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.

I have loved the great atmosphere, so different to high school. You are a lot more independent but the teachers are always there to help you and they know what grades you need to get for university. ~ Nick Hewetson, Ex- Aylsham High School, now studying Medicine at University of Birmingham