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KS5 (Years 12-13)

Throughout all of our suite of Key Stage 5 studies there is, we hope, tremendous scope for excellence, for experimentation and for enjoyment.

We design two year Key Stage Five curriculums intended to give students a rich experience of specialist A level study. The academic success of our students is, of course, paramount and the level of achievement of each individual student is tracked and supported by their teachers through regular assessment and tailored feedback.  Teachers build up a detailed profile of students’ strengths and targets at every stage of the entire A level course in order that individual students can be absolutely clear in monitoring their own progress at each stage of their studies.

At the start of all of our A level courses we deliver induction lessons intended to clarify for students the nature of ‘Advanced Level’ studies and our high expectations of their approach to every aspect of their learning.  Our high expectations are matched by a high level of support and during this induction period we offer guidance on everything from how to structure independent study time to the best teaching and learning advice regarding the recording of lesson notes.

Our hope is that students will enjoy the skills that they learn through English Language,  English Literature and Media Studies at Key Stage Five at Poynton High School and also go on to enjoy the success which those skills enable them to secure in their future careers.

A Level English Language (AQA)

English Language is a subject concerned with challenging the status quo; we ask thought-provoking and difficult questions such as who owns English? Why is the English language so widely spoken in the world? Is English deteriorating? And, most shockingly of all, how important is an apostrophe?


A level English Language offers students an enjoyable and challenging course that explores a wide range of concepts, theories and ideas. In Year 12, students will drill down into the make-up of the English Language and familiarise themselves with the core elements of our language such as grammar, discourse and semantics. Beyond this, students will study global English and evaluate the importance of the language in the world. In Year 13, students will learn about child language acquisition and through the independent non-examination units, have free rein to investigate any area of language they are interested in and write and analyse a creative piece in any genre that they choose.


Our A Level English Language students will learn to be independent and creative thinkers, who can analyse, critique and evaluate not only individual texts, but also whole ideas and philosophies. This course is challenging, rewarding and also highly enjoyable.


We want our students to think for themselves and English Language actively encourages individuality and critical thought.


Further information from AQA can be found at


A Level English Literature (AQA)

Why did Thomas Hardy cause such controversy when he labelled Tess Durbeyfield ‘a pure woman’?  Will Willy Loman ever escape the past?  Do you need enemies when you’ve got a friend like Iago?  Can we solve the puzzle of what makes great crime fiction?  Do we think it is easy to decide which writers deserve to be considered part of the canon of great English Literature?

It’s clear from such questions that English Literature lessons will be full of ideas, opinions, analysis and no little argument.

The A level English Literature course offers students an engaging and far-reaching study of the literature of various time periods and genres.   ‘Aspects of Tragedy’ (Year 12) and ‘Elements of Crime’ (Year 13) provide the thematic focus for the examination units, with texts such as Death of a Salesman, Othello, Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Brighton Rock just a sample of those studied.  A non-examination unit allows students more independence as they study prose and poetry through the lens of a number of established critical approaches, such as feminism, Marxism, eco-criticism and canonical study.

Our students will be challenged and engaged within their Literature lessons; they will also have a lot of fun.  Moreover, they will develop a wide range of transferable skills which will make them attractive candidates to both higher education institutes and future employers.

Further information from AQA can be found at


A Level Media Studies (AQA)

You cannot, it is true to say, please all of the people all of the time.  Some are thinkers and some are doers. Nonetheless, our students choose A level Media Studies precisely because the course divides very neatly between the theoretical and the practical.

The ultimate aim for our students is to become expert at both deconstruction and construction. Analysis and understanding of the codes and conventions of a broad range of media texts and genres allows our students to become better skilled and better prepared producers. By being able to recognise professional standards our students’ aims are to approach professional standards of technical accuracy and creativity in their own work. A pleasing majority are able to do just that. Hour after hour after hour of video editing and perfection; the director’s cut. They also learn how to think and write critically and to look beyond the surface of media representations. We live in a world of global communications where the media landscape is moving at breakneck speed. What better time to study the profound influence and effects that the media has on all aspects of our lives. Our students thrive on the excitement and the challenge.

Through a variety of teaching methods and resources students can enjoy lessons where they explore not only generic deconstruction skills but are encouraged to develop their own critical autonomy. Independent case study research is at the forefront of preparation for all Media Studies examinations and we urge our students to follow their own lines of interest.

Further information from AQA can be found at

Poynton High School & Performing Arts College

Yew Tree Lane, Poynton, Cheshire SK12 1PU

01625 871 811