• E-mail:  info@foylecollege.derry.ni.sch.uk
  • Tel:       02871269321

I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.


KS3At Key Stage 3, we encourage our pupils to be imaginative, write creatively, speak with confidence and listen with sensitivity. The units of work that have been developed are designed to inspire our pupils to have a passion for the study of literature and prepare them for the demands of GCSE English Language and English Literature.

A selection of units that we study include:

·        Free writing using picture stimulus (‘The Arrival’)

·        Poetry from different cultures and traditions

·        Myth, Magic and Media

·        Travel themed activities

·        Writing for Purpose and Audience

·        Prose (novels such as ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, ‘The Girl of Ink and Stars’, ‘Private Peaceful’.)

·        Drama (‘Romeo and Juliet’)



At Foyle College we recognise that literacy skills are fundamental to all areas of learning, as it unlocks access to the wider curriculum. We ensure that pupils who need additional support receive relevant and appropriate interventions so that they can access and engage with the entire curriculum.

Pupils have the opportunity to develop these essential skills during their English lessons and, on a monthly basis, we award our ‘Literacy Lift Off Leaders’. This award recognises our KS3 pupils who have excelled in their Literacy skills in their English lessons.

KS3 pupils engage with Accelerated Reader to support and develop their reading skills. Pupils are rewarded for their progress with AR through our Word Millionaire awards. Our Senior students can become Paired Readers, supporting our KS3 pupils with their reading skills during their fortnightly Library lesson.



Currently, we have 5 classes in both Year 11 and Year 12. 8 of the 10 classes study a combined course of GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. The skills developed over the duration of the two years provide a strong foundation for the study of A Level English Literature and other literary based subjects.

The following course outline provides a general overview of how the combined course is delivered and some of the content that is studied.


Course Outline: GCSE English Language

Unit 1: Writing for Purpose and Audience and Reading to Access Non-Fiction and Media Texts

This unit is assessed in a written examination lasting 1 hour 45 minutes, which is worth 30 percent of the overall GCSE qualification.

Examination in the winter series of Year 11. (30%)


Unit 2: Speaking and Listening

This unit is assessed in three controlled assessment tasks (individual presentation and interaction, a discussion and a role play) worth 20 percent of the overall GCSE qualification.

Three assessments are completed in Y11 and three in Y12, one of each of the task types.

Unit 3: Studying Spoken and Written Language

This unit is assessed in two controlled assessment tasks worth 20 percent of the overall GCSE qualification.

The Study of Spoken Language (10%)

(March of Year 11)

 The Study of Written Language (10%)

(January of Year 11)

Unit 4: Personal or Creative Writing and Reading Literary and Non-Fiction Texts

This unit is assessed in a written examination lasting 1 hour 45 minutes, which is worth 30 percent of the overall GCSE qualification.
Examination in the winter series of Year 12 (30%)

 Course Outline: GCSE English Literature

Unit 1: The Study of Prose
Section A: Novel

*Text: ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck*

Section B: Unseen Prose

External examination lasting 1 hour 45 minutes.

 Section A: one question (closed book)

Section B: one question

 This unit is worth 30%.

(Summer series of Y11)

 Unit 2: The Study of Drama and Poetry

Section B: Drama

*Text: ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B. Priestley*


Section B: Poetry

*Identity Anthology*
External examination lasting 2 hours.

Section A: one question (open book)

Section B: one question (open book)


This unit is worth 50%.

(Summer series of Y12)

Unit 3: The Study of Shakespeare


*‘Macbeth’ or ‘The Merchant of Venice’*
Internal Controlled assessment task lasting 2 hours.


This task is worth 20%.

(February/March of Year 12)

English Literature at A Level

A Level English Literature is a popular choice within Foyle College, delivered by enthusiastic specialist staff who transition the texts from page to life within their respective classrooms, bringing locations such as Dover, New Orleans and Geneva directly to the Limavady Road.

We have approximately 15-20 pupils every year who go on to study CCEA English Literature at Foyle College, at both AS and A2 Level. A Level pupils are given the opportunity to develop their understanding of their texts through a range of mediums, ranging from theatre visits and workshops to podcasts and flipped groupwork.

In addition to inspiring tertiary progression within the Arts, recent school leavers have proceeded to study Actuarial Science, Accountancy, Law and Biomedical Science, to name but a few examples, armed with creative flair, effective communication skills and a keen eye for close analysis.

The specification for both AS and A2 Level followed at Foyle College is outlined below, with each module’s weighting in the awarding of the pupils’ final A Level grade in bold.


AS English Literature

Here is an overview of the current English Literature AS course:

Unit One: The Study of Poetry 1900–Present and Drama 1900–Present (60% of AS; 24% of A Level)

2 hour written exam: Poetry is open book; Drama is closed book.

For Poetry, we study poems a range of poems written by Seamus Heaney and Robert Frost.

For Drama, we study Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.

Unit Two: The Study of Prose (pre-1900) – (40% of AS; 16% of A Level)

1 hour written exam: closed book.

We study Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.


A2 English Literature

Here is an overview of the current English Literature A2 course:

Unit One: Shakespearean Genres (20% of A Level)

We study King Lear for a 1.5 hour, closed book exam.

Unit Two: The Study of Poetry Pre 1900 and Unseen Poetry (20% of A Level)

This is a two hour, closed book exam.

We study the selected poetry of John Donne for Section A.

Section B is an Unseen Poem.

Unit Three: Internal Assessment (20% of A Level)

The pupils study two novels, of which at least one has been written in 21st century, on a particular theme and then research and write an extended, independent 2500 word essay as their coursework piece.





Pupils study Drama within their English lessons at Year 8 and Year 9. Drama becomes a discrete subject at Year 10 in which pupils have one period per fortnight of practical Drama. During these lessons, our pupils have the opportunity to study tableaux, improvisation, role play and scripted performance. These skills encourage our pupils to develop their communication, creativity and critical thinking skills, while enhancing their confidence through engaging with practical performances.

Drama is offered as a GCSE subject at Foyle College. Pupils who choose GCSE Drama will follow the CCEA GCSE Drama specification and will also complete their Level 2 Performance Skills. Pupils study the set play Blood Brothers and complete performances focusing on Devising Theatre and Scripted Performance. The course is divided into three components:

Component 1 – Controlled Assessment - Devised Performance (25%)

Component 2 – Controlled Assessment - Scripted Performance (35%)

Component 3 - External Written Exam - Open Book (40%)

As part of their GCSE Drama, pupils are required to attend Live Theatre performances.



There are several extra-curricular opportunities linked to the study of English Language, English Literature and Drama. We encourage our pupils to participate and engage with as varied range of activities as possible. We aspire to inspire everyone that enters our English classrooms. We seek to ‘Foster Opportunities for Young Learners in English’.

Opportunities include:

Public Speaking

Senior Debating Club

Drama Club

School Musical

Bi-annual play

Writing Competitions

Theatre visits

External lectures

Creative Arts trip to London


Contact Us:

  • 67A Limavady Road, Londonderry, BT47 6LR
  • info@foylecollege.derry.ni.sch.uk
  • +44 028 71269321