Mrs C Donnelly

Mr G Gillan

Mrs B Devlin

Mrs C McCann

Mrs C O’Neill

Ms J MacLaughlin

Mrs E Goodswen




In St Mary’s Limavady the English Department places the pupils’ experience of English Language and Literature at the heart of all planning for learning. Pupils will have the opportunity to engage with a range of genres in order to enhance their ability to communicate coherently, creatively and critically.

We strive to imbue St Mary’s pupils with an appreciation of the richness and power of both the written and spoken word. We endeavour to equip St. Mary’s pupils with confidence in the use of the English language to allow them to access opportunities as they go forward in life.




Key Stage 3


All pupils from Years 8-10 will study a range of works including, fiction, non-fiction, media and digital texts. Through a wide range of stimulus texts pupils will develop their skills in the areas of reading, writing and speaking and listening. Pupils’ spelling, punctuation and grammar skills will also be developed. Independent reading is encouraged and the school library has a superb array of popular bestsellers to choose from. Pupils engage in poetry, creative writing, inter-class debating and external public speaking competitions, drama workshops, theatre visits and BBC School Report, to name a few.




Key Stage 4 English Language


In Years 11 & 12 pupils embark on their GCSE studies following the CCEA specification for English Language. This two year course provides students with the opportunity 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;
  • Select and adapt speech and writing to different situations and audiences.


ContentAssessmentProposed year of assessment


Unit 1:

Personal Writing and Reading

Multi-Modal Texts

External examination


1 hour 30 mins


20% Year 11


Unit 2:

Functional Writing and Reading


External examination


1 hour 30 mins


20% Year 12


Unit 3:

Speaking and Listening

Controlled assessment




1. Individual

2. Group

3. Role play

Year 11 & 12


Unit 4:

Studying Spoken and Written Language and Writing Creatively


Task 1: The Study of Spoken Language


Task 2: The Study of Written Language


Task 3: Writing CreativelyControlled assessment


40% Year 11 & 12



  • Key Skills Communication Level 1 & 2 is also offered to pupils at Key Stage 4.




Key Stage 4 English Literature


In addition to English Language, English Literature can also be studied at GCSE. It is a two year course providing students with the experience of exploring the literary works of:


  • W. Shakespeare
  • G. Orwell
  • A. Miller
  • J. Steinbeck
  • R. Frost
  • J. Keats
  • and many more


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 the connections between texts, comparing and contrasting 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 over time.



Unit 1:


The Study of Prose

External examination

1 hour

25% Year 11


Unit 2:


The Study of Drama and Poetry

External examination

2 hours

50% Year 12


Unit 3:


The Study of Linked Texts

Controlled assessment

25%Year 11/12




Key Stage 5


English Literature is a popular A level choice in St Mary’s. It is a two year course which is assessed at the end of Year 14. The Pearson Edexcel specification is delivered by our team of experienced teachers. Students will have the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of poetry, prose and drama texts in addition to creating a coursework folder.


Component 1: Drama

Students will study aspects of the form of drama via two plays:

  • King Lear W. Shakespeare
  • The Rover A. Behn

The central focus of the drama study is the literary text. Students will need to explore the use of literary and dramatic devices and the shaping of meanings in their chosen plays.


Component 2: Prose


Students will study aspects of prose via two thematically linked texts,


Women in Society:

  • Wuthering Heights E. Bronte
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles T. Hardy

Literary study of both texts selected for this component should incorporate the links and connections between them, and the contexts in which they were written and received.


Component 3: Poetry


Students will study a selection of poems from two published poetry texts:

  • Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry
  • Poems of the Decade: An Anthology of the Forward Books of Poetry 2002-2011 (Faber and Faber 2015)
  • The Great Modern Poets Ed: M.Schmidt


They will consider the concerns and choices of modern-day poets in a selection of contemporary poems. Students will apply their knowledge of poetic form, content and meaning, and develop their skills in comparing an unseen poem with an example of studied poetry.




Coursework will be assessed via two texts from a choice of three:

  • Death of a Salesman A. Miller
  • All My Sons A. Miller
  • A View from a Bridge A. Miller


Literary study of both texts should be enhanced by study of the links and connections between them, different interpretations and the contexts in which they were written and received.




Other Information (awards, extra activities etc)


The study of English is a vibrant part of St Mary’s school. There is a multitude of opportunities for all pupils to engage with the subject of English beyond the classroom. All pupils are actively encouraged to participate. St Mary’s English department creates an environment for pupils to make lifelong friends and memories. Opportunities abound for all, in all mediums.

Take a look at the wealth of activities our students are involved in:


  • National Poetry Day Celebrations
  • Individual presentations, storytelling and choral work for other pupils at various times e.g. Halloween, Open Night etc
  • Public Speaking competitions internal and external
  • Young Reporters’ for the Environment – writing/media competition
  • BBC News School Report
  • Drama Club
  • Storytelling and paired reading in library facilitated by Yr 13 & 14 students
  • Published authors’ workshop
  • Christmas Concert Drama
  • P6 curriculum challenge – library trail activity
  • Reading Club
  • Environmental Youth Speak Competition
  • Roe Valley Speech & Drama Festival
  • Young Reporters’ for the Environment – writing/media competition
  • Writing competitions (Halloween & Christmas )
  • Debating Club –
  • Concern NI debating competition
  • Young Soroptimist NI Competition
  • Theatre & cinema trips
  • Young Reporters for the Environment
  • Poetopia competition
  • A twist in the Tale – Young Writer’s Competition
  • Drama Workshops
  • School show



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