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Year 9 Reading Challenge

English Language is taught to all pupils in Lagan College up to Year 12. The English Department has six full time teachers and two part time teachers, with close links to the Drama, Media and Learning Support Departments. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum that aims to support all our students in achieving their fullest potential as rounded individuals and members of a global community.

English Language is taught at Key Stage 3 with 93% achieving Levels 5-7 in 2014 intheir Communication Portfolio. Our schemes of work at this level not only implement the Revised Curriculum but also provide our students with a solid foundation in the skills required for GCSE study as it very much mirrors the GCSE English Language CCEA specification.  Pupils are encouraged to engage in group work, paired work and self and peer assessment.  Furthermore, they are required to complete group speaking and listening tasks in preparation for GCSE English Language.

Our GCSE English students have enjoyed an increasingly high level of success with 70% of those entered achieving A*-C grades in 2012. A number of students also take on an additional GCSE in English Literature and consistently produce equally pleasing results, with 81% of pupils gaining A*-C grades in 2012.

English Literature is also a very popular option for A Level. The course involves the close study of a number of texts from throughout the history of English Literature – from John Donne to present day – within the three main genres of Drama, Poetry and Prose and leads to the CCEA AS and A2 qualifications. An impressive 100% gained A-C grades at AS in 2012 with 92% attaining A*-C grades at A2.

The English Department’s ethos is inclusive of all ability. English teachers set high standards, whilst allowing a degree of differentiation within lessons to cater for the full range of abilities and learning styles. We believe that literacy is of paramount importance for academic success across the curriculum and we endeavour to promote reading for all pupils. We work in close collaboration with the school library using book fairs and events such as World Book Day to encourage a love of literature. Furthermore, Year 8 pupils are taken to the library every week where they read a variety of books and record these in their Reading Logs. Year 8 pupils are also involved in the Reading Partnership Programme with SEELB.  This is a ten week program where Year 8 pupils are mentored by Year 13 and 14 pupils to enhance reading skills.  This is a beneficial and enriching experience for all pupils involved.

In 2014, an amazing £2668.51 was raised by Year 8 pupils participating in our annual ‘Readathon’. During the past nine years, Lagan College pupils have raised £30,658 for Readathon and its respective charities, CLIC Sargent and the Roald Dahl Foundation.

In addition, the English Department run a range of extra curricular activities including the Kids’ Literature Quiz.  This quiz is run internally and the winner of the Lagan College heats progresses through to the NI Final in Wellington College.  This year, we have an impressive 25 teams competing!

At senior level, we have an impressive history in public speaking competitions with Lagan College representing Northern Ireland at national level. Our students enjoy theatre trips and workshops throughout the year. The English Department continues to promote and develop communication and this provides an excellent platform for our students to put their communication skills to the test.