Experience tells us that wider reading can make all the difference in enabling students to access the higher grades at A Level. We would encourage you to ensure that you do as much reading as possible to back up what you cover in lessons. Please click on the links below to view Reading Lists for each A-level subject. Please do not hesitate to contact your teacher in the first instance should you need any further advice.
Why reading around the subject is important:-
- You have chosen the subjects you are taking at A level and must find them interesting. So why would you not want to find out more?
- Extra reading helps to put the new ideas that you are learning about in your lessons in context.
- It helps you to broaden your knowledge. There is so much to learn about your subjects and your A level specification can’t possibly cover everything.
- You can spend more time looking at topics that particularly interest you.
- Many subjects are fast-moving subjects, like biology, and there are always new discoveries and techniques to find out about.
- If you are applying for Vet Science, Medicine, Biomedicine, Oxbridge etc. you may need to discuss your wider reading at interview.
- Top marks in the essay!
SUGGESTIONS ON WHERE TO START
Going Beyond the Classroom: Super-Curricular Learning
One of the best ways you stand out during your Sixth Form studies is through the amount of independent study you undertake outside of the classroom.
Regardless of your future plans, the ability to extend yourself and research independently into your interests is an invaluable skill – this will support your university applications and/or future job applications and interviews.
All universities expect more than just classroom knowledge, which is where super-curricular activities come in; these are academic enrichment tasks that show you are interested in your studies beyond what is on the school syllabus. The ‘Discovery List’ alongside the ‘Reading List’ has been put together to help you develop your interests not only in you chosen fields of study, but also in the wider world around you.
- iTunes U
- Free podcasts, video lectures, reading recommendations
- A whole range of resources from leading universities (Oxford, Yale)
- Has its own educational channel – EDU
- Staircase 12
- www.staircase12.org. A website put together by University College, Oxford
- Contains interviews and book reviews from current students
- Radio 4
- Excellent range of archive material
- Recommended – Week in Westminster / Thinking Allowed / A History of the World / In Our Time
- Watch talks from experts from a variety of fields
- MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – These online courses provide videos, reading lists and activities –you often don’t need to formally complete the course
- FutureLearn – www.futurelearn.com
- EdX – www.edx.org
- Coursera – www.coursera.org
Websites of Professional organisations
- www.rsc.org – Royal Society of Chemistry
- www.history.org.uk – The Historical Association
- Some online versions are free
- Read more than one to develop your critical skills