The English department at Paston offers two A-Level courses: English Language and Literature, and English Literature. 

The question we are asked most frequently is: what is the difference between the two? 

It might be easiest to say that the English Literature course is the more traditional and more what GCSE has led you to expect of the subject. On the whole, you study poems, plays and novels by writers you might have heard of. English Language and Literature, however, challenges the whole concept of ‘literature’. The course takes as its underpinning assumption that Elizabethan sonnets or Jane Austen’s fiction are as linguistically interesting as graphic novels, text messages or personal ads (and can be analysed in similar ways).  Its approach might be said to be more scientific and involves learning some linguistic concepts in order to discuss a wider variety of texts.

Both courses are rich and wide-ranging, guaranteed to give you a more informed and critical sense of the power of language and the infinite variety of writing in English. Both are an excellent grounding for undergraduate study. Indeed, English is seen as a strong component of any university application because you learn attention to detail, develop analytical and conceptual skills, and improve the clarity and coherence of your own writing and speaking.

The quality and enthusiasm of the teachers is fantastic; they have a genuine love for their subjects. They consistently encourage and drive you to do your best. My advice to new students is choose subjects that you are passionate about. For me my most memorable experience at Paston was a trip to see A Midsummer Night's Dream in the theatre– a truly memorable experience with fantastic people. ~ Nathan Price, Ex- North Walsham High School and is now Studying at UEA