"We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories." Margaret Atwood


The English Department aims to stimulate and maintain pupil curiosity, interest and enjoyment in English. We achieve this by creating an atmosphere where pupils wish to learn, so that they come to enjoy English, because they are active participants in it. Students are actively encouraged to develop the habit of reading and to value reading as a pleasure and as an important skill for life. By exposing students to a wide range of reading material (both literary and media) we aim to enable students to see English as, not only a major cultural feature but part of a wider body of knowledge and skills, that will help them succeed across the curriculum. This enables each student to achieve his potential in a variety of situations and subjects, using all available resources appropriately, to ensure the highest level of achievement.

English in St. Patrick's Grammar School


Mrs Rosemary Trainor (Head of English)

Mrs Noirin McArdle (Head of Junior School)

Mrs Cathy McDermott

Kathleen McLoughlin (Head of Pastoral Care)

Ms Aine McMullan

Ms Siobhan O'Toole (Head of Drama/SENCo)

Mrs Suzanne Phillips (Head of Year 8)

Mrs Gina Savage (Vice Principal)

English Language and Literature is taught at Key Stage 3 as a combined course offering pupils a study of all genres of literature while developing both oral and written communication. We collaborate closely with the Drama Department culminating in the Shakespeare Festival in Year 10. English Literature and English Language are compulsory subjects in St Patrick's at GCSE level and a number of students choose to continue their study of English Literature at AS and A2 level. To support the teaching and learning that takes place in the classroom throughout the academic year, English students have opportunities to go on educational trips, theatre visits, listen to visiting authors and celebrate World Book Day. Students also have opportunities to take part in creative writing competitions and support our annual charity fundraiser for CLIC Sargent READATHON campaign.

Teaching and Learning Aims

Through the study of English, we aim to:

  • encourage and enable students to be creative and free thinkers;
  • stimulate interest in media and foster a love of literature;
  • enable students to read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding;
  • read critically, and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and improve their own writing;
  • enable students to become confident communicators;
  • write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately;
  • use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately;
  • have an understanding of the conventions of spoken language;
  • acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology, and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language;
  • enable students to become confident citizens by developing skills, knowledge and understanding, enabling them to formulate and communicate their own opinions about media and literature;
  • encourage students to become independent learners;
  • develop skills in ICT, communication and investigative work, as well as problem solving, organisational, research and analytical skills;
  • ensure all students reach their potential.

Careers in English

The study of English prepares students for a wide range of career options due to its skills based approach to learning. Students develop a range of thinking skills and personal capabilities; including problem solving, decision making, working with others, research skills, managing information, self-management and being creative. They learn to become highly effective communicators in written work and in their talking and listening abilities.

The range of careers open to English graduates include:

  • Academic librarian
  • Advertising account executive
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Arts administrator
  • Information officer
  • Marketing executive
  • Public relations officer
  • Records manager
  • Editorial assistant
  • English as a foreign language teacher
  • Lexicographer
  • Magazine / Newspaper / Web journalist
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Primary / Secondary school teacher

English Department Calendar

Stay up to date with our English calendar. Here you'll find exam dates, revision classes and events specific to the English Department.