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English

Department Staff

Mrs L. O’Grady (Head of Department) (Literacy Co-ordinator)

Mrs F. McKeever

Miss L. Cochrane

Mrs C. Sinclair

Subject Information

The Northern Ireland Curriculum aims to empower young people to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives. Consequently, teachers in the English Department teach the four ‘language modes’ of Talking/Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing, to Year 8-12 students, across the full ability range, with the emphasis on the development of skills and capabilities for life-long learning.

 

The ability to think both critically and creatively and to develop personal and inter-personal skills and dispositions is essential for functioning effectively in a changing world.  We, therefore, support the development of Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities and the cross-curricular skills of Communication, Using Mathematics, Using ICT, and, likewise, CEIAG.  Moreover, students are encouraged to adopt a Growth Mindset approach towards their learning in the English classroom.

 

Accordingly, in its aims, the English Department reflects the whole school vision by:

  • seeking to develop confidence and competence in the four language modes – Talking/Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing and to use these four communication modes as channels for thinking:

  • providing students with a wide range of learning opportunities to develop effective use of language for functional and creative expression and response;

  • promoting understanding of the nature of communication in different contexts;

  • providing opportunities for students to become discerning users of language and to appreciate literature; and, also,

  • enabling students to shape and deconstruct messages in print, mass media and information technologies.

 

Furthermore, the English Department aims to:

  • meet, through our policies and teaching, the requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum;

  • encourage each student to become an independent learner and realise his/her full potential;

  • nurture self-respect and self-confidence and develop attitudes of tolerance, understanding, mutual respect, co-operation, empathy, resourcefulness, adaptability and objectivity;

  • foster in students a delight in reading, which will remain with them through life; and, also,

  • empower students, through an active engagement with language, to develop as individuals, as contributors to society and to the economy and environment, encouraging them to achieve their potential and make conversant and responsible decisions throughout their lives.

 

All students have four, fifty-minute periods of English per week. Students identified as requiring support in Key Stage 3 English are invited to participate in the Literacy Support Programme and Reading Partnership Programme, while, students identified as requiring support in Key Stage 4 English Language are invited to participate in the Mentoring Programme and attend revision sessions.

Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3

Within Key Stage 3, the English Department delivers English and Media Education as part of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. In addressing language and literacy, the Key Stage 3 schemes of work provide opportunities for young people to develop effective communication skills and capabilities in a range of relevant contexts:

  • Spoken Language

  • Fiction

  • Non-Fiction

  • Media

  • Drama

Additionally, students in Years 8, 9 and 10 are encouraged to develop an understanding of how language works, and an appreciation of the richness of language and literature, in any culture, as a means of communication and creative expression through prose, plays and poetry.

 

The Key Stage 3 schemes of work are reviewed on a yearly basis and revised in line with advancements within the Northern Ireland Curriculum, and any modifications to CCEA’s English specifications/courses.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)

The study of CCEA’s GCSE English Language gives students the opportunity to: build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3; have flexibility in preparing for assessment; study English and related subjects at a more advanced level; develop skills for real-life contexts and to progress to employment; engage with and make fresh connections between ideas, texts, words and images; study spoken and written language, exploring how language varies; express ideas and information clearly, precisely, accurately and appropriately in spoken and written communication; and, form independent views and challenge what is heard, or read on the grounds of reason, evidence, or argument.

 

Students in Years 11 and 12 are thereby encouraged to: demonstrate skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing necessary to communicate with others confidently, effectively, precisely and appropriately; express themselves creatively and imaginatively; become critical readers of a range of texts, including multi-modal texts; use reading to develop their own skills as writers; understand the patterns, structures and conventions of written and spoken English; understand the impact of variations in spoken and written language and how they relate to identity and cultural diversity; and, select and adapt speech and writing to different situations and audiences.

 

The GCSE English Language course is accomplished over two years; Units 1 and 4 are sat in the Winter Series in Year 12, with the opportunity to resit (if required) in the Summer series in Year 12. Units 2 and 3 are completed in the Summer Series in Year 12.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE English Language - Course Overview

The study of CCEA’s GCSE English Literature gives students the opportunity to: build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3; have flexibility in preparing for assessment; study English Literature and related subjects at a more advanced level; and, develop the skills they need to progress to employment.

 

Students in Years 11 and 12 are thereby encouraged to: become critical readers of prose, drama and poetry; develop the ability to analyse the impact of language, structure and form in a range of texts; connect ideas, themes and issues in a range of texts; explore contexts and experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations in texts; and, read for enjoyment and nurture a lifelong love of literature.

 

The GCSE English Literature course is accomplished over two years; Unit 1 is sat in the Summer Series in Year 11; while, Units 2 and 3 are completed in the Summer Series in Year 12.

Key Stage 4 - GCSE English Literature - Course Overview

Key Stage 5 (GCE/A-Level)

The study of CCEA’s GCE/A-Level English Literature requires higher order thinking skills and gives students the opportunity to: study a range of English literature written by Irish writers; read texts from the canon of English literature and, also, texts by more modern writers; develop as discerning readers, capable of independent and critical research; and, cultivate a sound basis for progression to higher education.

Students in Years 13 and 14 are encouraged to: engage critically and creatively with a substantial body of texts and ways of responding to them; develop and apply effectively their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation; explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others’ interpretations of them; deepen their understanding of the changing traditions of literature in English; carry out independent research and present personal responses in the form and language appropriate to literary study; develop advanced study skills that help them prepare for third level education; demonstrate, through challenging internal and external assessments, that they understand and can apply key concepts; and, nurture a lifelong interest in English literature.

 

The GCE/A-Level English Literature course is accomplished over two years; Units AS 1 and AS 2 are sat in the Summer Series in Year 13; while, Units A2 1, A2 2 and A2 3 are completed in the Summer Series in Year 14.

Key Stage 5 - GCE English Literature - Course Overview

Extra-Curricular

The English Department endeavours to enrich the curriculum, offered in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5, throughout the year, with various trips, competitions, projects, workshops and guest speakers, related to the study of English.

 

Careers

As a core subject, the study of English Language opens up the opportunity to pursue a wide range of careers, in many areas, such as: Education; Law: Medicine; Social Work and Counselling Services; Insurance: Entertainment; Media, Print and Publishing; Banking and Finance; Accountancy; Administration, Business and Office Work; Leisure, Sport and Tourism; and, Transport and Logistics.

Useful Links

CCEA GCSE English

Language Microsite

CCEA GCSE English Literature Microsite

CCEA GCE English Language Microsite

English Twitter Link >