Key Stage Three

The English Department’s primary aims are to cultivate a love of Literature in our pupils and to inspire them to write with style and confidence. We adopt an integrated and holistic approach to learning by teaching grammar, syntax, punctuation and the more technical aspects of language through the study of Literature in all its genres. Pupils study a wide range of novels, plays and poetry throughout KS3 and enjoy trips to the theatre and cinema to complement their appreciation of studied texts. Reading is actively encouraged through our ‘Drop Everything And Read’ campaign and by weekly visits to the school library. Visits from storytellers and authors nurture a literary culture and keep the passion for books alive.


Literature and Language are studied by all pupils. In Literature pupils study a twentieth century novel and unseen nineteenth century prose. They also study a twentieth century play and poetry based on one of the following themes; identity, relationships, and conflict. These texts are examined externally. Pupils complete one essay on a Shakespearean text which is assessed internally. In Language pupils study the writing style employed by writers in fiction, non-fiction and media texts and learn to analyse the features of these genres. They develop these technical skills in their own writing and learn to write for a specific purpose and audience as well as creatively. Emphasis is put on enhancing pupils’ communication skills by providing opportunities to participate in a number of varied ‘Speaking and Listening’ activities. Pupils also become adept at analysing the impact of the spoken word. Throughout Key Stage 4, pupils attend the theatre and cinema which further enhances their understanding of the set texts.


Pupils study a wide range of novels, plays and poetry which gives a depth to their appreciation of literature. At AS level pupils study Robert Frost and Seamus Heaney, analysing poetic methods, context, and connection between the poets. They study a twentieth century play, e.g. ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller, analysing dramatic methods and context. Pupils also study a pre-twentieth century novel, e.g. Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’, analysing narrative methods and context. These texts are examined externally. At A2 level, pupils study a play from a chosen Shakespearean genre, e.g. Tragedy- ‘King Lear’. They study pre-nineteen hundred poetry eg. John Donne and unseen poetry. These are also examined externally. Pupils are given the opportunity to engage in a detailed study of two novels, one of which must be a twenty-first century novel, e.g. Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’, alongside George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Pupils produce a 2,500 word essay which is internally assessed. Throughout the sixth-form pupils will visit Seamus Heaney’s Homeplace and attend a number of lectures, alongside visits to the theatre and cinema.

English Department

Teaching Staff

Mrs Leona McCullagh (HOD) 

Mrs Fiona Duffy (Asst. HOD)

Ms Carolyn Hunter 

Mrs Kate Kelly 

Ms Edel Mulligan 

Mrs Siobhan Scannell 

Ms Mairead Quigley 

Mrs Fiona Sutherland 

Mr Cathal Tierney.