Strathearn School

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188 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AU, Northern Ireland | 028 9047 1595

English Department

The English Department at Strathearn comprises 7 teachers. In bright modern classrooms, each with its own interactive whiteboard, students are presented with a range of physical and electronic resources that support their learning in English.

Teaching Staff

Ms Erskine (Head of Department)

Mr Heaney

Ms Ingram

Miss Keown

Dr McBride

Miss McClure

Mr Scott




The department aims to foster




Overview of work

The Key Stage 3 programme of study should provide ample opportunity for the discussion of character and narrative, theme and idea. The literary texts studied range from canonical narrative poetry to a modern blank verse novel, from prose versions of Shakespeare’s plays to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our approach to the subject is primarily discussion based, collaborative learning; pupils have the opportunity to participate in, and enjoy discussion, debate and to hear different perspectives. They will be able to take pleasure in creating, most frequently through the English Journal or extended writing. They will experience the satisfaction of making progress throughout the year.

The course will provide pupils with opportunities to communicate effectively in speech and in writing.  It will be stressed, however, that these skills are cumulative over a number of years. 

The Key Stage 3 programme will develop an ability to analyse how technique creates meaning in poetry, prose and drama.  Pupils will be provided with a framework for analysis and the vocabulary necessary for critical consideration of literature.  The emphasis will always be, however, on the meaning or message the writer wishes to convey, and how technique is used to do this.  The course will develop an ability to distinguish and select, when responding to literary and non-literary material.  A key skill that will be developed - one which will prove essential at GCSE and A Level - is the ability to argue.


At GCSE, we follow the CCEA English Language and English Literature specifications.  For English Literature, the texts studied are the following: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley; and the CCEA poetry anthology ‘Identity.’

At A-level, we follow the CCEA English Literature specification.  The texts studied are the following; the poetry of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes; Frankenstein by Mary Shelley; A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams; Othello by William Shakespeare; and the poetry of Emily Dickinson.  For coursework, students are expected to choose their own texts, according to their interests.


Extracurricular Opportunities

Through the English Department, pupils enjoy a range of creative writing and debating opportunities.



Pupils who take English at Strathearn go on to further study and work in a variety of areas including political communication, music public relations, sports journalism, literary agency and archiving.




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