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English Department


English is a compulsory subject for every pupil in Colaiste Chriost Ri. Pupils in First year have five classes of English a week while Second and Third years have four.

Junior Cycle.

All pupils sit the Junior Certification examination at the end of year three. As a department we aim to give students a good grounding in the basics of language and literature through a wide variety of material such as novels, plays, film, poetry and media studies. Students are encouraged to read a variety of books and many English teachers have their own class libraries from which students are encouraged to borrow. The school library is being revamped at the moment and is expected to be fully operational by September 2015.

September 2014 saw the introduction of the Junior Cycle Student Award for first years, while second and third years continue with the Junior Certificate.

The Junior Certificate is divided into language and literature papers. Students at Higher level sit two papers. Higher level students study a Shakespearean drama (such as Romero and Juliet, Merchant of Venice or Macbeth). A modern play ( such as The Field by J.B. Keane or Our Day Out by Willy Russell) is studied in Second year. Novels are studied in First and Second year (such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton). Poetry is studied from First year to Third year. 

Transition year.

Transition year students have five classes of English per week.

The English Department has their own specially designed course which focuses on developing writing and reading skills to bridge the gap between Junior and Leaving Certificates.

The course is divided into four modules. These modules are delivered by four teachers in the English department. The content of these modules cover areas such as poetry appreciation, creative writing , the language of film and the analysis of drama.

Senior cycle.

All senior cycle students have six classes of English per week.

The Department follows the official Leaving Certificate course ( 2 years). Students are offered both Higher Level and Ordinary Level courses. English students are encouraged to pursue a higher level course where possible.

The Leaving Certificate course is divided into two papers ( for both Higher and Ordinary Level). Paper 1 focuses on language tasks ( comprehension and composition) and Paper 2 on literature. Higher Level students study Shakespeare (Macbeth, King Lear, Hamlet or Othello). Three texts are studied for the Comparative question (such as How Many Miles to Babylon by Jennifer Johnston, I’m not Scared directed by Gabriele Salvatores and Juno and the Paycock by Sean O Casey). Eight prescribed poets ( ) are also on the course.

Cross Curricular activities.

The English Department supports the development of drama in the school by encouraging student involvement. The school has a theatre which is used for in-house and visiting productions. Philadelphia Here I Come was a recent in-house production and King Lear was performed by Sackville Productions, a visiting drama group.

Where possible, students attend local theatres to see touring productions such as Macbeth and Merchant of Venice.

Visits to local events such as the First World War exhibition in the Cork City museum saw the collaboration of the English and History Departments through the study of war poetry.


The Department embraces the use of technology in the classroom. Students are encouraged to compose and submit work using technology.


 The English Department is one of the largest in the school and meet formally and informally frequently to co-ordinate both policy and practice.


Mr. Jim Foley.
Ms. Susan Coleman.
Ms. Anne Murphy.
Ms. Mary Barry.
Ms. Colleen Cryan.
Mr. Gavin Foley.
Mr. Alan Haynes.
Ms. Linda Daly.

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