English is a core subject here in BCS. It is studied by all students from first year to sixth year. The subject is not just about the preparation of students for examination but to instil a love of literature,  to encourage thinking and questioning of the world around us and to provide students with the confidence in the expression of their own thoughts and opinions both orally and through writing.

There are three courses provided in the subject:

  • Junior Cycle
  • Transition Year
  • Senior Cycle

Junior Cycle English

The subject has been altered through the implementation of the new Junior Cycle Framework in recent years. It allows students to develop all aspects of their language both written and verbal. It consists of three main areas: Reading, Writing and Oral Language. There are set learning outcomes that are achieved by each student over the three year course.

The new framework provides a set list of texts to be chosen from by each teacher and class group. This prescribed list is to be altered and updated in three year cycles. It provides the opportunity for students to engage in a variety of both traditional and modern literature.

Assessment also takes a new form under the new Framework. Continuous assessment now plays an essential role in the final grade to appeal to the various types of learners and their strengths. It takes place in three stages:

  • Oral presentation
  • Portfolio
  • Terminal exam

Throughout Junior Cycle students are encouraged to read for pleasure and are given reading classes.

Leaving Cert English

Each person lives in the midst of language. Language is fundamental to learning, communication, personal and cultural identity, and relationships. The English syllabus aims at initiating students into enriching experiences with language so that they become more adept and thoughtful users of it and more critically aware of its power and significance in their lives.


Paper One

  • Comprehension Work
  • Composing written work – speeches, short stories, personal essays

Paper Two

  • Study of a Single text (usually Shakespeare at Higher Level but can vary at Ordinary Level)
  • Comparative Study (comparing and contrasting three distinct pieces of works from a film, novel and play).
  • Poetry – both unseen and from a selection of chosen poets.


English is assessed, at Ordinary and Higher levels, by means of a terminal examination paper in June of the Leaving Cert year.