Our students follow a creative, challenging and varied course in English. All of our students are given the opportunity to study both English and English Literature at GCSE, and many of our students choose to continue their studies of English literature at A’ Level.
At Key Stage 3 students study a range of forms and genres, covering poetry, prose, media, non-fiction, drama and grammar. Each year group study a play by Shakespeare: year 8 work on "Macbeth"; year 9 "Romeo and Juliet"; and year 10 study a comedy, such as, "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Much Ado About Nothing" or "The Taming of the Shrew".
At GCSE students study CCEA English language and literature. Texts recently studied include Shakespeare's "Hamlet", "The Woman in Black" by Susan Hill, "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, "An Inspector Calls" by J.B.Priestley, "Lord of the Flies’’ by William Golding and poetry by Ben Jonson, Robert Browning, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Carol Ann Duffy and Seamus Heaney. Students also study and write non-fiction texts and take part in discussion, debate and drama.
At A' Level, we follow the CCEA English literature specification. Current texts include: Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire", Emily Bronte’s "Wuthering Heights" and the poetry of Hughes and Plath. A2 students study a Shakespearian tragedy, the poetry of Emily Dickinson and a thematic study of the Outsider in literature.
The English department believes that literacy is the key to academic success across the curriculum therefore we aim to actively promote positive attitudes towards reading within the college. Reading for pleasure is built into our weekly activities in English. Each year we run a 'Reading Week' in which students take part in a sponsored readathon to raise money for the N.I.Cancer Fund for Children. The college also holds a book fair and students take part in a range of activities and competitions.
The English department runs a number of extra-curricular clubs, such as Literacy Club and Book Club, in which students come together to discuss their love of books and reading.
What we do well?
Our students are encouraged to engage with literature from the very start of their time at Shimna, each class is equipped with its own well stocked library. We encourage our students to take part in a range of writing tasks both functional and creative. Over the years we have enjoyed success in both local and national writing competitions. We also endeavour to help our students become competent and confident speakers; from year 8 onwards students are encouraged to engage in group discussion, role play and speech making. Some of our students have gone on to participate in debates and public speaking competitions. This has been a beneficial and enriching experience for all students involved.