Students in Year 12 start off with The Great Gatsby and Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, before moving onto unseen poetry and a pre-1900 poetry anthology after Christmas. In the summer term the focus moves to the coursework, an extended piece of writing on two texts of the students’ own choosing. As well as getting to grips with new texts and time periods, students focus in Year 12 on developing the accuracy and perceptiveness of their critical writing, learning to develop as readers and thinkers.
In Year 13 students continue with, and complete, their coursework, at the same time as embarking on an in-depth study of poetry, prose and drama about or inspired by World War One. This final part of the course encompasses R.C. Sherriff’s Journey’s End, Sebastian Barry’s novel A Long Long Way and the poetry anthology Up the Line to Death. Time in the latter half of the year is given over to revision, enabling students to revisit and re-evaluate the material they have studied over the course of the two years.
Students in Year 12 are introduced to the technical terminology (language levels) necessary for analysing texts with the appropriate degree of rigour. They learn how to apply this knowledge to the analysis of how texts generate meanings and representations. In the second part of the course students look at the relationship between language and identity and consider the question of how who we are affects the way we use language. We also introduce students to the coursework requirements.
Students are introduced to the topic of language change and are encouraged to participate in the debates this topic generates. They then learn to apply this knowledge to analysing meanings and representations in older (pre-20th Century) texts. In the second part of the course students study the different theories of how children acquire language and become literate. Students also complete and hand in their coursework, before revising for their final exams.