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English is a central aspect of the Coleraine Grammar School curriculum. All pupils study it at KS3 level, and all pupils study for the fundamental GCSE English Language qualification. Every year a large, ambitious group of GCSE pupils also take GCSE English Literature, with many going on to study it at A level and even read the subject at university. At all levels in the classroom, literature is central – pupils are expected to cover a wide variety of texts, including poetry, novels, short stories, plays, multi-modal texts, non-fiction and film. All pupils are encouraged to develop their curiosity, creativity and precision with the English language.

“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word.

Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.”
― Emily Dickinson

There are twelve experienced teachers in the department, travelling between the two sites to provide high quality teaching and learning opportunities. We recognise the importance of a collaborative approach and shared focus, with key skills, knowledge and understanding, at the heart of our provision, whilst also valuing the freedom and flexibility which allows individual teachers to pursue their enthusiasms and specialisms, in order to make teaching stimulating, and learning dynamic. Classrooms are attractive and well-resourced with modern, thought-provoking and challenging set texts; we benefit from excellent library and IT facilities, and are constantly developing new resources.

All members of the department contribute to the rich cultural life of Coleraine Grammar School, through drama productions, creative writing, debating, public speaking, poetry recitals, journalism, magazine contributions, organising visiting speakers, and theatre trips: this is a learning environment where strengths are built on and difficulties overcome.

Studying English Language at GCSE is compulsory, as it is a basic requirement for entry into further education or employment.

Pupils interested in developing careers in education, public service, communication industries, medicine and law, are encouraged to take up GCSE and Alevel English Literature. It is a respected and widely welcomed Alevel, by prominent universities, even just as a ‘facilitating’ qualification; it is also a popular degree choice for those who wish to keep employment options open and diverse.

English Department Trip – The Merchant of Venice

At The Riverside Theatre on 7th October, 2015

On Wednesday 7th October 112 CGS pupils visited The Riverside Theatre at The University of Ulster to see a production of Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” by the c21 Theatre Company. Year 13 English Literature students were gathering ideas about methods of staging for their AS English Literature creative coursework and were accompanied by Mrs Tweed and Mrs Currie-Macartney while Year 10 pupils were gaining an overview of the plot before studying it in English classes and were accompanied by Mrs Taggart, Miss Magee and Mrs McElhinney. Director, Arthur Web and producer, Stephen Kelly transposed the setting to 1920s America. The performance was fast-moving and thoroughly enjoyed by both junior and senior pupils. Pupils and English Department staff eagerly awaits their next trip!

English Staff

  • Mr A. Pepin: MA English; PGCE English (Curriculum Leader) 
  • Mr R. D. C. Evans: BA English; PGCE English and Drama; PQH (NI);
  • Mrs R. Logue: BA English; PGCE English;
  • Miss L. Magee: BA English; PGCE English with Drama and Media; PQH(NI)
  • Miss L. Stewart: BA English; PGDE English;
  • Mrs K Taggart: BA English; Dip. Ed.