Bangor Grammar School




Mr John Rea

Mrs Melanie Cree

Mr Andrew Gray

Miss Sarah Ryan

Miss M Harden

Subject Overview

Our aim is to provide students with a positive learning experience in a child-centred, mixed-ability setting that seeks to nurture the language skills and creativity of the child as well as prepare him for public examinations.

All students study English Language and Literature from Year 8 to GCSE in a totally integrated way and we see it as the right of every child to access literature as well as language. Our students are entered for both examinations at GCSE.

We aim to provide students with the skills to use language in ‘real’ situations; to decode all kinds of text and to be creators of media and text themselves. To this end, we use competitions and trips to the theatre and the cinema, so that the students see the subject as something that extends beyond the classroom.

We provide differentiation strategies within our English classes for students with specific learning difficulties and will help to identify students who may need further support through the Special Educational Needs Coordinator. We have had great success in this area in helping students gain confidence despite the challenges they may face in our subject area.


The English Department has five specialised classrooms, four of which are grouped together in the departmental hub. Each classroom has a modern interactive whiteboard and access to iPad trolleys to support learning. The department also has an English resource room equipped with a scanner and several computers. As well as accommodating study material it also offers an area of quiet study for the senior boys studying the subject.


The success of the department can be seen not only in the enjoyment of the boys themselves but in the results that they achieve. The results of the department continue on an upward trend not only against our own historical figures but against those for boys in grammar schools in Northern Ireland.

Key Stage 3

Through engagement with a range of stimuli including poetry, prose, drama, non-fiction, media and multimedia, which enhance creativity and stimulate curiosity and imagination, pupils will have opportunities to become critical, creative and effective communicators. They will express meaning, feelings and viewpoints through:

  • talking, including through debate, role-play, interviews, presentations and group discussions
  • listening actively and reporting back
  • reading and viewing for key ideas, enjoyment, engagement and empathy
  • writing and presenting in different media and for different audiences and purposes
  • participating in a range of drama activities.

In addition, all pupils participate in the Accelerated Reader programme.

Key Stage 4

Students study both CCEA GCSE English Literature and English Language.

Through their study of English Language, the students will develop their ability to demonstrate skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing, necessary to communicate with others confidently, effectively, precisely and appropriately. They will have opportunities to:

  • express themselves creatively and imaginatively
  • become critical readers of a range of texts, including multi-modal texts
  • use reading to develop their skills as writers and understand the patterns, structures and conventions of written and spoken English.

During their course of study, they will also be equipped with the ability to understand the impact of variations in spoken and written language and how they relate to identity and cultural diversity.

Through their study of English Literature, students will enjoy the study of a range of prose, drama and poetry and will develop their ability to respond critically to literature. They will have the opportunity to:

  • connect ideas, themes and issues, drawing on a range of texts
  • become critical readers of fiction and non-fiction prose, poetry and drama
  • experience different times, cultures, viewpoints and situations as found in literary texts
  • understand that texts from the English, Welsh or Irish literary heritage have been influential and significant over time, and explore their meaning today

explore how texts from different cultures and traditions may reflect or influence values, assumptions and sense of identity.

Key Stage 5

Students follow the CCEA GCE English Literature course. We give the students the opportunity to study not only a wide range of literature written by home grown Irish writers but also literature from outside of Ireland and the U.K. as well as literature in translation. This course will give the students the opportunity to explore an important part of their own cultural heritage. Moreover, with the wide range of novels, poems and plays by both British, Irish and international writers, our students will not only deepen their understanding of their own history and society but also gain an insight into others. Through independent and critical reading, they will develop their interest and enjoyment in literary studies and become an accomplished reader and discerning student.

Career Opportunities

The top ten occupations for English graduates in employment in the UK included legal professionals, marketing professionals, teachers, authors, copywriters and translators. Further study was the destination for almost a fifth (19.6%) of English graduates, with almost half studying a Masters in English or related subject areas including journalism.

Jobs directly related to an English degree include: Editorial posts; Teacher at Primary and Secondary levels; Teacher of English as a foreign language; Lexicographer; Magazine journalist; Newspaper journalist; Writer.

Jobs where your degree would be useful include: Social Media Manager; Marketing executive; Academic librarian; Advertising account executive; Advertising copywriter; Arts administrator; Information officer; Public relations officer; Records manager.