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Student without English Lit - can they access A level courses?

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by tb9605, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter


    A query for anyone involved in 6th form college admissions processes.

    A student that I am currently teaching in Spain wants to go to Britain to do A levels (he is British). However, he is currently taking his GCSEs but only doing English Language - he won't sit English Literature.

    Is this a problem?

    When I taught in the UK I was always under the impression that students needed to do both English Language and Literature (though didn't actually need to pass Literature) in order for them to get onto A level courses. My old Head of Department used to talk about needing to sit the Literature paper in order to validate the Language one.

    This would be one of those areas where I would be over the moon to be wrong...

    On a similar note, am I right in thinking that he needs to do the Spoken Language Endorsement as well? (It's optional on the specification we're using.)
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Does he want to do English A-level or is this a question about A-levels in general?

    I've just checked a top state sixth form college and they only require both Language and Literature to do English Literature at A-level. English Language, Film Studies, Drama and Theatre Studies all say specifically "English (lang or lit)".

    I can imagine some schools saying they've got to have done EngLit to do A-levels just as a way of weeding out those who were in low GCSE English sets - usually it's the lower sets that don't do Literature. If he's coming from an overseas school where English Literature is not offered, I can imagine that they might be less fussed.
    tb9605 likes this.
  3. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    That’s a rule for league tables (both Englishes must be taken for the English Progress 8 slot to be double-weighted).

    Spoken language is compulsory for all GCSE specifications. Is he doing an IGCSE?
    tb9605 likes this.
  4. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Ah..... so it matters for the school, but not the student then? So it´s not a problem for him?

    Yes, he´s doing an IGCSE.

    Thanks for the reply.
  5. CandysDog

    CandysDog Occasional commenter

    Largely. It depends on the entry requirements on his course. GCSE English Literature is widely-taken and demonstrates essay writing skills, so it’s a fair one to ask for.

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