English

We pass the word around . . . we read poetry; we meditate over literature . . . we change our minds; we reach an understanding. Society evolves this way, not by shouting each other down, but by the unique capacity of unique, individual human beings to comprehend each other

Lewis Thomas, US author, biologist, physician

Literature in English at Advanced Level will involve you in the study of significant literary texts, both modern and pre-1900, in drama, poetry and prose. Students will do AS exams (50% of the total assessment) at the end of the first year and A2 exams (50% of the total assessment) at the end of the second year.

Overall, we provide essential training in the skills of close reading, analysis and essay-writing and this will give you a firm base of skills and knowledge if you intend to study Arts or Humanities at a higher level or to add much-valued breadth to your study of the Sciences. A strong emphasis on class discussion encourages the independent exploration of ideas, which will prepare you for studies at college or university. Regular tests take place from the first term to give students practice in examination techniques.

English students go on regular trips which enable you to enhance your appreciation of your set texts outside the classroom environment. Recent trips have included Study Days at Shakespeare’s Globe on Macbeth and theatre visits to see The Winter’s Tale and Henry IV, Part 2.

Aims of the Course

During the course, we will give you opportunities to:
• Read widely, independently and critically
• Become familiar with the traditions of English literature
• Learn to express your literary response in speech and writing
• Develop as a confident, independent and reflective reader
• Use critical concepts and literary terminology with understanding
• Understand and evaluate the interpretations of others
• Broaden the knowledge, skills and understanding acquired on AS/2 level texts
• Use your knowledge and understanding of individual texts to explore comparisons between them
• Appreciate the significance of cultural and historical influences on and context of texts and writers

AS Texts to be studied in 2019- 2020:

Paper 1 – Poetry and Prose

2 hour exam – closed text – 50 marks total (25% of total A level)

Students will answer an essay question OR a passage-based question on each set text (one poetry, one prose).
Robert Frost, Selected Poems (Oxford Student Texts)
E.M. Forster, Howards End (Penguin Classics)

Paper 2 – Drama

2 hour exam – closed text – 50 marks (25% of total A level)

Students will answer an essay question OR a passage-based question on each set text (both drama).
Arthur Miller, All My Sons (Methuen Drama)
Shakespeare, Henry IV Part II (Cambridge Schools Shakespeare)

A2 Texts to be studied in 2020-21:

Paper 3 – Shakespeare and Drama

2 hour exam – closed text – 50 marks (25% of total A level)
Students will answer TWO questions on two set texts – at least ONE of which must be a passage-based question.

Proposed texts:
Shakespeare, A Winter’s Tale (Cambridge Schools)
Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie (Penguin)

 

Paper 4 – Poetry and Prose

2 hour exam – closed text – 50 marks (25% of total A level)

Students will answer TWO questions on two set texts – at least ONE of which must be a passage-based question.

Proposed texts:
John Milton, Paradise Lost: Books 9 and 10. (Brampton English Dept)
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale (Penguin)

Higher Education and Careers Opportunities

All universities and employers recognise that an English qualification is a clear demonstration of an impressive set of skills including independent research, the understanding and manipulation of complex ideas and strong oral and written communication abilities.

Professional careers such as accountancy, banking and law welcome English graduates with on-the-job training used to develop key skills. Students may also progress to the media as some form of journalist, whether it is working on a newspaper, for a magazine or website. Publishing is another popular choice, based around an understanding of the language and its marketable presentation – the selecting, reviewing and arranging of material for publication.

Other students pursue a research role: working behind the scenes on television or radio programmes to provide background information can be a very rewarding first career move. You’re also well placed to go into a whole range of industries, such as retail, secretarial, administration, advertising, marketing, media, PR and sales.

 

English Staff

Anu Laws, Head of Department

Anuradha has been teaching A level English Literature and A level English Language for the last twenty years. In addition, she has been an examiner for A levels and GCSEs for much of that time. Besides A Level and GCSE English, Anuradha has also worked with students from all over the world preparing them for a range of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) qualifications.
Anuradha is a trustee at Half Moon Theatre, a leading arts organisation in East London. In her free time, Anuradha enjoys exploring east London, and delving into its rich history. She also enjoys adding to her collection of books, particularly those about the Indian subcontinent. Anuradha holds a Master’s degree from the University of Leeds.

Martyn Crucefix

M Cruecefix
Martyn is a specialist teacher of English Literature and Language with a wide range of teaching experience at 6th Form level and beyond, including Adult Education and Higher Education. A former Vice Principal, Martyn took his first degree in English and Philosophy at Lancaster University and went on to complete his doctorate at Worcester College, Oxford before gaining his PGCE at Oxford. He has published a number of articles on Romantic Literature and contemporary poetry and has published several collections of his own poetry.

 

David Dowson

Niraj Shukla

Niraj graduated from Nottingham University in 2008, and before joining Brampton, he taught English and Economics at an independent sixth form college in North West London. Throughout his teaching career, he has received consistently excellent feedback, and he aims to create an enjoyable and engaging learning environment, while maintaining a firm focus on students’ performance. Niraj is an amatuer pianist, an obsessive reader and is currently writing his first novel.

Rosalind Dobson

Graduating with a degree in English Literature from Magdalene College Cambridge in 2016, Rosalind began teaching English A and AS level at Collingham College in 2017 to support herself while studying for her masters in vocal performance at the Royal College of Music, graduating in 2018 with distinction. Now working as a freelance singer she has also broadened her teaching portfolio to include singing and acting tuition. She is delighted to be joining the English department at Brampton College for the coming year, and hopes to bring to the post her particular love of poetry and drama and her strong capacity to foster creativity and integrity in her students’ work through close encounters with literary texts. 

English Students

Liz Saul

When I first met Bernard Canetti, I knew I had found what I was looking for in a College – an outstanding academic reputation as well as the kind and always available support. Leaving the school I had spent 5 years at was difficult, but I never looked back and to this day, I know the decision had a huge positive impact on my academic career and future.

In my previous school I had issues with time management and stress, but the support I received from my subject teachers as well as Bernard proved invaluable, especially The Exam Anxiety workshop. Admittedly, the work load was challenging with weekly and fortnightly tests, however, I believe it was those rigorous tests that ensured my exam success.

They create an exam environment which made the real exams much less daunting and I found it simply impossible to skip something I didn’t understand, because it was always acknowledged in the tests and the teachers were readily available to devote their time to aid my understanding.

My biggest challenge at Brampton was taking AS/A2 Classical Civilisation in one year – the content was difficult as was managing to learn such a wide expanse of information in a short time. However, the scheduling of lessons ensured that the course was completed ahead of time, and my teacher, Mike Wheeldon, was constantly available to lend a helping hand and provide extra lessons when I felt I needed them.

During my time at Brampton, personal problems became a slight distraction – and this is where I believe I couldn’t have made it through my exams without the support and constant reassurance from my teachers. Brampton College is place where you are not just a student, but a person. I spent many hours with my personal tutor who gave me the strength to pull through difficult times. The parent–teacher communication was excellent, and although I felt I couldn’t get away with anything, in the long run, it proved to be the foundations of my success.

To me, teacher encouragement is vital, if not more important than accumulated knowledge, in allowing a student to believe they can achieve. There were many moments of self-doubt that were washed away by positive and useful advice received through fortnightly reports.

My greatest moment was of course when I received my 3 A’s in English, Sociology and Classical Civilisation. I gained a place to read English Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London, and believe that the skills I learnt at Brampton College come into practise every day.

I felt that the College were proud of my achievements, and even awarded me with an ‘Outstanding Performance award’, however, I feel I owe most of that success to my teachers and Bernard.


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