Mrs Apsley
Miss Long
Mr Luke
Mrs Renton
Ms Fox

Aims of our department

Our aim is to equip pupils with a range of transferable skills suitable for life-long learning and to assist each individual to achieve their full potential. The study of English seeks to develop the ability of pupils to express and communicate meaning effectively in written and spoken language, to read, understand and engage with a wide variety of texts and to foster their appreciation and enjoyment of literature. In addition, the study of English should be an enjoyable one, which makes a positive contribution towards the personal and social development of the pupils.

Pupils enjoy a range of experiences outside the classroom, such as cinema and theatre trips, drama workshops and visits to local industries and events.  They have opportunities to write for a variety of external audiences by entering competitions like the Evans short story competition and the Young Writers poetry and mini-saga competitions.

We also organize a range of in-school events.  Each year we hold a book fair to celebrate World Book Day and hold regular LIT Club quizzes based on current popular novels.  All pupils in Years 8-10 have opportunities to attain their bronze, gold or silver Reading Challenge certificate and this year, 90 Year 9 pupils will take part in the Accelerated Reader programme.  Last year we held our first interdepartmental Bright Spell competition, a fun and exciting event which was enjoyed by teachers and pupils alike!

English KS3

Pupils in Years 8-10 are steamed according to general ability and each class is timetabled for 5 periods of English per week.

The Northern Ireland Curriculum provides the framework for Key Stage 3 English. Pupils complete five units of work each year, focusing on fiction, non-fiction, drama, poetry and media texts to ensure full coverage of the curriculum.

The English Scheme at Key Stage 3 (Years 8-10) aims to:

  • build on the skills developed as Key Stage2
  • provide pupils with opportunities to communicate effectively in spoken and written form and to engage imaginatively and critically through text
  • establish foundations for Key Stage 4 by providing opportunities for pupils to become more independent learners

Pupils are formally assessed in Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing in each unit of study.

Year 8
Fiction: Personal Writing The Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom” – Louis Sachar
Maurice and his Amazing Educated Rodents” – Terry Pratchett
Non-fiction “Boy” – Roald Dahl
Drama The Demon Headmaster” – Gillian Cross
Poetry An Introduction to Poetry
Media An Introduction to the Media


Year 9
Fiction: Genre Study The Hobbit” – J.R.R. Tolkien
Room 13” – Robert Swindells
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” – J.K. Rowling
Non-fiction Health Campaign
Drama Stepping Up” – Jan Liddiard
Poetry Poetic Techniques
Media Newspapers


Year 10
Fiction: Relationships Private Peaceful” – Michael Morpurgo
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” – John Boyne
Non-fiction Shakespeare Project
Drama Stone Cold” – Robert Swindells
Poetry Poetry from Other Cultures
Media Advertising

English KS4

The scheme of work for Key Stage 4 is a two year programme based on the CCEA English Language specification.  The course consists of four modules taken over two years. Five teaching periods per week are allocated to this course.  Pupils in Years 11 and 12 are streamed according to ability and all pupils are entered for GCSE examinations.

The English scheme at Key Stage 4 (Years 11 & 12) aims to:

  • build on the broad objectives of the N.I. Curriculum
  • address the Essential Skills requirements
  • prepare pupils for the assessment needs of the CCEA GCSE English Language examination
Year 11
Date Unit/ Task Assessment Weighting Submission Date
Sept 10 – Dec 10 Unit 4: Task 2The Study of Written LanguageUnit 3: IP/ D/ RP Controlled Assessment1 hour 30 15%7% May 12
Jan 11 – Mar 11 Unit 4: Task 3Writing CreativelyUnit 3: IP/D/RP Controlled Assessment2 hours 15%7% May 12
Apr 11 – Jun 11 Unit 4: Task 1The Study of Spoken LanguageUnit 3: IP/D/RP Controlled Assessment1 hour 30 10%7% May 12
 Year 12
Date Unit/ Task Assessment Weighting Submission Date
Sept11 – Oct 11Nov 11 – Dec 11 Unit 1:Personal WritingMulti-Modal Texts Examination: I hour 30 20% Exam: June12
Jan 12 –Feb 12Mar 12 – May 12 Unit 2:Functional WritingReading Non-Fiction Examination: I hour 30 20%

GCSE English Literature

GCSE English Literature is offered as an option to any pupil who has attained level 5 or above at Key Stage 3 English. Classes tend to be quite small which allows teachers to work closely with individual pupils in order to achieve the best possible results.  Pupils studying English Literature have also enjoyed cinema visits, trips to the theatre and interacting with professional actors in drama workshops. The course is based on the CCEA English Literature specification and consists of three modules taken over two years. Five teaching periods per week are allocated to this course.

The English Literature specification aims to encourage students to:

  • understand that the texts from the English, Welsh or Irish literary heritage have been influential and significant over time, and explore their meaning today
  • explore how texts from different cultures and traditions may reflect or influence values, assumptions and sense of identity
  • 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
Year 11
Date Unit/ Task Assessment Weighting Submission Date
Sept 10 – Dec 10 Unit 3:The Study of Linked TextsShakespeare – “Romeo and Juliet” Controlled Assessment2 hours 30 minutes 25% May 12
Jan 11 – Mar 11 Unit 3:The Study of Linked TextsAusten – “Pride and Prejudice”
Apr 11 – Jun 11 Preparation for Controlled Assessment
Year 12
Date Unit/ Task Assessment Weighting Submission Date
Sept11 – Oct 11Nov 11 – Dec 11 Unit 1:The Study of ProseSteinbeck: “Of Mice and Men” Examination: 1 hour 25% Exam: June 12
Jan 12 –Feb 12Mar 12 – May 12 Unit 2:The Study of Drama and PoetryPriestley: “An Inspector Calls”Anthology One: “Love and Death” Examination: 2 hours 50% Exam June 12

A Level English Literature

The English department at Carrickfergus College offers a very successful A-Level course, which follows a CCEA programme of study. This exciting two year course consists of four modules, offering students the opportunity to study a wide range of literature from 17th century plays right up to modern novels and poetry, as outlined below:

Year 1: Advanced Subsidiary (AS) Level
Unit Content Texts
1a The Study of Shakespeare W. Shakespeare’s  ‘The Tempest’
1b The Study of a 20th Century Dramatist A. Miller’s ‘A View from a Bridge’ &‘All My Sons
2a The Study of post 1800 Poetry C-A. Duffy’s ‘Selected Poems’ &L. Lochhead’s ‘The Colour of Black and White
The Study of Prose from 1800 – 1945 F.S. Fitzgerald’s  ‘The Great Gatsby
Year 2: Advanced (A2) Level
Unit Content Texts
1a The Study of Poetry from 1300 – 1800 A. Pope’s ‘The Rape of the Lock
1b The Study of Satirical Drama B. Jonson’s ‘Volpone’ &R.B. Sheridan’s ‘The School For Scandal
2a The Study of War Prose T. O’Brien’s ‘The Things They Carried’
2b E. Hemingway’s ‘A Farewell to Arms’&Crane’s ‘The Red Badge of Courage’

The subject is taught by two teachers, over nine periods per week, and students, benefiting from quite small class sizes, have maintained the 100% pass rate each year. Indeed the vast majority of our students go on to university, to pursue a diverse range of courses, including Teaching, Nursing, Criminology, and of course English Literature.

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