Specification: AQA A
AQA Specification A’s historicist approach to the study of literature rests upon reading texts within a shared context. Working from the belief that no text exists in isolation but is the product of the time in which it was produced, Specification A encourages students to explore the relationships that exist between texts and the contexts within which they are written, received and understood. Studying texts within a shared context enables students to investigate and connect them, drawing out patterns of similarity and difference using a variety of reading strategies and perspectives. Specification A privileges the process of making autonomous meaning, encouraging students to debate and challenge the interpretations of other readers as they develop their own informed personal responses.
Students should be prepared for ‘Love through the Ages’ by reading widely in the topic area, reading texts from a range of authors and times.
‘Love through the Ages’ – 2 exams of 1hour 30 minutes each (closed book) = 100% of AS level.
‘Love through the Ages’ and ‘Texts in Shared Contexts’ – 2 exams of 3 hours (open book for Section C) and 2 hours 30 minutes (open book) respectively = 80% of A level
Independent Critical Study: ‘Texts across Time’ = 20% of A level
Students can be accepted on the course if they have passed GCSE at grade C or higher in both English Language and English Literature; grade B or above is a good indicator of their aptitude for study at this level.
Texts are not provided at AS level, and these will cost between £15 and £35 approximately, depending on the students’ choice of which recommended and supplementary texts to buy. For A2, no texts are provided either and the approximate cost of these will be £35. We will offer theatre trips, when available, and recommend all students to take advantage of these.
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