The members of the Department of English are experts in their field, committed teachers and passionate communicators. They have wide-ranging experiences of teaching the subject, as well as in related disciplines such as drama, creative writing and film. Their diversity adds to the dynamism of the Department and deepens the experience offered to the students.

The English courses have a two-fold design: to inspire a love of literature and learning, and to meet the requirements of the Irish Junior and Leaving Certificate programmes.

Our ambition is that pupils are able to read both critically and sympathetically, and are able to speak and write both clearly and accurately.

In the Junior Cycle programme, the pupils will encounter many texts, including Shakespeare (for example King Henry IV, Henry V, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, etc.), poetry, and novels (for example Of Mice And Men, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Northern Lights, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, etc.). They will also learn the craft and skills for both essay and functional writing.

The English curriculum for Transition Year is focused on developing students’ skills for Leaving Certificate but also helping students to express their creativity in new and exciting ways. The year is broken down into modules and each teacher creates a module based on a different area of the curriculum; these can range from short stories to poetry to film making. Students are encouraged to explore different types of texts in this unique year and to read outside of the curriculum.

The texts for the Leaving Certificate programme are circumscribed by the set curriculum, but the teachers of English carefully pick texts that will appeal to the pupils and their sensibilities. The students are taught to develop their own engagement with the texts, which allows them to bring their own ideas and experiences into play, helping them become more confident and successful.

The Department of English is a progressive and innovative one. We have embraced the potential of information technology in our classroom and are developing more and more resources that enable better teaching and learning using Smart whiteboards. Pupils are encouraged to write and re-write, on paper and on computer, to become their own conscious editors and finally to deliver their work either traditionally or via email. Notwithstanding the potential of modern technologies, we also passionately believe that pupils gain greatly from classroom discussion and focused debate about books, authors and ideas.

There are also additional activities organised for students linked to the English curriculum. Students are brought to the theatre to see their studied plays and visits from authors/creative writing workshops are often arranged. Students also have opportunities to engage in English extracurriculars outside of the classroom; these activities include debating, drama and book club.

Recommended Reading Lists:

Junior Cycle

Transition Year

Senior Cycle