students studying together


Books are mirrors when readers see their own lives reflected in the pages. Books are windows when they allow readers a view of lives and stories that are different from their own. Books become sliding glass doors when readers feel transported into the world of the story and when they feel empathy for the characters.

Rudine Sims Bishop – Professor emerita at Ohio State University

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 2021- 2022:

Paper 1 – Drama and Poetry

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

Students will answer an essay question on each set text.
Gillian Clarke, Collected Poems
Arthur Miller, All My Sons

Paper 2 – Prose and Unseen

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

Students will write an essay on each set text.
Ian McEwan, Atonement
Unseen Extract (Drama, Poetry, Prose)

A2 Texts to be studied in 2021-22:

Paper 3 – Shakespeare and Drama

2 hour exam – closed text – 50 marks (25% of total A level)
Students will write an essay on each set text.
William Shakespeare, King Lear
Shelagh Stephenson, An Experiment with an Air Pump

Paper 4 – Poetry and Prose

2 hour exam – closed book – 50 marks (25% of total A level)
Students will write an essay on each set text
John Milton, Paradise Lost: Books 9 and 10.
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.

A level Results




67% 91%

English Staff

English Students

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.

Liz Saul