative essay, which compares an element of A Streetcar Named Desire and The Catcher in the Rye. 2,000 words, 25 marks

Recommended Reading

“The Art of Fiction” by David Lodge, Vintage Books, 2011

“An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory” by Andrew Bennett, Routledge, 2016

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

“A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess

“We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin

“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy

“Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K Dick

“The Wind-up Girl” by Paola Bacigalupi

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