English Department

HoD: Mrs SJ Jackson

Subjects Offered

English Language GCSE

English Literature GCSE
English Literature A Level (CCEA Modular)

Reading, writing, speaking and listening are the basic tools for the study of all subjects.

We seek to develop key communication and literacy skills in a relevant and up-to-date manner.

The study of literature allows for new ideas to be explored and empathy to be built; it is an enriching and eye-opening experience.




Year 8
The core skills that we develop throughout Key Stage 3 and 4 are the three strands of reading, writing and speaking & listening. In Y8 we read a play by Anne Fine called ‘Goggle Eyes’ and the novel ‘Beowulf’, an ancient Viking tale of violence and monsters.  We also learn to write arguments on uniforms, zoos and homework. Some of our classroom activities include debating, personal writing, group discussions and making news programmes using the iPads.

Year 9
Y9 is a continuation of the work in Y8, building on the good habits and understanding already gained. The class texts are ‘Holes’ and ‘Our Day Out’. Pupils use publisher to create leaflets and make movies using iPads.

Year 10
In Y10 pupils are introduced to writing literature essays, including the study of poetry and Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’.  All pupils also analyse ‘Coraline’, a quirky gothic fairy-tale, using the novel, graphic novel and film. A wide range of non-fiction texts, such as newspaper articles, are also utilised.

This subject is compulsory for all pupils.  Our examining board is CCEA.

Unit 1 Writing for Purpose and Audience, Reading Non-Fiction and Media Texts
1 hour 45 mins examination – 30%

Unit 2 Speaking and Listening Controlled Assessment, completed in the classroom over the two years and assessed by the teacher – 20%

Unit 3 Studying Spoken and Written Language, two pieces of Controlled Assessment completed in school – 20%

Unit 4 Personal or Creative Writing, Reading Literary and Non-Fiction Texts
1 hour 45 mins examination – 30%

The majority of pupils achieve highly in this subject but those who do face difficulties can avail of small group and one-to-one support with a literacy support teacher.

Around 60% of the year group study GCSE English Literature in addition to English Language. Both are taught in the same classroom with the same teacher. Pupils engage with a wide range of texts: modern and traditional; local and world-wide. They develop creative thinking skills, an ability to form an argument and are encouraged to learn through group work and sharing their ideas.

Unit 1: The Study of Prose.  Classes read either ‘Of Mice and Men’ or ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’.
Unseen prose, a comprehension style task. 1 hour 45 mins examination – 30%

Unit2: The Study of Drama and Poetry
Classes read ‘Juno and the Paycock’ by O’Casey and a collection of poems.
2 hour examination – 50%

Unit 3: The Study of Shakespeare
Pupils study ‘Macbeth’ and complete an essay exploring a theme in class.
Controlled Assessment – 2 hours, 20%

This subject encourages a love of reading and an ability to engage with complex issues and ideas.  The critical thinking skills provide an excellent basis for progression to higher level study. Students study a range of literature and deepen their understanding of the changing traditions of literature in English.  Learning about the historical and social contexts of the texts deepens their appreciation and engagement with the characters and themes.

AS Unit 1: The Study of Poetry 1900-Present Day (Plath and Hughes) and Drama 1900-Present Day (‘A Doll’s House’ or similar).
External examination 2 hours – 24% of the overall A Level

AS Unit 2: The Study of Prose pre 1900 (‘Frankenstein’ or similar).
External examination 1 hour – 16% of the overall A Level

A2 Unit 1: Shakespeare (‘Othello’ or similar).
External examination 1 hour 30 minutes – 20% of the overall A Level

A2 Unit 2: Poetry pre-1900 and Unseen Poetry
(Chaucer’s ‘The Wife of Bath’ or similar).

External examination 2 hours – 20% of the overall A Level

A2 Unit 3: Internal Assessment
Pupils read two novels of their own choosing and write a 2500-word essay – 20% of the overall A Level

Teacher support and guidance is given but the work is completed independently.

English News Articles

Reading Mentors at RSD

Congratulations to all our Reading mentors and mentees for all their hard work this year

ALC Public Speaking Competition Winners

The Area Learning Community Public Speaking Competition was arranged by the ALC Literacy Support Group for the local schools. St. Patrick’s College organised the titles, the judging and co-ordinated...

Mentor Reading Programme

On Wednesday 16th October, ten pupils from RSD travelled to the Burnavon Theatre in Cookstown to participate in a paired reading course. RSD paired up with three...

Read for Pizza Winners

RSD’s Read for Pizza competition for 2018 has come to a close. After months of competitive reading and frantic writing of book reviews, the winners were finally declared.

A Level English students enjoy Bardic Theatre show

Y13 English Literature Pupils attended two short Pinter Plays in the Black Box On Friday 3rd November. They were challenging in content and really encouraged thoughtful discussion after the performance.

Other Subjects

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