St Louis Grammar School
Promoting Excellence, Endeavour and Empowerment


The English Department at St. Louis aims to ensure that every pupil is developed into an effective and confident communicator, both orally and in written form. We endeavour to nurture in each pupil an appreciation and love of the English Language and English Literature.

Specific Aims:

  • To develop the ability of pupils to express themselves effectively, accurately and creatively in spoken and written form
  • To ensure that pupils understand and respond imaginatively to what they read, hear and see in a variety of forms
  • To introduce pupils to a wide range of literary texts and genres and foster an appreciation of literature
  • To develop a love of reading and a growing awareness of the writer's language skills
  • To teach and encourage literacy skills in English which will be used across the curriculum
  • To increase pupils' awareness of moral and social issues and encourage pupils to respect the point of view of others through the teaching of English
  • To motivate pupils to achieve their best in a well structured and caring environment where pupils' individual targets are set and met
  • To embed ICT skills within the context of Communication


Mrs C Morgan ( HoD)

Mrs N McCann
Mrs G Beattie
Miss J Wallace
Mrs S Fullerton

Miss P Murray
Miss H Drennan
Miss N McKendry

Miss N McCann
School Librarian - Mrs C Boyd

Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, pupils follow a varied programme which develops all three skill areas; reading, writing and talking & listening. In each year throughout the key stage, pupils are provided the opportunity to study prose, poetry, drama and media. Attention is also paid to developing and embedding literacy skills throughout Years 8, 9 & 10. All pupils are working towards the Northern Ireland Requirements and Levels of Progression in Communication at the end of this Key Stage.

Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 English Language and English Literature are compulsory subjects. The awarding body for the GCSE examinations is CCEA.

English Language:
Externally Assessed Components
Unit 1: 1 hour 45 min examination [30%]
Section A: Writing for Audience and Purpose
Section B: Reading to Access Non Fiction and Media Texts


Unit 4: 1 hour 45 min examination [30%]
Section A: Writing – Personal or Creative Writing (candidates choose to answer 1 out of 2 questions)
Section B: Reading Literary and Non Fiction Texts



Controlled Assessment
Unit 2: Speaking and Listening [20%]
3 tasks:

  • Individual presentation
  • Group interaction
  • Role play

Unit 3: Studying Spoken and Written Language and Writing Creatively [20%]
3 tasks:

  • The Study of Spoken Language
  • The Study of Written Language
  • Writing Creatively

English Literature:

Externally Assessed Components

Unit 1: The Study of Prose [30%]
1 hour and 45 mins examination

Students answer two questions, one from Section A – ‘Of Mice and Men’, John Steinbeck (closed book)

Set question in Section B on unseen prose extract from 19thCentury

Unit 2: The Study of Drama and Poetry [50%]
2 hour examination
Section A: The Study of Drama - Blood Brothers(open book)
Section B: The Study of Poetry – Identity anthology (open book)
Controlled Assessment
Unit 3: The Study of Shakespeare [20%]
An extended writing question based on response to a theme in Shakespeare's ‘Macbeth’.

Post 16
English Literature is offered at AS and A2 Level. The awarding body for the examinations is CCEA.

AS Level:

Unit AS 1: The Study of Poetry 1900-Present and Drama 1900-Present

AS1 External Exam (2 hrs - 60% of AS and 24% of A2):

Section A - Frost and Heaney (open book),

Section B Arthur Miller, ‘The Crucible’ (closed book)

Unit AS 2: The Study of Prose Pre 1900

AS2 External Exam (1 hr - 40% of AS 16% A2):

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (closed book)

A2 Level:

  • A21 - Shakespearean Genres - Othello (1 hour 30 minutes exam) closed book (20%)
  • A22 - The Study of Poetry Pre 1900 and Unseen Poetry - (2hr exam) Students answer two questions, one from Section A (Emily Dickinson) and the question set in Section B. Closed book (20%)
  • A23 - Internal Assessment - 2500 word essay on The Outsider Genre (20%)

The Library

The library at St. Louis is an inherent part not only of the English Department, but of the entire school community. In this thriving and busy library, pupils are provided with recommended reads, take part in book competitions and participate in library club. The library is also home to the school Chess Club.

Year 8 English classes have one library period per week and Years 9 & 10 visit the library every fortnight. During these classes, pupils are encouraged and enabled to complete a 'Reading Challenge' which introduces them to new genres and authors and fosters a love of reading.

Extra-curricular Activities

Sixth Form Debating Team

Our Sixth Form debating Team has participated in the Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition for many years. Debating increases pupils' confidence and powers of persuasion while developing their communication skills.

Year 13 Book Club

The Year 13 Book Club meets once a month to discuss and share their love for literature, ranging from the classics to the latest best-seller. This is a club for literature enthusiasts who want to share their recommendations and experiences.

Poetry Appreciation Society

Poetry is at the centre of all literary canons and a love of poetry is fostered and encouraged in this society. Our very own published poet, Mr O'Hare, guides pupils in thinking about and discussing poetry, allowing pupils to become comfortable with and enjoy fully this literary form.

BBC School News Report

St. Louis English Department selects 10-15 pupils from Year 8 & 9 who have shown outstanding ability and interest in written and oral communication to take part in the BBC School News Report. This is an online Broadcast which allows our budding journalists, researchers, presenters and reporters to develop and hone their skills while linking up with industry professionals and other schools all over the UK.

Public Speaking Competitions

Pupils from all Key Stages regularly take part and are hugely successful in National and International Public Speaking competitions. Last year, our sixth form team won the BPW Public Speaking Regional Heat and progressed to the Northern Ireland Final and two competitors were placed joint second in the Soroptimist Public Speaking Regional Final. We hope to continue and build on this success throughout this academic year.

Spelling Bee

For many years our Key Stage 3 pupils have participated in the UK Times Spelling Bee; regularly reaching the final stage in London. Pupils learn the importance of team-work and dedication through the preparation process. As well improving literacy skills, pupils develop the skills to work under pressure.

Writing competitions
St. Louis pupils are continually encouraged to develop and hone their writing skills by participating in short story, poetry and essay writing competitions. Last year, many of our Key Stage 3 pupils had their poems published in the Poetry Ireland Regional Publication and one sixth form student was runner up in an All-Ireland Essay Writing competition.

Visiting Authors
The St. Louis Library often hosts visiting authors and poets who inspire our pupils through talks and readings and progress their writing and creative skills through interactive workshops.

Theatre Visits
The English Department at St. Louis furthers pupils' love and understanding of literature through theatre visits, allowing pupils to see drama 'come to life'.



Further Information in this section

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