Department   English

Staff in Department
C Hamilton

K Millar

S Thompson

N McLaughlin

C Anderson

J Mallon

K Murphy

Aims of Department
The aims of the English Department

·         To develop sound reading habits and encourage reading for enjoyment;

·         To improve skills in writing for various purposes;

·         To develop confidence in students’ speaking and listening skills.

·         To equip pupils with transferable skills to carry forward into the world of work and beyond.

This is achieved through the study of a wide range of literary, non-fiction and media texts. We aim to fulfil all the requirements of the Northern Ireland Revised Curriculum and prepare the students for entry into their GCSE courses.

The English Department also supports the value of live productions to enhance the study of literature. We regularly take pupils to the theatre and cinema in order to bring texts to life for them. Other opportunities and activities include-

·         Author visits

·         Book Fairs

·         Public Speaking

·         Poetry competitions

·         Inter school competitions

Key Stage 3
Pupils participate in a range of individual, paired and group activities to support their learning in the three areas of English and Communication:

·         Reading

·         Writing

·         Speaking and Listening

Pupils study fiction and non-fiction, written and moving image material to prepare them for study at GCSE. The skills acquired are transferable to other subjects.

Pupils are assessed throughout KS3 in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening using the Levels of Progression set out in the Revised NI Curriculum.

In Year 10 a level will be awarded based on the outcome of this ongoing assessment.

Topics covered-

Year 8


Introduction to Shakespeare

Non-fiction –DVD covers and Film posters

Two class novels

Year 9


Introduction to Moving Image

Non-fiction –Leaflets

Two class novels

Year 10

Spoken Language

Assessment Skills


Two class novels

Drama period

Key Stage 4 Pathway
Pupils are entered for CCEA English Language at either Foundation or Higher Tier.

Course Content

UNIT 1 – Personal Writing and Reading Multi-Modal Texts. ( 20% )

External exam ( 1 ½ hours )

UNIT 2 – Functional Writing and Reading Non-Fiction ( 20% )

External exam ( 1 ½ hours )

UNIT 3 – Speaking and Listening ( 20% )

You will complete a number of assessments over the 2 years of your GCSE course and in term 2 of Year 12, the best in each of the following categories will be selected to arrive at your overall mark:

  • an individual speech/presentation with questions from your audience.
  • a role-play.
  • a group discussion.

 Internal Assessment

UNIT 4 – Spoken and Written Language + Writing Creatively (40%)

These 3 pieces of written work make up your Controlled Assessment folder. CCEA will set the tasks each year.

Task 1 – The Study of Spoken Language ( 10% )

Task 2 – The Study of Written Language ( 15% )

Task 3 – Writing Creatively                     ( 15% )

 Internal Assessment

*The top band class is also entered for GCSE Literature as an additional qualification.

Key Stage 5 (if applicable)
Examining Board: CCEA

Course Description

This course should encourage students to develop their interest and enjoyment in literary studies through reading widely, independently and critically. At AS Level, students should develop as confident, independent readers of a range of texts. The A2 course should broaden and deepen the knowledge, skills and understanding developed at AS Level. A Level courses should also encourage students to explore connections between texts and appreciate the significance of cultural and historical influences upon readers and writers.

In GCE English Literature, students are assessed against four objectives, which appear below. Students must:

  • articulate creative, informed and relevant responses to literary texts, using appropriate terminology and concepts and coherent, accurate written expression (AO1);
  • demonstrate detailed critical understanding in analysing the ways in which structure, form and language shape meanings in literary texts (AO2);
  • explore connections and comparisons between different literary texts, informed by interpretations of other readers (AO3); and
  • demonstrate understanding of the significance and influence of the contexts in which literary texts are written and received (AO4).
AS 1: The Study of Drama to include

Shakespeare and 20th Century Dramatists. Internal assessment (two pieces).

40% AS

20% A Level

AS 2: The Study of Poetry written after 1800 and the Study of Prose 1800-1945. Examination (two questions) 60% AS

30% A Level

A2 1: The Study of Poetry 1300-1800 and Drama. Examination (two questions). 50% A2

25% A Level

A2 2: The Study of Prose – theme based. Examination (two questions). 50% A2

25% A Level


Each class is set one learning and one written homework per week.  No longer than one hour should be spent on each homework.
Extra –curricular activities/Clubs
Drama club (Stage-School)

Film Club