top of page
English Department Library Visit.jpg

Head of Department:
Mrs C Little
Teaching Staff:
Mr C Boyle

Mrs T Loughrey
Ms C Marron
Mrs L McCool

Mrs R Mullan
Mrs F Pepin
With other subjects:

Mrs G Brown

Mrs A Crawford



The English Department is one of the largest departments in the school. There are seven full-time and two part-time teachers in the Department. There are six English Classrooms – all well equipped with:

• Computers with full C2K network access

  • Interactive whiteboard/ smartboard

  • DVD and audio facilities

  • Reference books eg. dictionaries

  • Small classroom library for wide reading


All students in Year 8-10 are taught English. Class texts for Junior students are chosen from a selection ranging from literary classics to recent publications; students gain experience of novels, plays and poetry every term, with Shakespeare being introduced in Year 10. Wide reading for pleasure is encouraged, with one double period each fortnight during Year 8 being spent in the Library. Students are also encouraged to develop their ICT skills from Year 8 onwards.  Students who need a little extra support in aspects of Literacy are provided with this individually or in carefully-selected small groups.

Mrs Little presents the academic award for English in KS3 2023 to year 10 students - 

 Isla Pepin and  Niamh McGowan



Following the Key Stage 3 assessment at the end of Year 10, all students take GCSE English Language at the end of Year 12. A wide range of reading material (from Shakespeare to contemporary media) forms the curriculum core at this level, with students assessed in reading, writing, talking and listening. GCSE English Literature is offered as an option, and has remained traditionally popular among students. This entails the more detailed study and analysis of six poetry, prose and drama from pre-1914 and from 1914 to the present day. Students follow the GCSE specifications from CCEA, and currently sit the first module of each subject at the end of Year 11.


We offer two subjects at A level: English Language and English Literature, both of which retain healthy student numbers. Intensive study of English and Anglo-Irish Literature introduces students to their literary heritage and hones their critical skills, while English Language has a more linguistic focus, helping students to develop their analytical skills.  Students follow the A level English Language specification from Edexcel, and the A level English Literature specification from CCEA.  Many of our sixth form students eventually opt to study English or related subjects at university level.


At all levels, including on the School Development Plan, the development of Literacy skills is given the highest priority; in this, we work in conjunction with all other departments in the school. Talking, listening, reading and writing activities take place on a weekly basis, and we encourage students to participate in English lessons to the best of their ability. Students experiencing difficulty with any of these areas, as well as students for whom English is an additional language, are offered extra support and encouragement, with Literacy Support available.
Students are encouraged to read widely and to become analytical and perceptive in their reactions to text, image, moving image and so on. Annual events such as World Book Day and National Poetry Day are in ideal opportunity for a school-wide focus on Literacy and on reading for pleasure.

English Department Open Day.JPG

- English Department Open Day


Our results are consistently good, and in the past nine years we have sent seven students to Oxford or Cambridge to study English or related subjects. Since introducing English Language A level in 2003, we have been delighted to have four students placed in the UK Top Ten in this subject. In both 2010 and 2005, one student gained a magnificent 100% in GCSE English; in 2008, another student was close to this record, scoring 99.67%.



The main extra curricular activity in English is writing for and helping to edit the school Newsletter. Students can also take part in various writing competitions – whether national or local, and in our own annual School Poetry Competition.
Working in close conjunction with the Drama department, we organise theatre trips regularly when performances relevant to the school syllabus are being produced.


GCSE and A Level English Literature students avail of study days at the Heaney Homeplace, and our A Level students in both Language and Literature are often supported in their studies by visiting speakers from Ulster University.


English at Loreto College offers:

  • Personal literacy;

  • Self-expression and communication;

  • Exploration of the world of language and books;

  • Experience of modern technology;

  • Shared experience and active learning;

  • The opportunity for each student to learn to his or her optimum potential.


In February, GCSE English Literature students, accompanied by Mrs Little and Miss Kelly, spent a day at the Steinbeck Festival in the Roe Valley Arts Centre, as part of their study of the novel Of Mice And Men.



Year 13 English Literature students, accompanied by Mrs Pepin, spent a day at the Heaney Homeplace as part of their A Level studies.  This was part of a Shared Education programme with our neighbours at Coleraine Grammar School.


Ulster University

We had three lectures this year by visiting speakers from Ulster University.  Professor Jan Jedzrejewski presented two excellent talks to A Level and GCSE English Literature students during the Spring Term; early in the Summer Term, Dr Willa Murphy gave a great presentation on John Steinbeck’s work to GCSE English Literature students.


Emily Allen

Emily Allen, Year 14, received a conditional offer to read English Literature at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, and hopes to begin her studies there in Autumn 2024. 

bottom of page