The English Department strives to foster a love of language and literature. The primary goal is to offer classes that encourage effective reading, writing, speaking and critical thinking and promote an understanding of literature and language. We take pride in teaching English to the very highest standard and ensuring that all our students have the opportunity to engage with all aspects of the curriculum.

This page is an overview of English in Sacred Heart School, Drogheda, which is a compulsory subject for every pupil.

The English Department: Teachers:

Ms. Fanning, Mrs. Cairns, Ms. O’Donnell, Ms. Fox, Mrs. Farrelly, Ms. Whelan, Ms. Ward, Ms. Reynolds, Mr. Whelan, Mrs. Ryder.

Time allocation:

Students in 1st Year have 4 lessons each week. Students in 2nd, 3rd and 5th Year have 5 lessons each week and students in 6th Year have 6 lessons each week. Students in TY have 3 lessons each week.

English is not streamed until fifth year. Classes at Junior Cycle and TY are mixed ability. We try and encourage as many students as possible to take English at higher level at both junior and senior cycle.

Junior Cycle:

2014-2015 saw the introduction of the Junior Cycle Award and in 2016-17 English becomes the first subject to be formally completed under the JCSA. The Junior Certificate has now finished in English.

The easiest way to see what is done for JCSA is to go to the official JCSA site. Please click on the link below;


Generally, we aim to give a broad grounding in the basics of language and literature, in particular to enthuse our pupils to read a lot and to think about what they read. This is a crucial element in the development of their own writing. Therefore a regular supervised reading class in the Library is encouraged.

Transition Year:

English studied during Transition Year seeks to build on work done during Junior Cycle in order to enhance development for the Senior Cycle. Students have the opportunity to explore literary texts in the following genres: Short Story/Novel; Poetry; Drama and Film. They also get to develop their writing skills by engaging in the writing process through personal writing; short story writing and functional writing.


The GR8 Debate forms an integral part of TY English. All students are given the opportunity to participate in the audition process to select the team. Over the years the school has competed successfully in the competition and we were champions in 2015/2016.

Senior Cycle:

We follow the official Leaving Certificate course for senior cycle. Pupils are streamed at the start of the course.

The Leaving Certificate is divided into two areas:

Area 1: concentrates on language tasks such as comprehension and composition whilst focusing on the five  different language genres: persuasive, argumentative, narrative, informative and aesthetic.

Area 2:  concentrates on literature: we study one major Shakespearean play or single text (King Lear, Macbeth, Hamlet or Othello), three texts (novels, plays and film) as part of a comparative study and eight prescribed poets.

We try and attend a theatre visit during the course of the senior cycle.


Material list:

  1. A4 Pad.
  2. Folder/Ringbinder.
  3. Textbooks from book loan scheme – Junior Cycle = 1st Year Great Expectations 1; 2nd and 3rd Year = Branching out 2.

Senior Cycle = Book Loan Scheme = Paper 1 textbook; Poetry Textbook (Seasons); Shakespeare Single Text and Comparative Study texts.