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Mrs C O’Neill                        Mrs B Devlin

Mrs C Donnelly                     Ms J MacLaughlin

Mr G Gillan                            Mrs E Goodswen

Mrs C McCann


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.


The specification encourages students to explore and respond, both imaginatively and critically, to a variety of texts. Students use reading to improve their writing and spoken language skills. They also enhance their understanding of how language variations relate to identity and cultural diversity.

Furthermore, students will be given opportunities to develop key transferable skills, such as selecting and adapting speech and writing to suit different situations and audiences and finally, students will develop a sound basis for progression to further study, higher education or employment.

The specification has four units:

  • Unit 1: Writing for Purpose and Audience and Reading to Access Non-fiction and Media Texts 30%

  • Unit 2: Speaking and Listening 20%

  • Unit 3: Studying Spoken and Written Language 20%

  • Unit 4: Personal or Creative Writing and Reading Literary and Non-fiction Texts 30%


OCN Communication

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

Key Stage 4 English Literature

The GCSE English Literature course encourages students to be enthusiastic, independent, imaginative, critical and analytical readers. It aims to increase their enjoyment of reading, helping to nurture a lifelong love of literature.

The specification deepens students’ knowledge and understanding of a range of poetry, prose and drama, including texts by local and modern writers such as, Shakespeare, Orwell, Miller, Steinbeck, Frost and Keats to name a few.

The specification has three units:

  • Unit 1: The Study of Prose 30%

  • Unit 2: The Study of Drama and Poetry 50%

  • Unit 3: The Study of Shakespeare 20%

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


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


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

 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


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

  • Storytelling and paired reading in library facilitated by Yr. 13 & 14 students

  • Published authors’ workshop

  • P6 curriculum challenge – library trail activity

  • Young Reporters’ for the Environment – writing/media competition

  • Writing competitions (Halloween & Christmas)

  • Concern NI debating competition

  • Young Soroptimist NI Competition

  • Theatre & cinema trips

  • Poetopia competition

  • Young Writer’s Competition

  • School show

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