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The English Department in Fort Hill Integrated College is vibrant and forward thinking. We aim to provide a learning environment which promotes enjoyment of all aspects of English. Our team of eight English specialists promote a rich and varied curriculum that enables students to grow in confidence and fulfil their maximum potential in all skills areas, both inside and outside the classroom, and in examinations.

Again this year’s GCSE English language results were outstanding with 85% of pupils achieving  A* - C grades. This is significantly higher than the NI average of 77% for non-grammar schools. We were also delighted with our most recent GCSE English Literature results: 94% of our pupils achieved A*-C grades against a 92% NI average.

For pupils who would like to carry on their studies into key stage 5, we also offer A Level English Literature as an option. All pupils who have undertaken this CCEA course with us have enjoyed high levels of success, with many going on to study English or other related subjects at university. We are immensely proud to have maintained a consecutive 100% A*-C A level Literature pass rate since 2018.

All our pupils are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of activities throughout the year. We run several extracurricular clubs such as Drama Club and the exceedingly popular Harry Potter Club. Year 8 pupils enjoy taking part in our internal Off By Heart Poetry Performance Competition and look forward to taking part in a trip to see a pantomime; Year 9 Pupils participate in our annual creative writing contest and the annual Read-On event, where top fundraisers take pleasure in visiting Daisy Lodge in Newcastle for the day. We also host an annual Public Speaking competition for our Year 11 pupils which is generously sponsored by Baker McKenzie International Law firm. Our Year 12 and 13 pupils have enjoyed considerable success in external public speaking competitions such as those run by the Soroptimist Society and the Edgar Graham Memorial competition hosted annually at Stormont. These are just a sample of some of the events and initiatives that are organised and run within the English department each year.

All KS3 pupils can expect to study Drama as an integral part of the English Curriculum. Pupils enjoy engaging with and performing Drama texts from Anne Fine’s Blabbermouth to the ever-popular Blood Brothers by Willy Russell in Year 10. Key skills such as hot-seating, conscience alley, tableaux, freeze frame and thought tracking are explored fully.

KS3 pupils also have one period of Literacy per week where the focus is on improving reading, writing and spelling skills. All KS3 pupils take part in our unique Reading Log Challenge Programme which is designed to raise reading attainment. Reading skills are tracked in Year 8 and reading intervention strategies are employed to enable pupils who are underachieving in their reading to make progress.

Creative Writing

The English department takes pride in running an annual creative writing competition for Year 9 pupils.  Some samples of work from pupils who were given the theme 'Tension and Suspense' are included below.

(Health warning: we recommend not reading these stories in the dark).

Hopkins House of Horror

Aimee Hayles 9A2X

Horror House

Jorja Hunter 9A2X

Return of the Fishermen

Lucy Grant 9B1

Creative Writing

GCSE English Language

It is compulsory for all key stage 4 pupils to complete the CCEA GCSE English Language Course.

The CCEA GCSE English Language specification encourages students to explore and respond, both imaginatively and critically, to a variety of texts.

The course is divided into four units:

Unit 1: External Examination:

  • Writing for Purpose and Audience and Reading to Access Non-fiction and Media Texts

Unit 2: Internal Controlled Assessment:

  • Speaking and Listening

Unit 3: Internal Controlled assessment:

  • Studying Spoken and Written Language

Unit 4: External Examination:

  • Personal or Creative Writing and Reading Literary and Non-fiction Texts.

English Literature

“…prose; words in their best order; 
poetry – the best words in the best order.”
S T Coleridge

GCSE English Literature:

English Literature is an optional GCSE subject.

Pupils who choose to study English Literature at GCSE will complete the CCEA English Literature course.

The CCEA GCSE English Literature specification encourages students to be enthusiastic, independent, imaginative, critical and analytical readers. It aims to increase their enjoyment of reading, helping to nurture a lifelong love of literature.

The specification has three units:

Unit 1: The Study of Prose: External Examination:

  • Pupils will study Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


Unit 2: The Study of Drama and Poetry: External Examination:

  • Pupils will study An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly


Unit 3: The Study of Shakespeare: Controlled Assessment:

  • Pupils will study Macbeth

A Level English Literature:

Pupils who choose to study English Literature at AS and A2 Level will study the CCEA Specification.

The CCEA GCE English Literature specification encourages students to be independent, imaginative, critical and analytical readers. It aims to increase their enjoyment of reading across three key genres: prose, poetry and drama.

The specification has five units:

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

  • Thomas Frost and Seamus Heaney Anthology

  • A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams


Unit AS 2: The Study of Prose Pre 1900

  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelly


Unit A2 1: Shakespearean Genres

  • The Winter’s Tale


Unit A2 2: The Study of Poetry Pre 1900 and Unseen Poetry

  • John Donne Anthology


Unit A2 3: Internal Assessment.

  • Two novels of choice, one to be published post 2000.

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