English Department

1.      Subject Aims:

  • To create the necessary learning environment wherein students are encouraged to develop their skills in listening, comprehending, processing and articulating the thoughts, both orally and in written form, within this environment.
  • To develop a recognised mechanical proficiency in English language skills in as broad a context as possible.

2.      Subject Objectives:

  • To develop effective understanding of the use of the mechanics of language.
  • To facilitate the expression of their personal response to literary and media experiences.
  • To develop a love of reading and writing.
  • To develop the skill of listening in order to comprehend.
  • To encourage the development of a structured oral response.
  • To guide the students through the prescribed syllabus to make it relevant to their state examinations.

Students with learning difficulties are facilitated through Resource classes and gifted students are appropriately challenged in class and assignments.

The English Department at St. Mary’s is a very vibrant one, where the love of English is developed.
Practical methodologies include:

  • Attending and participating in the Creative Writing workshop ‘Fighting Words.’ This enhances story writing, which in turn benefits the students in exams.
  • Attending live stage productions of prescribed texts.
  • Through class attendance in our Reading Room, we aim to develop a love of reading.
  • Friendship Week lends itself to literary competitions including poetry and short story entries.
  • At Senior Level, students are encouraged to participate in creative writing competitions e.g. short story and poetry competitions.
  • Theatre trips are ongoing with relevance to Leaving Certificate play and/or novel studied.
  • Students visit the Irish Film Institute regularly to view their studied film and participate in workshops.
  • Transition Year students visit creative writing workshops in “Fighting Words”. In 2011, our school was chosen to write a collection of short stories in collaboration with the Irish writers, Roddy Doyle and John Banville. We then launched our publication of “Blank Pages” in May 2013.
  • 5th year students take part in the annual Phil Costigan Awards and the winning student is presented with an award at the annual awards ceremony.


Junior Cycle English was first introduced for 1st year students in September 2014 and first examined in 2017. For further information on Junior Cycle English and the new Junior Cycle Framework, click on the links below.

Useful Links