‘English must be at the heart of all education.’
Mrs C Drennan (Head of Department)
Miss C McClelland
Mrs P Cooke
Miss N McKay
The subject of English occupies a unique and highly significant place within the school curriculum. As one of the core subjects valued by employers, it is essential that pupils leave school as confident and literate adults, whose use of language will be highly functional within the workplace. At the same time, the English department also wishes to ensure that our pupils will engage fully with our rich literary heritage and that they will do so in a way that will develop and enrich them as individuals.
As a result, the English curriculum at Key Stage 3 is designed to afford pupils the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of texts across a range of genres. In so doing, pupils will develop their confidence and competence in reading and writing, as well as speaking and listening. English lessons are invariably collaborative and interactive as we support our pupils in the development of these key life skills. English is also celebrated across the curriculum through annual events such as National Poetry Day and World Book Day. We also have a thriving library programme which supports and enhances the work of the English Department.
‘Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.’ Benjamin Franklin
The English Department offers a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities to enhance and develop written and oral communication skills, as well as encourage pupil leadership and effective teamwork. Opportunities include: Creative Writing Club, Senior Debating Society, Public Speaking, and ‘The R’, Rainey’s eNewspaper.
Winning Haiku: Year 8 Competition
Leaves begin to fall
The air begins to grow cool
A sea of gold falls.
Lorcan Goldridge: Walker House
Their lives are complete
One more journey to their rest
Now wait for winter.
Katie O’Kane: Calvin House
A flickering flame
Its orange light burning bright
Dancing in the night.
Conall Muldoon: Parker House
Here the seasons change,
like an ever-growing child
aging day by day.
Sebastian Steele: Salters House
Peer Mentoring in English
‘The R’ eNewspaper Team:
GCSE English Language
All students currently follow the CCEA specification.
Unit 1: Writing for Purpose and Audience and Reading to Access Non-Fiction and Media Texts
External written examination of 1 hour 40 minutes (30% of final mark)
Unit 2: Speaking and Listening
This unit assesses pupils’ abilities in verbal communication. Pupils must be examined in individual, group and drama tasks. Internal assessment will be carried out by the class teacher and moderated by an external examiner.
Controlled assessment worth 20% of the final mark.
Unit 3: Studying Spoken and Written Language
This unit consists of two pieces of written work which will be assessed by the class teacher and moderated by an external examiner.
Task 1 – The Study of Spoken Language
Task 2 – The Study of Written Language
Controlled Assessment worth 20% of final mark.
Unit 4: Personal/Creative Writing and Reading Literary and Non-fiction Texts
External written examination of 1 hour 40 minutes (30% of final mark.)
Level of Entry:
There will be one tier of entry.
Subject Specific Requirements for Post GCSE Study:
AS/A Level English Literature is provided and it is recommended that pupils take GCSE English Literature and achieve at least a Grade B as a prerequisite for AS/A Level study. However, it may be possible to study English Literature at AS Level without having studied it at GCSE, providing pupils obtain a good grade in GCSE English, such as A or A*, and can demonstrate an interest in English Literature.
A good grade in GCSE English is essential for all pupils in the modern world. The new specifications for this subject seek to encourage and develop the kind of transferable literacy skills which are increasingly sought in further education, as well as in the working world. A pass at Grade C or better in GCSE English is essential for most careers and is a requirement for all Further and Higher Education courses at Universities and College.
GCSE English Literature
‘Studying English literature at school was my first step towards mental freedom and independence. It was like falling in love with life.’
The study of English Literature at GCSE is currently optional for our pupils and it will appeal to those who enjoy reading and who are stimulated by the cut and thrust of lively discussion. Moreover, this is a subject which actively promotes the kind of key communication and analytical skills which are increasingly valued in the competitive world which our school leavers are entering today.
Content of Course
Unit 1: The Study of Prose
In this unit students will study one modern novel and will also prepare for analysis of an unseen extract from a nineteenth century novel.
External examination of 1 hour 45 minutes (30% of final mark).
Unit 2: The Study of Drama and Poetry
In this unit pupils will study a play by a modern dramatist. Section B of the examination will allow pupils to respond critically and imaginatively to a range of poems, which they have studied in class.
External examination of 2 hours (50% of the final mark).
Unit 3: The Study of Shakespeare
This unit involves focused study of a play by Shakespeare.
Controlled assessment of 2 hours (20% of the final mark).
Level of Entry:
Single tier of entry.
Subject Specific Requirements for Post GCSE Study:
It is recommended that pupils study GCSE English Literature and achieve at least a Grade B if they wish to study English Literature at AS/A Level. However, it may be possible to study English Literature at AS Level without having studied it at GCSE, providing pupils obtain at least an A* grade in GCSE English Language and can demonstrate a genuine interest in English Literature.
A Level English Literature
Content of Course:
Pupils will study three texts covering prose, poetry and drama at AS level and a further five texts at A2 level.
Module 1 The Study of Poetry and Drama (2 hour examination)
Section A: The study of two poets from 1900 – present day (Open book section – 1 hour)
Section B: Study of a twentieth century dramatist (Closed book section – 1 hour)
Module 2 The Study of Pre-1900 Prose (Closed book examination – 1 hour)
The study of one pre-1900 novel and the context in which it was written
Module 1: The Study of Shakespeare (Closed book examination – 90 minutes)
The study of one Shakespearean text.
Module 2: The Study of Poetry (Closed book examination – 2 hours)
Section A: The study of one pre-1900 poet.
Section B: Unseen Poetry.
Module Three: Internal Assessment
Students complete a 2500 word analytical coursework task comparing two novels; one of which must be written post 2000.
Subject Specific Requirements:
It is highly recommended that pupils who wish to study English Literature at AS/A2 Level should have studied it at GCSE Level and achieved at least a Grade B. However, in certain circumstances pupils may be able to study English Literature at AS Level without having studied it at GCSE, providing they have achieved a good grade, such as A or A*, in GCSE English and can demonstrate an interest in English Literature.
English Literature at GCSE and A Level will be appealing to all pupils who enjoy reading, analysing literature and lively discussion. English Literature is recognised by employers and universities alike as an academically rigorous subject, which helps pupils to develop an invaluable range of communicative, analytical and interpersonal skills; transferable skills which they may not have the opportunity to practise outside the English classroom.
‘Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.’