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As teachers of English our starting point is our awareness that each student entering the College already possesses significant Literacy skills which we will seek to develop and expand.  The study of Literature will be a key part of this process and it will also enable each student to enhance his capacity for making judgements of a social, moral and aesthetic nature and thus come to a deeper understanding of himself and of the world in which he lives.  Underpinning the work of the English Department is a positive embracement of new technologies to support and facilitate each student maximising their potential

English is a key subject in the core curriculum of the College and, in addition, flourishes at KS5 level.  If is, therefore, a major subject in its own right and also supports the work of other departments who all of course, require their students to communicate effectively in appropriate ways.  In turn we in the English Department whilst embracing our leading role in raising Literacy standards within the College, as outlined in ‘Count Read Succeed’, believe that all other departments must share responsibility for the teaching of Literacy sills.  ‘Literacy across the Curriculum’ is a vital concept and the English Department, working with all other Departments, seeks to accomplish this aim. 

   In addition to achieving academic excellence and examination success in English Language and English Literature, we wish all our students to acquire a ‘Language for Life’; to foster strong emotional intelligence skills to help each individual adapt to, and cope with, the demands of an ever changing 21st century world.   

"English is a key subject in the core curriculum of the College..."



Ms S McLaughlin (Head of English Department)

Mr C Heaney

Ms P Hughes

Mrs C Campbell

Miss J Keelan

Miss B Hallgarth

Mr C McGinn

Miss J Walls



Underpinning every aspect of the work of the English Department must be a strong commitment by us all to the ethos of teamwork and the need to treat both colleagues and students with a high degree of professional and personal respect.


The study of English in St Malachy’s College is recursive and based upon an incremental approach to developing three core skills areas across the demands of the KS3/4/5 curricula. 


The working practices of the English team will be informed by: a positive behaviour management strategy; common assessment practices; reflective/evaluative monitoring procedures; and a pupil centred approach to teaching and learning in order to ensure each individual student is supported to be a reflective learner and reach their own full potential.  The English department seeks to develop the ability of students to communicate with clarity, confidence and creativity.


Subject specific aims relating to core skills





  • Speak with confidence, clarity, fluency and in appropriate forms of speech

  • Speak in a range of situations and for a variety of audiences

  • Speak for a range of purposes of increasing complexity





  • Read fluently and with understanding a range of different kinds of material, using reading methods appropriate to the material and the purpose(s) for which they are reading

  • Have confidence in his capacity as reader of all forms of text (inc new media texts)

  • Find pleasure in and be voluntary user of reading for information, interest, entertainment and for the extension of experience and insight that poetry and fiction afford

  • See that reading is necessary for each individual’s personal life, learning throughout the curriculum and for the requirements of living and working in society





  • Write for a range of purposes e.g. creative, discursive, transactional, analytical, evaluative etc

  • Have a sense of audience

  • Organise the content of what is written in ways appropriate to the purposes

  • Use styles of writing appropriate to the purposes and the intended readership

  • Use spelling, punctuation and syntax accurately and with confidence



Key Stage Three


  • Year 8 - 6 x 50 minute periods

  • Year 9 – 6 x 50 minute periods

  • Year 10 –6 x 50 minute periods


Key Stage Four (Inc examination entry procedures)


All students study English Language and English Literature at GCSE Level through CEA and are entered for higher tier.  In exceptional circumstances following consultation, in the first instance, between the class teacher and the HOD, and then HOD and the HOY/HOS, lower tier entry will only be processed if deemed necessary and will be implemented on strict case by case basis.  

  • Year 11 – 9 x 50 minute periods

  • Year 12 – 9 x 50 minute periods


Key Stage Five


English Literature at AS and A2 Level through CEA is offered within the College.  Applications must be made during the Spring Term of the academic year.


  • Year 13 – 11 x 50 minute periods

  • Year 14 – 11 x 50 minute periods


There are up to a maximum of 18 allocated places for the study of English Literature at A Level in each class grouping. The entrance requirements are as follows:


A*-B in GCSE English Literature

A*-B in English Language (with recommendations from English teacher also a requirement in identified cases of concern)


Anchor 2


Your son will explore and reflect upon a range of increasingly complex themes and issues arising from the study of a variety of fictional and non-fictional texts including a class novel, poetry, extracts from Shakespeare and media texts. He will focus on developing his oral and written communication skills in preparation for his GCSE years ahead. He will also complete three Controlled Assessment Tasks and Winter and Summer internal exams which will assess his ability in the three main areas of Communication: Reading, Writing and Talking and Listening. At the end of Year 10, and therefore the end of the Key Stage, he will be given a level in Communication based on controlled and computer assessments that year.


How he will be assessed:


  • Assessment of formal and informal speaking and listening tasks such as presentations and group drama pieces and two formal Communication Tasks

  • Assessment of reading skills through homework, comprehension and interpretation of fiction and non-fiction texts and two formal Reading Communication Tasks

  • Assessment of writing skills through homework, timed essays in class and two formal Writing Communication Tasks     

  • Monthly Common Homework Tasks with agreed Success Criteria

  • One formal exam, in June, covering themes and issues studied. The final grades for the reports following the exam will incorporate marks from selected controlled assessment tasks completed throughout the year.  


How you can help:


Encourage your son to:

  • read widely and with enthusiasm as this is one of the best ways to improve his communication skills;

  • develop an interest in literature and oral and written expression; 

  • use a computer for research and certain homework and redrafting;

  • learn key literary terminology and know how to use it;

  • redraft written work, if necessary;

  • take pride and show initiative in the content & presentation of all class assignments & homework;

       be prepared: bring essential equipment to class e.g. relevant texts.



Students may be set 1-2 shorter home works per week.


Extended pieces of common homework are set in accordance with the departmental KS4 homework policy.


Yr 12 - Summer term: exam past paper questions set at least once a week.



Encourage your son to:

  • read widely and develop his vocabulary

  • develop an interest in reading and oral and written expression 

  • use a computer for research and redrafting purposes;

  • learn key English language terminology;

  • redraft written work, if necessary;

  • take pride and show initiative in the content & presentation of all class assignments & home works;

  • bring essential equipment to class e.g. relevant texts;

  • Meet deadlines for all coursework tasks;  

  • Revise regularly to build up knowledge over the year ahead of final summer examinations…

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