Love the children … and make a great effort to improve their education
and raise it to as high a degree as possible. Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey



The English Department is a vibrant, dynamic department with skilled, professional and enthusiastic staff. All staff members are passionate about English language and literature, and share this passion with their students. We encourage our students to read widely, and to broaden and deepen their experience of the best of literature. We organise theatre visits, visits from authors and poets, and make constant use of our excellent library.


Kelly Black

Lisa Byrne

Fiona Coleman

Ciara Forristal

Trudy Loftus

Cristín Kehoe

Mairéad Kennedy

Gerard Murphy

Tim O'Connor

Adrian Quinn

Paula Roche

The English Department at Mount Sackville focuses on exposing students to a wide range of texts, both literary and non-literary. This encompasses classic, modern and digital literacy. Students are provided with the tools to be able to plan, draft, re-draft, edit and reflect upon their own writing. Through scaffolded exercises and the sharing of success criteria, our teachers endow our students with the skills to write in a variety of genre.

At Mount Sackville we place a strong emphasis on literacy and our students are engaged in the Renaissance Accelerated Reader programme. By focusing on the improvement of students’ literacy, we aim for the students’ experience in the classroom to be an enriched both academically and personally.

Reading - English 005 MS Jan 2024.JPG

Junior Cycle English

The curriculum aims to develop students’ knowledge of language and literature, to consolidate and deepen their literacy skills and make them more self-aware as learners.

The Junior Cycle English curriculum focuses on eight key skills:

  • Being creative
  • Being literate
  • Being numerate
  • Communicating
  • Managing information and thinking
  • Managing myself
  • Staying well
  • Working with others

Junior Cycle English is offered at two levels, Higher and Ordinary and the final assessment will reflect this. The strands of Junior Cycle English are Oral Language, Reading, and Writing.

The elements of these strands are:

  • Communicating as a listener, speaker, reader and writer
  • Exploring and using language
  • Understanding the content and structure of language.

Over the three years of the Junior Cycle, students will have many opportunities to enjoy and learn English across the strands. They will read widely; they will talk and discuss; they will write for a variety of purposes and audiences. Through these activities they will develop knowledge, understanding and skills in language and literacy, thereby achieving the learning outcomes across the strands.

CBA (Classroom-Based Assessments)

At the end of 2nd year, students will complete their CBA 1, an oral assessment task. Before Christmas of 3rd year, students will submit their CBA 2, a collection of their own texts. This gives them the opportunity to showcase their best work. The descriptors for these CBA tasks are awarded on the Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement.

Assessment of Junior Cycle English

The Assessment Task is 10% of the Junior Cycle English grade and is completed over two class periods in a week determined by the SEC. The remaining 90% of the grade is determined by the final examination in June of third year.

Samples of past exam papers can be found at:

Transition YearEnglish 008 MS Jan 2024.JPG

The Transition Year programme offers the opportunity to build and enlarge upon the experience of English in the Junior Certificate. Following the general principles of that syllabus, it aims at providing a broad and solid foundation for the Leaving Certificate course and for life in general.

The following activities are emphasised as part of the Transition Year English programme:

  • Broad reading for the sake of enjoyment
  • Attendance at drama productions: viewing of films; listening to radio and podcasts
  • The writing for and production of a school magazine
  • The development of the individual pupil’s talent for writing in a particular genre, and entry into competitions for same where possible
  • Radio and video production by the class
  • Debates within the school and between schools

English 005 MS Jan 2024.JPG

Senior Cycle

Comprehending and Composing

Students are required to study language in a wide variety of contexts, genres, functions and styles. Students develop skills and competencies in the areas of:

  • The language of Information
  • The language of Persuasion
  • The language of Narration
  • The language of Argument
  • The Aesthetic use of Language

Comparative Study

Students engage in the comparative study of three texts: usually a novel, film and play. The three comparative texts vary each year.

At Higher Level the texts can be compared by:

  • Theme and Issue
  • Literary Genre
  • Cultural Context
  • General Vision and Viewpoint

At Ordinary Level the texts can be compared by:

  • Hero/Heroine/Villain
  • Relationships
  • Social Setting
  • Theme
  • Aspects of story: tension, climax, resolution and ending.


Students study a wide range of poetry. There are 48 prescribed poems for study at Higher Level and 36 poems prescribed for study at Ordinary Level.

Single Text

Students will study a single text which, at Higher Level is usually a Shakespearean play.

Samples of past exam papers can be found at:

English Higher Level Paper 1 LC 2023

English Higher Level Paper 2 LC 2023

English Ordinary Level Paper 1 LC 2023

English Ordinary Level Paper 2 LC 2023

Additional Information

Students are encouraged to read widely outside of the course. Guest speakers and trips to see theatre productions are arranged to add to the students’ enjoyment of subject. In addition to this, students are provided with the opportunity to enjoy the Mount Sackville school productions, furthering their appreciation of the arts.

20 2024
Summer Exams
22 2024
TY Graduation (TBC)
24 2024
TY Camino Trip
25 2024
6th year Maths Clinics
Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061

© 2024 Mount Sackville Secondary School