English at Newtownhamilton High School 
Alexandra Smyth attained the top set of results for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature! She was awarded an A* in both examinations. She is also the winner of the Young Farmers’ Public Speaking Trophy.  
Fantastic achievements indeed! 
 
‘By words the mind is winged.’  
Aristophanes 
 
English is Enlightening! 
English is an essential subject. It enables pupils to develop personally and equips them with the practical skills they need in preparation for life. Within English there are three key elements: reading, writing and oral communication. 
 
The English Department strives to promote the development of all pupils and make them proficient in oral and written communication. The Department has established a varied, challenging and rich programme of study so that all pupils can fulfil their potential. 
 
Key Stage 3 
The scheme of work for Key Stage 3 pupils provides pupils with opportunities to become familiar with a range of genres, write in a variety of forms, consolidate and develop spelling and grammatical skills, debate, role-play and use ICT to develop their literacy levels. 
 
Key Stage 4 
In Years 11 and 12 pupils have the opportunity to study CCEA GCSE English Language or Essential Skills Communication, dependent on their individual abilities and interests. GCSE English Literature is also available as an option choice. 
GCSE English Language 
You will develop your reading and writing skills through studying and creating a range of functional and imaginative texts. You will study spoken language and develop your speaking and listening abilities. 
 
In studying this course you will develop your ability to: 
demonstrate skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing necessary to communicate with others confidently, effectively, precisely and appropriately; 
express yourself creatively and imaginatively; 
become critical readers of a range of texts, including multi-modal texts; 
use reading to develop your 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. 
 
This is a unitised specification, with four assessed units. 
 
Externally Assessed Components 
 
Unit 1: 1 hour 30 min examination [20%] 
Section A: Writing - Personal writing 
Section B: Reading - Multi-modal texts (comparison/cross reference) 
 
Unit 2: 1 hour 30 min examination [20%] 
Section A: Writing - Discursive (one side of an issue) 
Section B: Reading - Non-fiction (1 stimulus) 
Examinations are available in Higher and Foundation Tier. 
 
Controlled Assessment 
 
Unit 3: Speaking and Listening [20%] 3 tasks: 
• Individual presentation 
• Group interaction 
• Role play 
 
Unit 4: [40%] 3 tasks: 
• The Study of Spoken Language 
• The Study of a Literary Text 
• Creative writing 
Essential Skills Communication 
Qualifications in CCEA Essential Skills Communication at Levels 1 & 2 are also on offer to Key Stage 4 pupils as an alternative to GCSE English. 
 
Essential Skills is a national qualification and in order to achieve this qualification in Communication at level 1 or 2 pupils will be required to produce a portfolio of evidence based on one or more of a chosen action-based activities and obtain a pass mark of 70% or more in a Desktop Task. 
GCSE English Literature 
You will enjoy the study of a range of prose, drama and poetry and will develop your ability to respond critically to literature. This specification aims to encourage you to: 
 
connect ideas, themes and issues, drawing on a range of texts; 
become critical readers of fiction and non-fiction prose, poetry and drama; 
experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations as found in literary texts; 
understand that texts from the English, Welsh or Irish literary heritage have been influential and significant over time, and explore their meaning today; 
explore how texts from different cultures and traditions may reflect or influence values, assumptions and sense of identity. 
 
This is a unitised specification with three assessed units. 
 
Externally Assessed Components 
 
Unit 1: The Study of Prose: 25% 
1 hour examination (closed book) 
 
Unit 2: The Study of Drama and Poetry: 50% 
2 hour examination 
Section A: The Study of Drama (open book) 
Section B: The Study of Poetry – response to CCEA anthology (open book) 
Section C: Response to an Unseen Poetry 
Examinations are available in Higher and Foundation Tier 
 
Controlled Assessment: 25% 
 
Unit 3: The Study of Linked Texts 
You will complete one task spilt into two parts. It will be a response to a Shakespeare play and a heritage prose text. 
English Experiences 
 
The Department realises that having a purpose motivates pupils. Subsequently we foster creative skills and nourish them by giving pupils the opportunities to enter many writing and public speaking competitions. Our history is very impressive and not only have past pupils had their work published and performed, but they have won substantial sums of money! It brings great joy to the Department to see our pupils becoming such skilled individuals. 
 
The Department also organises a variety of theatre trips for all pupils. Often these are used to complement and to stimulate discussion on prescribed examination texts, but equally to allow pupils to experience the thrill of live performances. In recent years we have frequented the Grand Opera House in Belfast and watched show stoppers such as ‘Blood Brothers’, ‘Grease’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet’, to name but a few! 
 
Career Possibilities 
Actor/Actress 
Librarian 
Author 
Press Officer 
Bookseller 
Public Relations Officer 
Copywriter 
Sales Marketer/Advertiser 
Editor 
Teacher 
Events manager 
TV/Radio Presenter 
Freelance writer 
Web Writer 
Welcome to our Library 
 
We value reading as a means of providing pleasure and developing pupils as individual learners. Therefore it is our aim to encourage all pupils to have a love of reading and an appreciation of literature. 
 
Our library houses an extensive collection of popular fiction and non-fiction titles. Key Stage Three pupils are timetabled for one period a week and Key Stage Four pupils can use the library during break and lunch time. 
 
Pupils can also purchase books from the book clubs that are available within the Department. 
 
Opening Times 2016-17 
Monday - Break & Lunch 
Wednesday - Break & Lunch 
Thursday - Break 
Friday - Break 
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