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Poynton High School

and Performing Arts College

01625 871811

Key Stage 5

Throughout all our Key Stage 5 studies there is, we hope, much scope for experimentation and for enjoyment. 

The academic success of our students is, of course, paramount. The level of achievement of each individual student is tracked and encouraged by their teachers through regular assessment.  These assessments are all usefully compiled in one record booklet which allows teachers to build up a detailed profile of students’ strengths and targets at every stage of the entire A Level course. Importantly, it also allows each individual student to be equally clear in monitoring their own progress at each stage of their studies. 

Our hope is that students will enjoy the skills that they learn through English, Language and 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 Literature
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 AQA 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’ and ‘Elements of Crime’ 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.


A Level Media Studies:
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.