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Art & Design


Teaching Staff:     
  • Mrs R Martin (HoD)
  • Mr M Rafferty
  • Miss M Williams
  • Mr N McMaster
  • Mrs H Dalzell

"‘A word after a word after a word is power"

Margaret Atwood

The English department is staffed by experienced and enthusiastic teachers who are passionate about our subject and its importance in the curriculum.

Our aim is to help all our pupils ‘tell better stories’:


  • To improve and enhance the way they communicate in speech and writing

  • To be enriched by reading, listening to and exploring others’ stories, including literature from around the English speaking world

  • To make progress in the Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities, including Communication, so that they are equipped to move into the world beyond school.


All pupils in Ballycastle High School study English for at least 5 years, with some choosing to extend their studies to A Level and beyond. We are a busy and successful department both in and out of the classroom, running a range of extra-curricular activities including:


  • Theatre trips and live streamed events

  • The bi-annual school production

  • External public speaking competitions

  • Creative writing workshops

  • Year group competitions such as ‘Spelling Bees’

‘Stories are wild creatures…When you let them loose, who knows what havoc they might wreak?’

Patrick Ness

Ks3 Topics
Developing pupils’ skills in the 3 key areas of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Each year has both a thematic and literary focus which together connect the units and prepare pupils for further study.
  • Year 8 – ‘Exploring Identity’ and creating characters.
  • Year 9 – ‘Exploring Surroundings’ and understanding writers’ use of setting.
  • Year 10 – ‘Exploring Society’ and understanding writers’ craft
All pupils study GCSE English Language and one class in each year also study GCSE English Literature. For both subjects we follow the CCEA specification.
English Language:
  • Unit 1: 1 hour 45 min examination [30%] Writing for Purpose and Audience and Reading to Access Non-fiction and Media texts.
  • Unit 2: 20% Speaking and Listening (3 tasks, internally assessed)
  • Unit 3: 20% Response to Spoken and Written Language (2 Controlled Assessment tasks, internally assessed)
  • Unit 4: 1 hour 45 min examination [30%] Personal or Creative Writing and Reading Literary and Non-fiction texts
English Literature:
  • Unit 1:1 hour 45 min examination [30%] The study of Prose (20th century novel and 19th century Unseen Prose).
  • Unit 2: 2 hour examination [50%] The study of Drama and Poetry.
  • Unit 3: 20% The study of Shakespeare (1 Controlled Assessment task, internally assessed).
A Level English Literature is a popular choice, which builds on the skills developed at GCSE Level. We follow the WJEC specification, which is a modular course. Pupils sit 2 exams in Year 13 for the AS qualification and complete 2 further exams plus a piece of coursework in Year 14 for the full A Level.
  • Unit 1: Nineteenth Century Prose and 20th Century Drama Exam Unit - 20%: Jane Eyre and A Streetcar Named Desire
  • Unit 2: Twentieth Century Poetry Exam Unit - 20%: Philip Larkin and Carol Ann Duffy
  • Unit 3: Pre 1900-Poetry and Unseen Poetry Exam Unit - 20%: John Donne and comparison of unseen poems
  • Unit 4: Shakespeare Exam Unit - 20%: King Lear
  • Unit 5: Prose Pre and Post 2000 Coursework Unit - 20%: Students’ own choice
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