pupils studying in library


The study of English is one of the key components in the education of the students at Bloomfield Collegiate School. To that end, we ensure that each student is given the opportunity to develop their personal interests and strengths in all aspects of the subject.

To keep up to date with events and news in the English department, follow us on twitter: @EngDeptBCS

KS3 Curriculum

The Key Stage 3 curriculum of Bloomfield Collegiate School’s English Department aims to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of a wide range of text types including media texts, novels, poetry and Shakespearean drama. Students have the opportunity to develop their skills in all aspects of literacy through extensive reading, writing and talking and listening tasks. We also consider the roles of different types of writing through our study of persuasive, personal and creative writing and self-expression through our Key Stage 3 journal project. Year 8 pupils also take part in the Accelerated Reader programme, led by our Librarian Ms Furphy.

This curriculum provides an effective foundation for the study of GCSE English Language, GCSE English Literature and A Level English Literature, as well as developing essential communication skills for all subjects.

GCSE English Language

The GCSE English Language course builds on the language and literacy skills developed in Key Stage 3 English. Students have opportunities to demonstrate the skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing necessary to communicate with others confidently, effectively and appropriately. They learn how to express themselves creatively and precisely as well as how to analyse various types of texts, including non-fiction, literary and media texts.

This is a CCEA course and further information can be found on the CCEA English Language microsite.

Students study the following units:

Section A: Writing

  • Task 1: Writing for Audience and Purpose

Section B: Reading

  • Tasks 2 and 3: Reading to Access Non-Fiction Texts
  • Tasks 4 and 5: Reading to Access Media Texts

This consists of a role play, a group discussion and an individual presentation.

Task 1: The Study of Spoken Language

Task 2: The Study of Written Language

Section A: Writing

  • Task 1: Personal or Creative Writing

Section B: Reading

  • Task 2: Comparing and Contrasting Literary Texts
  • Tasks 3 and 4: Reading Non-Fiction Texts

Career Pathways and Transferable Skills

GCSE English Language is a requirement for the vast majority of career pathways and further education institutions.

Students enhance their written and oral communication skills, their research and time-management skills, their critical reasoning skills and their ability to articulate knowledge and understanding, all of which may be utilised in many A Level subjects and future careers.

GCSE English Literature

The GCSE English Literature course encourages students to become critical readers of prose, drama and poetry. Students read and analyse a range of texts and explore the language, themes, ideas and issues within them. They also explore contexts and consider the experiences of different times, cultures and viewpoints. It aims to promote reading for enjoyment and to nurture a lifelong love of reading.

This is a CCEA course and further information can be found on the CCEA English Literature website.

Students study the following units:

Section A: Novel

This section is on the novel they have studied in class, usually Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird or Animal Farm.

Section B: Unseen Prose

Students analyse a nineteenth-century prose extract.

Section A: Drama

This section is on the play Blood Brothers.

Section B: Poetry

Students compare and contrast two of the poems from the Identity anthology studied in class.

Students study a Shakespearean play and have two hours to write an essay exploring how a set theme is presented in this play through language and dramatic methods such as costume, staging and use of props.

Career Pathways and Transferable Skills

GCSE English Literature develops analytical and communication skills that are of use in many careers including advertising, writing, creative arts, counselling, journalism, tourism, marketing, PR, scriptwriting, acting, welfare rights, politics, law, publishing, and teaching.

Students enhance their written and oral communication skills, their ability to work independently as well as in groups, skills in articulating knowledge and understanding, skills in effectively conveying arguments and opinions as well as critical reasoning and analytical skills, all of which may be utilised in many other subjects and careers.

A Level English Literature

The study of English Literature at A Level represents a progression from GCSE English Literature. As well as requiring a detailed knowledge of plot, themes and characters, students analyse the methods used by writers of poetry, prose and drama to manipulate the responses of readers and audiences. Students also consider a variety of critical interpretations and study the social, cultural and historical contexts within which the texts were written. The coursework element at A2 allows for a more independent, student-led analysis of two novels.

A Level English Literature students should enjoy reading widely and independently.

This is a CCEA course and further information can be found on the CCEA A Level English Literature website.

Students study the following units:

Section A: Poetry

This section is on the poetry of Seamus Heaney and Robert Frost.

Section B: Drama

Students study the play A Streetcar Named Desire.

Students study either Frankenstein or The Scarlet Letter.

Students study the Shakespearean play Othello.

Section A: Poetry Pre 1900

This section is on the poetry of William Blake.

Section B: Unseen Poetry

In this section, students analyse a poem they have not studied in class.

Students study a novel in class and then choose another novel with which to compare it in a 2,500 word analytical essay based on a set theme. Students choose the focus and title of their coursework and demonstrate skills of independent thought, research and critique of 21st century literature.

Career Pathways and Transferable Skills

Our A Level students have gone on to study and work in various fields including the media, both in front of and behind the camera, medicine, teaching, criminology, law, Egyptology, paramedic sciences, nutrition and culinary arts.

The skills developed in this course include communication, independence, initiative, analysis, evaluation, justification of an opinion, research and management of time and resources. These are of benefit in many careers and further education courses.

Opportunities provided by the English Department

On-going throughout the year:

  • Accelerated Reader Programme with Prize Afternoons organised by Ms Furphy
  • Library classes once a week for Year 8 and once a month for Years 9 and 10
  • Key Stage 3 Journal Project
  • Sixth Form Community Volunteer Service organised by Ms Kinsley-Smith – Tor Bank School, Towell House and the Northern Ireland Hospice Shop
  • Dance teams organised by Mrs Waterworth choreographing and rehearsing every week, offering opportunities for pupils to hold positions of responsibility within school and competing against other schools and dance schools
  • Year 8 Drama Club organised by two Sixth Form English Literature pupils
  • Opportunity to attend Drama lessons by qualified Speech and Drama teacher Ms Steen, former BCS pupil
  • Junior Debating Society organised by Mr McManus
  • KIC participation by Year 13 and 14 students organised by Mr Mulholland
  • Trips including to the Lyric Theatre, Seamus Heaney Centre, C. S. Lewis Square and participation in the Mock EU Council Debate at Belfast City Hall

Winter Term:

  • Range of awards on Prize Day
  • Selection of our Student Poet Laureate
  • KIC Drama performances in the Lyric Theatre and at Stormont for BBC’s Children in Need campaign and at Belfast Culture Night organised by Mr Mulholland
  • Tor Bank School Christmas performance at Bloomfield Collegiate School organised by Ms Kinsley-Smith
  • Cake and Classics Sixth Form Book Club

Spring Term:

  • Year 8 Library Trips
  • Writing to authors for World Book Day
  • Roald Dahl Day
  • Opportunities to sit GCSE modules early, in Year 11 or January of Year 12
  • Scholastic Book Fair
  • Read On to raise money for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children
  • Dance competitions: 5,6,7,8 in January; NICMAC and the Portadown Festival in March; and Ulster’s in April, organised by Mrs Waterworth

Summer Term:

  • Opportunities to re-sit modules
  • Tor Bank Volunteers Thank-you Assembly
  • Year 11 Sentinus trip to Tor Bank School
  • Year 14 Poetry Slam
  • Literacy Week – Doors around school decorated by teachers and pupils to look like book covers, Drop Everything and Read between break and lunch, word lists provided by HoDs used for Year 8 Spelling Bee
  • KIC Drama workshops for Year 10

More information and photographs of these events can be found in our school magazine and the English Department twitter account:

English Department Twitter

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