AS English

Welcome back to Year 12 AS Level English students from Ms. Daniela


Week 2-6 December

Paper 11 May/ June 2016
Commentary writing and directed writing task
Short story by Jeanette Winterson

Term 2 Curriculum overview

UNIT 1: Commentary

*Identify distinguishing features of the texts and relate them to the function and context of the writing

*Learners should be encouraged to think about the contextual information provided for any passage, and to consider what they know (or can deduce) about the passage’s purpose

*Literary material: letters, diaries, essays, (auto) biographies, and narrative/descriptive

UNIT 2: Directed Writing

*write for a specific purpose and/or audience using appropriate vocabulary, tone and style

*identify distinguishing features of texts

UNIT 3: Wider Reading

*Experience literature’s contribution to aesthetic, imaginative and intellectual growth

*Enjoy the experience of reading a wide range of literature, this will enhance writing skills

Assessment weightings for term 1

Tests 50%

Classwork and short assessments 40%

Assignments and projects 10%

Assessment weightings for term 2

Tests-mock exam 50%

Tests-single term test 20%

Classwork and short assessments 30%



  1. AS Level English Language and Literature by Helen Toner and Elizabeth Whittome
  2. Cambridge International AS and A Level English Language by Mike Gould and Marilyn Rankin
  3. AS-Level English, Exam Board:AQA B; Complete Revision & Practice
  4. All past papers, mark schemes and specimen papers from Cambridge CIE Teacher Support Website
  5. Outside readings taken from masters of writing in the English language as needed.

Genre Purpose and tone exercise.docx
The running glossary of tasks and terms for AS level commentary writing.docx


1. Developing the toolkit for AS Level commentary writing and beyond:

  • Genre, purpose, tone, and mood
  • Point of view, figures of speech/literary devices, use of vocabulary
  • Audience, voice (both author's and characters'), syntax, punctuation, grammar

2. Wider reading (continuous):

How to Write with Style by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell, The Phoenix by Sylvia Townsend Warner, and White Fang by Jack London, The Prison by Bernard Malamud

3. Review: sample Commentary on Shooting an Elephant

AS Level Checklist:

  1. Commentary writing. In 2016 and 2017 students had to, or had a choice of, writing commentaries on the following genres:
    • prose, either novels or short stories: Shooting an Elephant and A Hanging by George Orwell, Assessment 1, Polar Bear past paper 2012.
    • speeches:
    • journals: extract from a British soldier during World War II
    • websites and blogs
    • newspaper opinion pieces
    • magazine article reviews

  1. Imaginative writing. In 2016 and 2017 had a choice of writing on one the three options below:
    • narrative writing
    • descriptive writing
    • compare and contrast pieces where students were required to write two short pieces on opposing sides of the same issue.

3. Writing for a wider audience

    • Newspaper and magazine articles
    • speeches
    • broadcast or voice over scripts
    • Formal and semi-formal letters
    • compare and contrast pieces where students were required to write two short pieces on opposing sides of the same issue.

Wider Reading:

1. Shooting an Elephant by George Orwell

2. The Phoenix by Sylvia Townsend Warner

3. White Fang by Jack London

4. A Hanging by George Orwell

5. The Prison by Bernard Malamud


Mock exam- mid January Paper 1 and Paper 2