English

Aims and Overview of the English Departmentenglish

The English Programme of Study states that:  “Learning and understanding activities in English contribute to achievement of the curriculum aims for all young people to become successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve.”

Therefore, as a department, we aim to develop pupils’ skills in the areas of: talking and listening, reading and writing and to introduce them to the world of Literature which is “rich and influential, reflecting the experiences of people from many countries and times and contributes to a sense of cultural identity. Pupils will learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts, gaining access to the pleasure and the world of knowledge that reading offers.“ We aim to show our pupils how language works so that they can understand writers’ techniques and develop their own style of self-expression, finding their unique “voice.”

Hence our aims are to teach the following key concepts that pupils need in order to deepen and broaden their knowledge, skills and understanding. These essential concepts promote pupil progress in talking and listening, reading and writing, empowering young people to achieve their potential and to make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives:

  • Competence;
  • Creativity;
  • Cultural understanding;
  • Critical understanding.

Our pupils explore English in a media-rich environment that appeals to the 21st century generation. As a department, we strive to develop literacy, e-literacy and their inter-personal communication.

Being a pupil-centred department, we abide by the following philosophy:

“Pupils are interested in learning: they have expectations of success, they have the confidence to take risks, make mistakes and ask for help.” (Evaluating English; DENI)

Staffing

Mrs G. Oliver (Head of Department)
Mrs M. R. Black
Miss L. Dunwoody
Mr S. Hennessy
Mrs C. Massey (Library Development Officer)
Mrs L. McKeeman
Mrs L. Miller
Mr A. Nicholl
Mrs C. Reid
Miss G. Stevenson

Facilities

The department is located on the middle floor of the main block where we have eight teaching rooms. All English teachers each have their own rooms in Ballyclare Secondary School. We have four new classrooms in the new building, furnished with Promethean Smart boards, a Department Room and an HOD office. The department is well-resourced with interactive whiteboards in all teaching rooms. Relevant and modern textbooks and access to a computer are available to all members of the department. We also have a group room, to facilitate the teaching of small groups of pupils and the school Library which is well-resourced, particularly with computer facilities. It is staffed by a Library Assistant.

 

Why Study English?

  • Because it’s important Two billion people in the world communicate in English everyday! It is important to be able to communicate effectively with others, especially in the world of work. English is also important in that it helps with other subjects too. It is invaluable for your future, no matter what it is you want to do. A good command of the spoken and written word will help you every day!
  • Because it’s fun Think of all the word games that can be played: crosswords, Scrabble®, media word shows, and many other quizzes and guessing games that tease millions daily.
  • Because it’s beautiful Reading is a pleasure, a way of escaping into another world. Literature is entertaining and the language used can be truly beautiful.

‘I already knew that words could take you into a new world, but I didn’t know that on the strength of one word spoken for my ears only I would find myself in a room that no one else knew about.’ Mr Pip, Lloyd Jones

‘The oldest books are still only just out to those who have not read them.’  Samuel Butler

  • Because it’s useful

The skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are important in every job. Communicating successfully is the key to success. The more we know about the language, the more chance we shall have of success, whether we are advertisers, politicians, priests, journalists, doctors, lawyers–or just ordinary people at home, trying to understand and be understood.

Students must come to class with pens and paper, ready to get creative!

Key Stage 3

We follow the Northern Ireland curriculum.

All of our teaching and learning is based around the three central strands of Reading, Writing and Talking and Listening

1     9     7

 

English

GCSE English

Specification/Exam Board:  CCEA

Aims

This specification aims to encourage students 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;
  • 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.

Key Features

This is a unitised specification, allowing students flexibility in preparing for assessment; students can enter for a unit when they are ready to be assessed and can resit each unit individually.

    • This course offers opportunities to build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of the Key Stage 3 curriculum in Northern Ireland.
    • It helps facilitate the study of English and related subjects at a more advanced level, for example A and AS English Literature.

Scheme of Assessment

gcse1We aim to bring in speakers such as authors, organise trips to the theatre and the watching of media texts to help students further develop their understanding.

12                               4

GCSE English Language (Academic Years 2017-2019)

Aims

This specification aims to encourage students 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.

Key features

  • It offers opportunities to build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3.
  • It is a unitised specification, allowing students flexibility in preparing for assessment;
  • It allows students to study English and related subjects at a more advanced level.
  • The course offers students opportunities to develop skills for real-life contexts and to progress to employment.

Scheme of assessment

Students must take at least 40 percent of the assessment (based on unit weightings) at the end of the course as terminal assessment.

GCSE English Literature

Specification/Exam Board:  CCEA

Aims

This specification aims to encourage students to:

  • connect ideas, themes and issues, drawing on a range of texts;
  • become critical readers of fiction and non-fiction prose, poetry and drama;
  • experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations as found in literary texts;
  • understand that texts from the English or Irish literary heritage have been influential and significant over time, and explore their meaning today; and
  • explore how texts from different cultures and traditions may reflect or influence values, assumptions and a sense of identity.

Key Features

  • This is a unitised specification, allowing students flexibility in preparing for assessment. Students can enter for a unit when they are ready to be assessed and can resit each unit individually.
  • This course offers opportunities to build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of the Key Stage 3 curriculum.
  • It helps facilitate the study of English Literature and related subjects at a more advanced level, for example A and AS English Literature.
  • This course allows students the opportunity to develop the following skills:

− developing and sustaining independent interpretations of whole texts, supporting them with detailed textual references;

− analysing connections between texts, comparing features and qualities that connect and contrast the presentation of themes, characters and settings;

− analysing the impact of style, language, structure and form;

− relating texts to their social and historical contexts, and to the literary traditions of which they are a part; and

− understanding how texts from the literary heritage have been influential and significant overtime.

Scheme of Assessment

Eng lit

 

 

 

GCSE English Literature (Academic Year 2017-2019)

Aims

This specification aims to encourage students 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.

Key features

The following are important features of this specification.

  • It offers opportunities to build on the skills and capabilities developed through the delivery of the Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3.
  • It is a unitised specification, allowing students flexibility in preparing for assessment.
  • It allows students to study English Literature and related subjects at a more advanced level and to develop the skills they need to progress to employment.

Scheme of Assessment

Students must take at least 40 percent of the assessment (based on unit weightings) at the end of the course as terminal assessment.

A Level

Specification/Exam Board:   CCEA

Criteria for Entry:  Grade B in either GCSE English or Literature. Students who have a B in Literature must also have at least a C in English.

Aims

This specification aims to encourage students 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.

Key features

The following are important features of this specification.

  • It includes five assessment units: four externally assessed and one internally assessed.
  • It gives students the opportunity to study a range of English literature written by Irish writers.
  • It gives students the opportunity to read texts from the canon of English literature and also texts by more modern writers.
  • It allows students to develop as discerning readers, capable of independent and critical research.
  • It can give students a sound basis for progression to higher education.
  • A range of support is available, including specimen assessment materials and teacher guidance.

Scheme of assessment

Theatre Trip to see Jane Eyre

Year 13 pupils attended a special screening of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre at the Theatre at the Mill in January.  Below are a few photos of the event and a write up from one of our pupils.

pdf image

Useful web links

www.nicurriculum.org.uk/
http://www.nicurriculum.org.uk/key_stage_3/areas_of_learning/english/
http://freerice.com/
www.literacyshed.com/
www.sparknotes.com/
www.gradesaver.com/
www.shmoop.com/
www.tes.co.uk/
www.teachit.co.uk/www.
www.poetryarchive.org/
www.edmodo.com/
http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/home.do
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/english_literature/

 

Extra Curricular Activities

Hardbacks
Classics Club
Film Club
Public Speaking and Debating

See the Extra Curricular Activities section for more details.