The pupil who has studied English at Belfast Royal Academy should leave the School with a love of reading, an appreciation of literature, a sense of critical literacy, cultural literacy and functional literacy as well as the ability to communicate confidently, both orally and in writing. Concentration on the core functional areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening and use of ICT equips pupils with the essential skills that are the bedrock of a good education and prepares them well for life. We also believe that the study of English should be enjoyable and empowering, encouraging participation through a wide range of teaching techniques, thus fostering a pupil’s confidence and character. Furthermore, opportunities to write creatively, participate in competitions, attend professional drama productions and to become involved in the cultural life of the School are made widely available and promoted for all pupils.
English is taught in the purpose-built Louis Lord Building, which houses specialist rooms and utilises the latest computing and data projection technology. The School Library, under the care of our dedicated Librarians, Mrs Corcoran and Miss McAtamney, plays an important role in awakening pupils to the joys of reading and is supplemented by classroom libraries. In First and Second Form, pupils enjoy a weekly Library and Information Skills period.
We embrace the many opportunities on offer through our subject. For example, we run a Junior Book Fair in September. We also hold competitions and events to celebrate National Poetry Day and World Book Day. We have had visits from Colin Bateman, Alec Williams and Alan Gibbons and some of our pupils have met Derek Landy, Anthony Horowitz and Darren Shan. Pupils regularly have success in external competitions and pupil work has been published in anthologies such as Poetry in Motion, Young Writers, Children-in-Crossfire as well as in “The Owl”. Pupils also participate in a sponsored read (Read On) where money is raised for the NI Cancer Fund for Children. There is also the opportunity for our pupils to take part in Senior Debating and Public Speaking Competitions as well as creative writing and reading groups.