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English literature

(18 Posts)
Warmworm Tue 14-Feb-17 19:32:41

My daughter's school have decided that English literature GCSE should be taught as an option, not a core subject. They can only choose three subjects and she wants to do a language (French) and music, which she loves. The third choice was going to be history, but now they've made this announcement about English literature she's wondering if it would be more useful? Does anyone know if you can study English lit at A level if you haven't done the GCSE, in case she changes her mind? She's very good at a English.

I think it's a great shame that lots of kids will leave school with no exposure to Shakespeare, etc., but the school reckon they need to focus on getting English language grades up and so they don't have time to teach English lit as well. The timetable is so squeezed because loads of time is spent on Welsh Bacc, Welsh, RE, and PE - which are all compulsory, much to our annoyance.

(PS - I'm not annoyed that Welsh kids study Welsh, but they have been learning it since reception and they sit the GCSE in year 9 so the timetabled hours in year 10 and 11 seem like wasted hours for any kids who don't want to take it any further. Welsh Bacc however....)

hesterton Tue 14-Feb-17 19:33:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nicetoseeyoutoseeyounice Tue 14-Feb-17 19:42:31

A level requirements differ from each school/college so you would have to ask the school if she would need to have a gcse in English literature to be able to study it for a levels. It is a real shame they have mucked around with the options at her school. It was compulsory when I did mine. Have a word with the school. They might also be able to point you in the right direction for independent study if she doesn't choose it as one of her options.

bellabelly Tue 14-Feb-17 19:47:06

I teach English Lit A level and I think it would be hard to do the A Level without the basics covered at GCSE. Not impossible if she is bright and motivated BUT much harder if she's not used to analysing texts closely.

Warmworm Tue 14-Feb-17 20:09:02

I'll look into doing it independently- I hadn't considered that.

TheEdgeofSeventeen Tue 14-Feb-17 20:11:15

:O As someone who is doing an MA in English Lit and only found my love of it at the end of Year 9 after having a really good teacher this frankly appals me. As if people don't understand our own language enough nowadays!

YoureAllABunchOfBastards Tue 14-Feb-17 20:15:00

I'm really surprised they have done that as if you take both Lang and Lit the best grade is double weighted. Currently trying to argue that my bottom set should focus on Lang only as there is now so much content in Lit and am hitting my head off a brick wall....

Warmworm Tue 14-Feb-17 20:22:59

TheEdge I agree. I loved reading the classic novels set at school when I was a teen. I'd never have chosen them if I didn't have to. I feel the school are really letting kids down. Especially those who don't come from families where reading/books are part of everyday life.

Doing it independently looks awkward because of the controlled assessment parts.

Sadik Tue 14-Feb-17 22:05:10

That's so rubbish sad Will she at least be doing Welsh literature if they're taking the language GCSE in yr 9?
I'm somewhat dubious about dd taking lit (her school is the opposite and expects them to take literature in both if they get a decent grade for language in yr 10) but the new welsh course does look to be a bit less old fashioned and grim.

Sadik Tue 14-Feb-17 22:06:57

And yes why the Welsh bacc - is there anyone who actually thinks it's a good thing . . .

mumsneedwine Wed 15-Feb-17 00:16:32

There is no controlled assessment in exams anymore

Sadik Wed 15-Feb-17 07:36:04

The exams are different here in Wales though mumsneedwine, I don't know about literature, but for example the two spoken elements still count for 20% of the language grade

myfavouritecolourispurple Wed 15-Feb-17 08:48:09

There is some controlled assessment in exams in England too - it depends on subjects, so maybe not for English lit (I did 100% coursework for my English lit GCSE back in 1988!) but for other subjects eg engineering or geography.

Evergreen777 Wed 15-Feb-17 08:54:03

I think that's a real shame. DS would absolutely have dropped English lit if he could at the end of Y9. But he got so much out of it in the end. Got him thinking and talking about all sorts of things and confident that he can at least if he wants read adult novels. I'd share your views that your DD's school has got some odd priorities about what's really core.

mumsneedwine Wed 15-Feb-17 15:01:59

Apologies, didn't realise you are in Wales. Think it's mad to drop Eng Lit (& I say that as a science person). I would ask school for the reason as most schools manage to teach both to most pupils quite successfully

Warmworm Wed 15-Feb-17 15:48:24

I've just had an email saying the "top" students will be offered the chance to do it after school (poor teachers!). Still waiting to hear if that includes my daughter.

mumsneedwine The reasons they've given are that the English language results are suffering and they need to focus more on that during the timetabled hours. They can't squeeze any more time out of the timetable for English lit because of all the compulsory subjects.

sadik I must confess I don't actually know what they will be spending the timetabled Welsh hours doing once they've sat the GCSE.

Sadik Wed 15-Feb-17 16:01:11

Maybe that would be a question to ask warmworm. If they're doing Welsh literature, it does make a bit more sense. I do question the logic for doing 2 x literature exams, since it seems to me the skill set should be the same for both - you wouldn't be expected to sit Geography in both Welsh and English!

mumsneedwine Wed 15-Feb-17 16:46:40

Doing Welsh Lit makes sense - would assume it would be seen in the same way (to be honest I'd be well impressed as Welsh looks hard to me).

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