Russell Brand’s testimony to MPs and an interview with Dizzee Rascal will be A-level texts, as part of a new English language and literature A-level.
Russell Brand’s views on UK drugs policy, a Jeremy Paxman interview with the rapper Dizzee Rascal and the book of the Oscar-winning film Twelve Years a Slave are amongst a raft of contemporary works selected by the OCR exam board as set texts.
The new syllabus is a result of Michael Gove’s determination to see more evidence of pupils’ thinking skills and creative ability, as part of his A-level reforms. The Independent reports that the new texts will be studied alongside more traditional A-level works, such as Shakespeare’s plays and Samuel Pepys’ diaries.
The DfE is harshly critical of the OCR’s plans: “Schools should be aware that if they offer this rubbish in place of a proper A-level, then pupils may not get into good universities,” a spokesman said. “It is immensely patronising to young people to claim that they will only engage with English language and literature through celebrities such as Russell Brand.”
OCR claims that the syllabus meets the latest Ofqual and DfE guidelines. Hester Glass, its subject specialist for English language and literature, said: “Historically, English language and literature A-level has lacked a clearly defined identity. By creating a new model with a linguistic approach to literary texts, we aim to set a new gold standard to transform the A-level into a more valuable, distinctive qualification.”
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