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English Department

Our intent is to promote a love of the English language and literary heritage from across the world. By encouraging a passion for reading, writing and speaking, we aim to broaden pupils’ minds, to enable them to become culturally, emotionally, socially and spiritually intelligent members of society.
The overarching vision for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, so they become effective communicators in the wider world and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.

Key Stage 3

Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 study a broad and balanced curriculum in line with the demands of the Northern Ireland programme of study.  They work on the development of their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills as we strive to foster an enjoyment of drama, prose and poetry as well as the ability to understand and analyse media and non-fiction texts.  Students develop the skills necessary to become active participants in, and positive contributors to the world around them.

Assessment at Key Stage 3 is on-going daily but happens officially three times a year in assessments which focus on the various processes – reading, writing and speaking and listening. 

Work done during Years 8, 9 and 10 links directly with the demands of GCSE to ensure effective progression and continuity across both key stages.
Accelerated Reader

Every student in Years 8 and 9 is encouraged to read through participation in the Accelerated Reader programme.

As Doctor Zeuss says, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go!”

How does Accelerated Reader work?
Students are first of all tested to get a reading age and to identify what level of book they should be reading.  Some registration time is then devoted to reading for pleasure during school.  Students take their Accelerated Reader book home to continue their reading independently.  Once the book is finished, students do a test online to see how much they have remembered and understood.  They then choose a new book from the library and the process starts again.  Reading ages and the number of books read and quizzes passed are reported to parents three times a year.
At Coleraine College, we believe that reading is vital to learning and developing literacy.  Parents and guardians are encouraged to read with their child daily for 15 minutes and to discuss what they have read.
Ways to support reading:
  1. Read yourself - set a good example and let your child know that reading is an important part of your life
  2. Talk - discuss what you are reading and why you are enjoying it
  3. Value books - make sure your child has their own special place for books in their bedroom; give books and things to read as presents
  4. Visit your library - it's free to join!
  5. Don't just read books - get your child to read newspapers, TV guides, comics and magazines, cookery books, the internet, the Argos catalogue
  6. Let your child read with their younger siblings
Reluctant and less confident readers should check out the range of books available from Barrington Stoke publishers.  Visit their website below:
In their own words, they are ‘dedicated to cracking reading’!

Key Stage 3 - Fiction Reading List

Year 7

  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • The Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • Bootleg by Alex Shearer
  • The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis
  • Cold Tom by Sally Prue
  • Deep Secret by Berlie Doherty
  • Dovey Coeby Frances O’Roark Dowell
  • Fighting Back by Catherine MacPhail
  • Fox by Matthew Sweeney
  • Haunting of Alaizabel Clay by Chris Wooding

Year 8

  • Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn
  • Boy Overboard by Morris Gleitzman
  • Caught in the Crossfire by Alan Gibbons
  • City of the Beast by Isabel Allende
  • The Fire-Eaters by David Almond
  • From Out of the Shadows by Jamila Gavin
  • Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
  • How to Disappear Completely and Never be Found by Sara Nickerson
  • Inventing Elliot by Graham Gardner
  • The Kite Rider by Geraldine McCaughrean
  • Lirael by Garthe Nix
  • Martyn Pig by Kevin Brooks
  • Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
  • Pirates! by Celia Rees
  • Point Blanc by Antony Horowitz
  • Predator’s Gold by Philip Reeve
  • Rani and Suki by Bali Rai
  • War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Year 9

  • A Sterkarm Kiss by Susan Price
  • At the Sign of the Sugared Plum by Mary Hooper
  • Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates
  • The Book of Dead Days by Marcus Sedgewick
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • The Dark Horse by Marcus Sedgewick
  • The Edge by Alan Gibbons
  • Exodus by Julie Bertagna
  • Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty
  • Firesong by William Nicholson
  • From Out of the Shadows by Jamila Gavin
  • Grass for His Pillow by Lian Hearn
  • Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman
  • Letters from the Inside by John Martsen
  • Malarkey by Keith Gray
  • Remembrance by Theresa Breslin
  • Sabriel by Garth Nix

Key Stage 4

All students in Years 11 and 12 follow the CCEA GCSE English Language specification, a two-year course. 
CCEA GCSE English Language Specification
Controlled Assessment
  • Response to the Written Word (10%) – Of Mice and Men with theme set by CCEA
  • The Study of the Spoken Word (10%) – with theme set by CCEA
Speaking and listening (20%)
  • Individual presentation
  • Group task – interacting and responding
  • Drama task – role play
External Examinations
Unit 1 – 1 hour and 45 minutes (30%)
  • Section A – writing for audience and purpose
  • Section B – reading to access non-fiction and media texts
Unit 4 - 1 hour and 45 minutes (30%)
  • Section A – creative or personal writing
  • Section B – reading literary and non-fiction texts

Possible Career Pathways

Students placed in the top set in Year 11 will also study the CCEA GCSE English Literature specification.
CCEA GCSE English Literature Specification
Controlled Assessment (20%)
  • The Study of Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet with theme set by CCEA
External examinations
Unit 1 – 1 hour and 45 mins (30%)
  • The Study of Prose
    • Of Mice and Men
    • The Study of Unseen 19th century Prose
Unit 2 – 2 hours (50%)
  • The Study of Drama and Poetry
    • Blood Brothers
    • 15 poem anthology with the theme of ‘Relationships’

Possible Career Pathways
  • archivist
  • [jobs in] the arts
  • [jobs in] the civil service
  • content editor
  • copywriter
  • digital content officer or manager
  • editorial assistant
  • journalist
  • librarian
  • marketing executive
  • [jobs in] media
  • [jobs in] the museum sector
  • proof-reader
  • public relations officer
  • publishing editor
  • social media officer or manager
  • teacher
  • writer
KS4 English in the Learning Support Centre
Students follow the CCEA Entry Level qualification.  They must complete a portfolio of evidence for each of the units listed below and can achieve Levels 1, 2 or 3.

Unit 1:  English through the Media: Still Image
Unit 2:  English through Poetry
Unit 3:  English through Drama
Unit 4:  English through the Media: Moving Image Genres
Unit 5:  English through Prose
Unit 6:  English through Experience
Related websites
BBC bitesize English:
S-Cool revision website:


Students will have opportunities to participate in a number of enrichment activities throughout the academic year. 
Past events include:
  • Short story and poetry competitions such as Young Writers
  • Theatre trips
  • Collaborations with other primary and secondary schools
  • Workshops run by UU tutors, writers and other agencies
  • Involvement in the Poetry in Motion project run by the Community Arts Partnership
  • Appearances on BBC cultural programmes such as  ‘The Gaitherin’ and ‘A Kist O’Wurds’
  • A writing project linking students with residents in local care homes which featured on BBC news
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