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New A-Level Specifications
Wed 9 May 2007
While a Creative Writing A-Level itself is still under discussion, Jane Bluett highlights the opportunities for creative writing within the new English Literature and Language specifications.

"There are five new specifications for each of the A Level strands, Language, Literature and Language and Literature. All of the specifications now included opportunities for students to produce their own creative writing, be it a creative response to their reading or production of their own original work. The biggest change comes in the literature specifications, which currently constitute the largest number of A Level candidates. Where there were previously no creative writing elements, they now all have at least one. This is in response to QCA criteria that specify the need for 'creativity'. This development would seem to necessitate that A Level teachers update their expertise in this area (or gain some expertise in this area) and that a lot more creative writing will be going on in the post 16 sector.

"It would seem timely for NAWE to consider how writers could become more involved in this oft neglected sector, possibly through working in colleges or providing appropriate training for teachers. The following is a summary of creative writing opportunities in the new specs. All new specs have 4 units or modules, the first 2 are taken in year 12, the second in year 13.

"As we can see from the charts (for downloading, above right), writing continues to flourish most in the integrated courses. Most writing tasks in these and in the language specifications also demand that students write critical commentaries on their work - still one of the most challenging aspects for most A Level students. Full details of these modules can be found on the appropriate website. Edexcel will not be publishing their specs until September. All specs are currently awaiting QCA approval."

Jane Bluett is a members of both NAWE and NATE Committees.

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