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English Literature

The department aims to imbue in all students a love of English and its literature through a range of texts, genres, cultures, and tasks across the age-ranges. Our primary aim is to create an ambitious and thoughtful curriculum so that all students, regardless of their background can develop into independent, creative, and critical thinkers. Our intention is to explore the rich and varied literary canon, using texts and genres to teach students about the human condition as well as the functionality of the subject. Crucially, we endeavour to provide all students with a language toolkit that will support and facilitate their lives beyond The Royal School.

At KS5, we use the AQA English Literature B specification. There are two components which we study – Aspects of Tragedy and Elements of Crime. Within the Tragedy component, students will be exposed to a range of ideas including racism, social and economic inequality and gender inequality.  

During their study of crime, students will explore the legal and moral implications of criminality within a range of texts – texts which often precede the crime genre – and explore these implications from a variety of critical lenses and contexts.  

As part of the AQA specification, students also must undertake a non-exam assessment with students choosing both an anthology of poetry and a work of prose to analyse from a specific critical perspective. The intention of this is to prepare students for the demands of the examinations and firmly scaffold the academic frame for writing debate responses.  

Students are also encouraged through independent study to access wider reading through a variety of reputable sources such as The British Library and the English Media Centre.