The English Department builds very effectively on work undertaken by our partner Primary Schools.
We aim to help students in our care to become effective communicators in both written and spoken forms. We recognise the importance of reading skills to future success and wider reading is encouraged for learning and pleasure. Through exploring a wide range of texts, students gain the confidence to express themselves in new ways.
English lessons develop the awareness of the power of words and promote the qualities of insight, imagination and critical inquiry as well as broadening our students’ view of the world around them. We enjoy developing oracy skills and our success in events such as the Belfast Changing Minds public speaking competition and the Poetry Aloud All Ireland verse speaking contest give us great pride.
The English Department strives for, and achieves, high academic standards. We also believe that the teaching and enjoyment of English goes beyond the classroom. We therefore involve our pupils in many extra-curricular activities and encourage opportunities outside the classroom for pupils to express their passions for the subject. La Salle English students have enjoyed Book Club, Film Club, Creative Writing group and fun seasonal events like Roald Dahl week in September, “Camp Creepy” in October and our whole school celebrations during World Book Day. Each member of the team is committed to providing students with extra support whenever it is required
At Key Stage 3 pupils are taught in mixed ability groups, following schemes of work which include a wide variety of novels, plays and poems, and material ranging from Shakespeare to the language of newspapers, leaflets and social media.
In Years 11 and 12, all pupils are prepared for the CCEA GCSE English Language examination. As in Key stage 3, our aims are to assist our pupils’ language development and to encourage them to read widely and with discrimination. At GCSE Level, students can also choose to study English Literature, with outcomes here among the strongest in the school.
Both English Literature, and more recently English Language, are offered at AS and A2 level. English Literature invites students to study challenging units and we aim for our pupils to emerge as discerning, independent readers who are adept at critically evaluating texts. English Language students actively engage with a wide variety of spoken and written texts from both the past and present. The A levels offered by the Department develop skills and academic rigour much sought after by universities and employers.