The Petchey Academy English Subject Area is an innovative and exciting area. We strive to teach a mixture of traditional and modern texts in a variety of exciting ways. Students study a range of novels, poetry, lyrics, formal reports, broadsheet news articles, Shakespeare, film production, advertising and creative writing to name a few!

Below you will find information on both A Level English Language and Pre-U English Literature.

English Language

English Language is an exciting course which allows you to study how language functions in the real world. The course is split into three components. Two exam components worth 40% each and one non-exam component worth 20%, this will be made up of an investigation and a piece of original writing with a commentary.

Component 1 Language, the individual and society –written exam 2hrs 30 mins

The aim of this part of the subject content is to introduce students to language study, exploring textual variety and children’s language development. This area of study introduces students to methods of language analysis to explore concepts of audience, purpose, genre,mode and representation. It also introduces students to the study of children’s language development, exploring how children learn language and how they are able to understand and express themselves through language.

Students will study a range of texts:

  • about various subjects
  • from various writers and speakers
  • for various audiences
  • for various purposes
  • in a variety of genres
  • using a variety of modes (written, spoken, electronic)
  • from different times
  • from different places (global, national, regional)

Students will be expected to examine the following areas of language analysis:

  • phonetics, phonology and prosodics: how speech sounds and effects are articulated and analysed
  • graphology: the visual aspects of textual design and appearance
  • lexis and semantics: the vocabulary of English, including social and historical variation
  • grammar including morphology: the structural patterns and shapes of English at sentence and clause
  • phrase and word level
  • pragmatics: the contextual aspects of language use
  • discourse: extended stretches of communication occurring in different genres, modes and contexts

Component 2 Language Diversity and Change – written exam 2hrs 30 mins

The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore language diversity and change over time.

Students will study the key concepts of audience, purpose, genre and mode and will explore language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts. They will explore processes of language change. This part of the subject content also requires students to study social attitudes to, and debates about, language diversity and change.

Students will study a range of examples of language in use and research data to inform their study of diversity and change:

  • texts using different sociolects (to include social and occupational groups, gender and ethnicity)
  • texts using different dialects (to include regional,national and international varieties of English)
  • texts that use language to represent the different groups above
  • texts from different periods, from 1600 to the present day
  • written, spoken and electronic texts about a range of subjects, for various audiences and purposes
  • in a variety of genres
  • items from collections of language data (e.g. dictionaries, online resources, language corpora)
  • research findings (e.g. tables, graphs, statistics)

Component 3 Language in Action – Non-exam assessment

The aim of this area of study is to allow students to explore and analyse language data independently and develop and reflect upon their own writing expertise.

It requires students to carry out two different kinds of individual research:

  • a language investigation (2,000 words excluding data)
  • a piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each)

Students can choose to pursue a study of spoken, written or multi modal data, or a mixture of text types demonstrating knowledge in areas of individual interest.

English Literature

The Literature in English course is linear and students are expected to take all the components together at the end of the course in one examination session. There are four components to the Cambridge Pre-U Literature in English course, two compulsory text-based closed-book examination papers, and an unseen Comment and Analysis paper, which includes fiction and non-fiction texts and the opportunity for recreative writing. Timed examination papers are supplemented by a Personal Investigation. The intention is to create a balance of set texts and to encourage both wide reading in preparation for the Comment and Analysis paper and the pursuit of individual teachers’ and students’ enthusiasms in the Personal Investigation. Assessment will cover at least six texts, covering poetry, prose and drama. They will include Shakespeare, and writing both before and after 1900

Year 12:

Students study all the exam components in Year 12; Paper 1: Poetry and Prose, Paper 2: Drama and Paper 3: Unseen Comment and Analysis. In Paper 1 students study two set texts, one poetry and one prose, from before and after 1900. In Paper 2 students will study one Shakespeare play and one other drama text. In Paper 3, students will study a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts from 16th century to the modern day and develop the skills to provide a close critical appreciation of unseen texts in the exam. Candidates will be introduced to a wide range of literature from different periods, forms, genre and styles in preparation for this paper. Students are required to complete wider reading of both fiction and literary criticism to supplement and support their set texts and prepare for Paper 3.

Year 13:

Year 13 is designed to build on all the content and skills studied in Year 12. Students will revise their set texts for Paper 1 and Paper 2 and continue studying a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts to prepare for Paper 3. Students will also complete Paper 4: Personal Investigation. This will involve students independently planning and writing one essay of 3000 to 3500 words. The title and scope of the Personal Investigation is individual to the student and the essay must involve significant comparisons between two authors. At least two whole texts by two different authors must be studied as principal texts, with reference to at least two further subsidiary texts as appropriate. This is externally marked. Students are required to continue to complete wider reading of both fiction and literary criticism to supplement and support their set texts and prepare for Paper 3.