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The English Department consists of four dedicated, enthusiastic and professional teachers who make learning interesting and fun. The English classrooms are large and bright with a range of pupil work displayed to celebrate success and praise pupil achievements.  There are interactive whiteboards in all rooms and iPads available.

The English Department actively encourage reading for pleasure and book boxes are present in each room to ensure pupils read regularly.

Our overall objective is to encourage pupils to develop and improve their competence in the communication skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.  All our Schemes of Work are differentiated ensuring all pupils are accommodated and we work closely with our Special Educational Needs Coordinator to provide additional support when necessary.

We use a range of stimuli to engage and stimulate our pupils and our child-centred approach is highlighted in our regular writing competitions, cinema and theatre visits, drama workshops and creative writing tours.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 pupils work towards the CCEA Communication Level assessments in Year 10.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 all pupils study CCEA GCSE English Language.



Literacy focuses on developing each child’s ability to understand and use language, both spoken and written, as an integral part of learning in all areas. The development of language and literacy is crucial to living and learning.  We use language to communicate, to share and express feelings, to give and obtain information and to understand ideas and develop thoughts.

At The High School Ballynahinch teachers address language and literacy holistically, taking account of the connections between Speaking and Listening and Reading and Writing, which extend across all areas of the curriculum.  We aim to develop our young people as confident and competent contributors to society.

All classes in junior school have a Literacy lesson each week with a specialist English teacher and during this time, spellings, punctuation and grammar are addressed alongside communication skills.

All classrooms have dictionaries and a range of reading material and pupils are actively encouraged to use these as appropriate in lessons.

Junior School pupils are also encouraged to become members of our local Ballynahinch Library and there are visits every six weeks to work with the librarians. We also proudly display pupil work there to praise pupil achievement.

We regularly celebrate success within Literacy and award prizes and certificates to our Reader of the Month and our Spelling Champions.

All teachers follow the whole school Literacy and Marking Policies which include Purple Pen responses and Directed Independent Reflection Time.