top of page



Mrs C Reid MA BEd (Head of Department)
Mrs R Taylor MSc BA PGCE (Literacy Co-Ordinator)
Ms H McCaughan BA PGCE
Mrs J Hamilton BA PGCE
Miss E Caldwell BA PGCE
Mr A Macdonald BA PGCE

M Roberts BA (Hons), MA, PGCE, NPQSL

Why Study English?

We believe that the study of English should develop the ability of pupils to achieve their full potential to, communicate effectively, and accurately in speech and in written form; should promote understanding and imaginative responses to what they hear, read and experience in a variety of media; and foster their appreciation and enjoyment of the subject in all forms.


This ability will not only equip pupils for adult life and employment; it will also enrich their personal lives and that of their community.

Department Aims

  • To provide learning opportunities for pupils to develop as individuals, contributors to society, the economy and the environment.

  • To provide a learning environment where pupils are encouraged to develop communication skills and provide opportunities for pupils to explore how the attitudes and actions of individuals can impact on other people's lives.

  • To develop literacy to ensure every child leaves with the skills they need to achieve their best.

  • To foster a love of literature across all genres. We want to see our pupils develop and apply their critical faculties to what they read in literature, both fiction and non-fiction, while ensuring reading for pleasure is of paramount importance.

  • To provide pupils with opportunities to appreciate and use language for a range of functional and creative purposes.

  • To train our pupils to use a range texts in order to gain knowledge and skills relevant to their purposes and needs. To develop pupils' ability to shape and deconstruct messages in print and digital forms.

Key Stage 3

We encourage pupils to develop their learning through Reading, using:

  • A range of fiction and non-fiction texts

  • Participating in Bookbuzz

  • Extra curricular  book clubs

  • Engaging classroom resources and activities

  • Author visits

  • Readathon

  • Scholastic Book Fair

  • Kids’ Lit Quiz and more!                                 

This year all Year 8 pupils are involved in Bookbuzz! Bookbuzz is a reading programme from Booktrust, which supports schools to encourage reading for pleasure, independent choice and to develop a whole school reading culture. Students were given the chance to choose their own  book to keep from a wide range of titles and genres which were chosen by a panel of experts. 



Pupils develop their written skills through a carefully planned programme of activities designed to build confidence, accuracy and impact. We use:

  • Departmental designed resources

  • IXL English

  • Competitions

  • Modelled writing

  • Author visits

  • and visits to Heaney’s Homeplace

Speaking and Listening


Pupils in all year groups are given the opportunity to discuss and listen to the opinions and ideas of others. We encourage pupils to be open to new ideas and challenge their own and other views, through careful listening and respectful contributions.


Pupils in each year group also develop their presentation skills by preparing and delivering a presentation each year in preparation for the requirements of GCSE English Language.

GCSE English Language

Currently pupils sit the course specification awarded by CCEA. Full details of the course can be accessed at

In addition to high quality classroom teaching and learning, pupils are also given the opportunity to access a wide range of teaching and revision resources. Pupils are given targets and and asked to work with staff and others to ensure they attain their goal. Staff expect pupils to give their best in all aspects of the course. Visits to theatres and screenings of examination texts are encouraged.

GCSE English Literature

Pupils take the CCEA GCSE English Literature course, where again agreed targets are set and pupils are expected to strive to consistently give their best, both in class and at home, in order to attain their potential.

There are a range of study texts available to supplement the independent study necessary at this stage. Opportunities are also offered to see plays in performance.

AS LEVEL and A2 LEVEL English Literature

We are delighted to see the continued enthusiasm for literature and seek to continually support pupils as they explore a wide range of literary texts, ranging from Heaney to Shelley. The full range of texts is available to view on the CCEA website.


At this level consistent, detailed, independent study is integral to success. Pupils are expected to critically explore the contexts, method and craft of every examined writer.

Again our staff continuously support and foster pupils learning through best classroom practice and affording opportunities to attend a range of revision conferences . A wealth of critical material is also available within the department for pupils to supplement learning.

Pupils are given the opportunity to go on a number of trips throughout their A Level study. These include lecture days at Stranmillis University Belfast as well as a trip to Homeplace, the Seamus Heaney Centre in Bellaghy. We believe these experiences are of great value in gaining further knowledge and insight into texts and in developing an understanding of context.”


If you have the words, there's always a chance that you'll find the way.

- Seamus Heaney

Career Options

There are a myriad of careers available to those with qualifications in English. Make sure you read the detailed careers information in each of the English classrooms.

bottom of page