Teaching Staff

  • Mrs K Bennett, BA MSc PGCE (Subject Leader)
  • Miss J Magee, BA PGCE (Communications Coordinator)
  • Mrs G Youle, BA PGCE
  • Mrs U Graham, BA PGCE
  • Mrs S Scullion, BA MA PGCE
  • Mrs A McCallion, BA PGCE
  • Mrs O Murtagh, BA MEd PGCE
  • Mrs L Scott, BA PGCE
  • Mrs D Thompson, BA PGCE


Key Stage 3


  • All students in Key Stage 3 receive seven fifty minute periods of English during a fortnight. One period per fortnight is allocated to reading for pleasure and students are taken to the College Library. 
  • KS3 work is based around the NI Curriculum. Students will experience a wide variety of texts from different genres, periods and cultures and emphasis is placed on developing the pupils’ confidence and skills whilst making the subject accessible and enjoyable. 

Year 8

Students explore a range of autobiographical material and have the opportunity to create their own autobiography. Students also study a play version of Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol', as well as a modern prose text, an introduction to poetry, fantasy writing and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. 

Year 9 

Students build on their existing knowledge, studying travel writing, film reviews, persuasive writing and the genre of adventure stories. Students will also have the opportunity to explore character in a modern prose text, war poetry and a short story version of one of Shakespeare's plays.

Year 10 

We aim to consolidate skills in Reading, Writing and Talking and Listening. Students study Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', newspapers, as well as exploring themes in a modern prose text and a unit on the genre of Detective fiction. The study of Heaney's poetry, an introduction to the Gothic and a play also form part of the Year 10 curriculum.

  • Tasks and assessments are based on the three attainment targets: Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing. Within each unit of study all assessment objectives are covered and courses are structured around common core assessments that allow us to monitor progress effectively and set precise targets.

  • Pupils are also given opportunities to develop the key skills of:
      > Managing Information
      > Thinking, problem solving and decision making
      > Being creative
      > Working with others
      > Self Management

  • SEN students with particular literacy needs are involved in a withdrawal system from other subjects where they receive either one to one help or support within a very small group.




All students study the CCEA GCSE Specifications in English Language. A number of students will study a combined course in English Language and English Literature. Some students also have the option of studying English Language as a combined course with Media Studies.

English Language

Unit 1: Writing for Purpose and Audience and Reading to Access Non-Fiction and Media Texts
External examination 1 hour 45 mins (30%)

Unit 2: Speaking and Listening (20%)
3 tasks:

  • individual presentation
  • discussion
  • role play

Unit 3: Controlled assessment – Studying Written and Spoken Language (20%)
Task 1 – The Study of Spoken Language
Task 2 – The Study of Written Language

Unit 4: Personal or Creative Writing and Reading Literary and Non-Fiction texts
External examination 1 hour 45 mins (30%)

English Literature

Unit 1: The Study of Prose - 'Of Mice and Men' & Unseen Prose
External examination 1 hour 45 mins (30%)

Unit 2: The Study of Drama and Poetry - 'Blood Brothers' & the poetry in the theme of Identity

External examination 2 hours (50%)

Unit 3: The Study of Shakespeare (20%) -'Macbeth' or ‘The Merchant of Venice’
Controlled assessment

A Level


We offer 2 courses at A Level - English Literature and English Language & Literature.

English Literature

English Literature students follow the CCEA specification.

Unit AS 1- Poetry & Drama
60% of AS, 24% of A-level 
External written exam.. 2 hours.
The poetry of Robert Frost and Seamus Heaney (open book) and Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ (closed book).

The paper has two sections. Candidates answer one question from each section. 

Unit AS 2 – The Study of Prose Pre 1900

40% of AS, 16% of A-level

1 text for study: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (closed book).
External written exam. 1 hour.

Unit A2 1: Shakespearean Genres – Othello

20% of total A level 
External written exam. 1 hour 30 mins. Closed book 

Unit A2 2 Poetry Pre 1900 & Unseen Poetry

20% of total A level 
External written exam. 2 hours. Closed book 

Unit A2 3 Internal Assessment

20% of total A level 
Students complete a 2500 word essay comparing two novels, one of which must be a twenty-first-century novel


English Language & Literature

English Language and Literature students follow the AQA Specification:

Unit 1

Telling Stories

  • Remembered Places – study an anthology of texts related to the theme of Paris
  • Imagined Worlds – study a prose text
  • Poetic Voices – study the forms and functions of poetic voices in a collection of poetry

Texts for study:  ‘Paris Anthology’, ‘Dracula’ and Carol Ann Duffy ‘Mean Time’

40% of A-Level

3 hour exam 

Unit 2

Exploring Conflict

  • Writing about Society – study the role of individual in society through recreative writing
  • Critical commentary – evaluating own creative writing
  • Dramatic Encounters

Texts for study: ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’

40% of A-Level

2 hour 30 minutes exam

Unit 3

Non Exam Assessment (coursework)

  • Making Connections – an investigation on a chosen theme and texts exploring the idea of literariness

20% of A-Level

2500-3000 word report

Assessed by teachers – moderated by AQA

Extra Curricular

  • We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities including Junior and Senior Debating Club; Junior Book Club - Pageturners; school newsletter; regular theatre visits; performances and workshops from professional story-tellers and poets.
  • We run a series of House Competitions throughout the year, including Book Idol, Debating & Poetry Games. 
  • In October students participate in the Poetry Games in celebration of National Poetry Day.
  • We run a series of events and fun activities every year to celebrate World Book Day. 
  • A level English students have the opportunity to go to London as part of an organised trip which includes a workshop at The Globe theatre, a visit to the Harry Potter Studios and the opportunity to see live West End shows.

Homework & Core Assessments

  • At Key Stage 3 each student is given regular homework to complete.
  • At the end of each unit at Key Stage 3 students complete a core assessment task. This work is levelled and stored in the student's Quality File.
  • Core assessments take place six times a year (2 each term). 
  • At Key Stage 4, students are given regular homework which includes research, reading, preparation for controlled assessment tasks and examination practice questions.
  • At Key Stage 5, students complete coursework at both AS & A2 level. This requires regular drafting & ensuring adherence to set deadlines. Practice exam questions will also form a regular part of homework and timed work in class.