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Co-teaching guide: Aspects of tragedy and comedy

Our AS and A-level English Literature courses provide strong stand-alone qualifications that are fully co-teachable, so you can choose the approach that best suits your and your students’ needs.

The features that make them so co-teachable include:

  • the same Assessment objectives (AOs) across AS and A-level
  • a common mark scheme across all components of AS and A-level
  • A-level texts available to students at AS
  • AS content mirrors that of A-level Paper 1.

Aspects of tragedy and comedy

Below, we outline how to co-teach the 'Aspects of tragedy' and 'Aspects of comedy' content for both AS and A-level English Literature B.

AS paper/ section AS assessment A-level paper/ section A-level assessment Additional guidance

Paper 1

Section A

Study of one Shakespeare play.

Tragedy – choice of:

  • Othello
  • King Lear

OR

Comedy – choice of:

  • Taming of the Shrew
  • Twelfth Night

Students are required to write about a passage from the play (passage printed in paper), and open out to wider play.

Paper 1

Section A

In Section A students are required to write about a passage from the play (passage printed in paper), and open out to wider play.

The same Shakespeare play can be taught to both AS and A-level students.

Both AS/A-level assessments include a question which focuses on a passage and which invites links to the wider play so all students can be prepared in the same way.

The necessary difference in demand in the assessment between AS/A-level lies in the provision of bullet point prompts at AS only.

The AS questions with bullet point prompts can also be used as a starting point for A-level students before they move onto questions without this scaffolding.

Paper 1

Section B

In Section B students respond to one question on a Shakespeare play. A-level students may respond on the same Shakespeare as in Section A thereby studying the same text as the AS students.

Paper 1

Section B

Students respond to one question on a set drama text.

Paper 1 Section C

In Section C, students respond to one question on two texts (one drama and one further text).

AS and A-level students can prepare on the same drama text for AS Paper 1, Section B or A-level Paper 1 Section C.

AS and A-level students can prepare on the same poetry text for AS Paper 2 Section A or A-level Paper 1 Section C.

AS and A-level students can prepare on the same prose text for AS Paper 2 Section B or A-level Paper 1 Section C.

The additional text required at AS can be used as wider reading for A-level students and provides them with choice of further text for comparison on Paper 1, Section C.

Study of a prose text by A-level students, although not compulsory for Paper 1, will help them when writing about prose in Paper 2 and for NEA.

The poetry anthology can be studied by AS students for Paper 2, Section A and can be used to introduce A-level students to the ways in which different ‘aspects’ of tragedy or comedy work in different texts.

A-level students can study either the additional poetry text or the additional prose text ,which appear on the AS set text list only, for use in NEA.

Paper 2

Section A

Students respond to one question on a set poetry text.

Paper 2

Section B

Students respond to one question on a set prose text.

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