Language is seen as a creative tool for expression and social connection, as well as individual cognition. This course will help you to develop expertise in English Language, by engaging creatively and critically with a wide range of texts and discourses. You will create texts and reflect critically on your own processes of production, and analyse the texts produced by others.

There are core methods of appropriate analysis to the fields of English Language and linguistics that underpin all that you will consider on this course. There is also scope for you to pursue your own independent lines of enquiry and topics for writing, with support from your teachers, in the non-exam assessment.


  • Paper One: Language, the Individual and Society 
    You will explore textual variety and children’s language development (how children learn language and are able to understand and express themselves).

  • Paper Two: Language Diversity and Change
    Explore language diversity and change over time, focusing on language in its wider social, geographical and temporal contexts, whilst considering social attitudes and debate surrounding language diversity and change.

  • Non-Exam Assessment: Language in Action
    Explore and analyse language data independently. You will also develop and reflect your own writing expertise.


  • Paper One: Language, the Individual and Society 
    What is assessed? Your analysis of a pair of texts linked by topic or theme but from different times. You are also expected to write a discursive essay on children’s language development.
    How am I assessed? Examination worth 40% of your A Level grade.
  • Paper Two: Language Diversity and Change
    What is assessed? A written evaluative essay on either diversity or change. You are expected to analyse a text and complete a directed writing task based upon the theme or ideas of the text analysed.
    How am I assessed? Examination worth 40% of your A Level grade.

  • Non-Exam Assessment: Language in Action
    What is assessed? A language investigation conducted by you (2,000 words excluding data) and a written piece of original writing and commentary (750 words each).
    How am I assessed? Non-exam assessment worth 20% of your A Level grade.

Useful Links


  • Orwell Youth Prize
    Students from Years 11-13 take part in two workshops led by external facilitators (including a published and award-winning author). Following these workshops which enhance their creative writing skills and critical viewpoints, students are able to enter the creative writing competition. Last year, a Year 11 student was runner-up in the Intermediate category and a Year 12 student won the overall prize for the Seniors. The Celebration Event and prize giving took place at Pembroke College, Oxford, and featured a debate led by Rick Edwards, as well as workshops from journalists and writers.

  • Shakespeare Schools Festival
    Students from all year groups rehearse an abridged Shakespeare play and perform it to a paying audience at a professional theatre alongside three other schools (each having chosen a different play). Across the country there are around 1500 schools who take part. After our success with The Tempest, Much Ado about Nothing, Henry V and Titus Andronicus, the play for 2017 will be Othello.

Future Paths

  • Alumni
    A number of our students have used their A Level studies within the English faculty as a stepping stone to further education and careers. We have alumni who have progressed into the worlds of teaching, broadcast journalism and law to name but a few. Currently, some notable examples of further study include a student studying English Literature at Brasenose College, Oxford, another pursuing Creative Writing, a Media and Law student at the University of Liverpool and a student of Linguistics (currently exploring the ‘Language of Brexit’ for her dissertation) at Lancaster.

  • Further Education
    With a qualification in English, you could progress to university.
    Potential courses include:
    > Creative Writing 
    > English 
    > History 
    > Journalism 
    > Media and PR

  • Careers
    Potential careers you can go into with an English qualification include:
    > Civil Service
     > Journalism
     > Marketing, Advertising and PR -Media
     > Publishing
     > Teaching

Combined with other qualifications and study, you may also go into:
> Academia
 > Finance
 > Law