English Literature


A large number of students pursue English Literature into KS5. We teach A-level English Literature in small classes, encouraging students to work in groups and discuss their ideas with each other. A-level students enjoy reading widely and talk about their reading. They complete homework tasks and independently research and read around their subject areas. English at A-level demands the highest quality of written and verbal communication, and requires students to be imaginative and original in their generation of ideas. We monitor and support A-level students in their transition from KS4 to KS5. Many of our students have been inspired to study English and other related subjects at some of the country’s top universities.

Some students in Year 12 and 13 also resit their English Language GCSE with us, aiming to secure a grade 4 or above in this core GCSE. Students are taught in small classes and practise core examination skills; all sixth form students are expected to do their best to ensure that they leave Tabor with a pass as this GCSE is considered essential for entrance to Higher Education and future employment in quality institutions

At Tabor, we currently offer English Literature (OCR).  This course provides opportunities for students to explore dynamic, engaging texts and develop their appreciation of the way writers construct their texts. We are proud of these students who have developed an exceptional range of skills in English and have produced critical and creative responses in response to the challenging demands of these new courses.

What is the requirement to study A Level English?
It is essential for students to be inquisitive and have a real passion for reading various forms of fiction and non-fiction texts. Having acquired at GCSE a basic appreciation of how writers and speakers construct texts in order to achieve their aims, students will need to hone their interpretive, analytical and evaluative skills to further explore how writers engage with their audiences.



The course aims to provide students with the opportunities to:

  • Read widely and independently over a range of literary texts, demonstrating an appreciation for their cultural and historical backgrounds.
  • Engage critically and creatively with a variety of texts and ways of responding to them.
  • Develop and effectively apply your knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in your writing.
  • Attend theatrical productions and places of historical and cultural interest that will help you explore the contexts of the texts you are reading and others’ interpretations of them.

The course is assessed through two examination papers and one component that is a non-examined assessment:

  • Component 01: Learners are required to demonstrate their detailed knowledge and understanding of a Shakespeare play. For Section 2, the texts (drama and poetry pre 1900) have been chosen carefully so that they illuminate one another and so that learners are able to establish connections between their chosen texts from the genres of drama and poetry. Learners are expected to demonstrate their appreciation of the significance of cultural and contextual influences on the writers, readers and/or audiences and be able to explore relationships between their chosen texts. This section requires learners to read texts in a variety of ways and respond critically and creatively.
  • Component 02: Learners choose one topic and study at least two whole texts in their chosen topic area, at least one of which must be from the core set text list. For the second text, learners may choose to study the other core set text or they may choose another text, from the same topic area, from the list of suggested set texts.
  • Component 03: Encourages individual study, interest and enjoyment of modern literature. Texts and task titles for post-1900 Literature are chosen by the learner in discussion with their teacher but all texts and task titles must be checked by OCR. Learners are required to study three literary texts (one text for Task 1 and two texts for Task 2).  The three texts must include one prose text, one poetry text and one drama text.  Each of the texts must have been first published or performed in 1900 or later and at least one of these texts must have been first published or performed in 2000 or later.

Why choose this subject?

This is your course because you can’t put a book down or you want to know how language can manipulate your feelings. You will study and gain insight into a wide range of texts from all over the world.  All exams are essay based and require a close analysis of a variety of texts.  In each year, there is also a coursework module where students are required to produce a coursework folder of 3000 words, covering 3 different poetry and prose texts.

Combine this course with:Drama, History, a Language, Economics

Essential if you go on to:Journalism, Teaching, Law, Personnel Management, the Media.

Exam overview


  • 80% Exam
  • 20% Coursework

Careers Links

English students are considered valuable in virtually all career paths, from literature-related fields like libraries and research to communication-based roles in sales and ICT. Careers in journalism, teaching and management are particularly well-suited to English students. This challenging and traditional subject is welcomed by all employers.

A large number of our current cohort study A Level English to support their applications for Mathematics, Engineering and a range of science degrees, reflecting the wide skills set that the subject enables students to develop and engage that are beneficial beyond the subject itself.