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. Therefore, it is our aim to foster and encourage a lasting enjoyment and appreciation of literature from a variety of eras, cultures and traditions.
From Form 1 pupils are encouraged to read, understand and respond to various types of literary texts to enable them to develop the skills necessary for more advanced literary study.
Pupils follow the CCEA specification. Controlled Assessment accounts for 20% of the course and two written examinations, where the pupils must answer on four texts (one of which is Unseen Prose), accounts for the remaining 80%.
The CCEA English Literature specification is followed. Pupils have the opportunity to access a wide range of literary material.
Pupils are taught by specialist teachers in subject-specific classrooms. Within the Department we have an ICT Suite, which allows for enhanced study of the prescribed texts. Literary study is also promoted by our School Library, through which pupils become more independent readers and responsible for their own learning.
Pupils attend a wide variety of literary events such as poetry readings, lectures organised by Queen’s University/University of Ulster, seminars by the School of Education (Q.U.B.) as well as film/theatre trips. The Reading Group, which consists of Sixth Form pupils and staff, meets regularly in the English Department. A number of our pupils are selected by the Trustees of Villiers Park for participation in the Reading Parties at Foxton, Cambridge. Many of our pupils go on to study English Literature at University.