Main School




Ms L Howells Head of Department (responsible for Key Stage 4)
Mr P Hussein Head of Department (responsible for Key Stage 5)
Mr G Carey Head of Key Stage 3 English
Ms C Collopy
Ms K Watkins
Ms M Pathak
Ms I Tahir
Ms B Letang
Mr R Burgon
Ms S Gill
Mr R Black
Mr C Holmes
Mr J Wood
Ms L Khan
Miss T Ahmad
Miss T Rahman
Mr D Raphael

Department Overview

At Barking Abbey we aim to prepare students for GCSE whilst fostering a love of reading from the moment they arrive in Year 7. We have developed a new curriculum which ties in very closely with governmental changes whilst addressing the needs and interests of our intake. We have devised schemes of work across the year groups which challenge all learners and gives them opportunities to consider the world from a spiritual, cultural and moral perspective. Barking Abbey students are treated to a range of genres and writers, both fiction and non- fiction, to improve their own reading skills and help to develop their writing. We believe our curriculum encourages the students to want to read independently outside of the classroom as this is a key to knowledge and success in our subject.


Why study English Literature?

English Literature is widely recognised as being one of the most impressive A Level subjects by both universities and employers. This is due to its long standing place in the curriculum, the sophisticated subject matter and the overall challenge it presents to students. English Literature will aid you in many fields of work. It is especially useful for those interested in journalism, publishing, teaching and all aspects of the media. For all professional careers (law, medicine etc…) it is also important as a good grade in this subject displays excellent academic skills. Naturally it looks impressive on UCAS applications for all universities.


What grades will you need?

You must achieve a minimum of two 6 grades- in Language and Literature. Of course 6 9-5/A*-C is required too.


What should you be like?

The fact you must achieve two 6s in English at GCSE highlights the challenge of Literature A-Level. Students should have a good grasp of English Language to communicate in essays. This subject is for those students who enjoy reading and want to read more challenging texts. It is expected that you read novels from a reading list alongside the texts studied in class. If you have a passion for reading novels, plays and poetry you will be perfect for the course!


What will you study?

The AS and A Level are now two separate qualifications. You will study two modules at AS and three at A Level. At AS, both modules are tested through exam and the A Level contains two exams and one piece of coursework. Some of the AS texts are used again in A Level but the examination is different and harder. The AS no longer counts towards the final A Level grade but if you only do the AS qualification it is likely to be worth 40% of the A Level UCAS points.


AS 100% Exam:

Paper 1 – Love through the ages: Shakespeare and Poetry 50%

Section A – Shakespeare - Othello

Section B Pre 1900 poetry

Paper 2 Love through the ages: Prose 50%

Section A – Unseen prose extract

Section B – Comparing two novels (Gatsby plus Rebecca)


The majority of students study the full A Level over the two years.

A Level 80% Exam:

Paper 1 Love through the ages 40%

Section A- Shakespeare (Othello)

Section B – Comparing two unseen poems

Section C – Comparing prose (Gatsby) with pre 1900 poetry

Paper 2 Texts in shared contexts (Modern times to present day) 40%

Section A - The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Section B -Unseen Prose

Section C -A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams compared with

Feminine Gospels, by Carol Ann Duffy


A Level Coursework – 20% (2500 words)

Comparison of Tis Pity by John Ford with a novel of your choice 


Please click here for the reading list. 


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