The English Department’s ethos is inclusive of all ability. English teachers set high standards, whilst allowing a degree of differentiation within lessons to cater for the full range of abilities and learning styles. We believe that literacy is of paramount importance for academic success across the curriculum and we endeavour to promote reading for all pupils. We work in close collaboration with the school library using book fairs and events such as World Book Day to encourage a love of literature. Year 8 - 10 pupils are also involved in the Reading Partnership Programme with NEELB.  This is a ten-week program where pupils are mentored by Year 13 and 14 pupils to enhance reading skills.  This is a beneficial and enriching experience for all pupils involved.

At senior level, we have an impressive history in public speaking competitions with Cross and Passion College representing Northern Ireland at national level in The Northern Ireland Schools Debating Competition and the Concern Debating competition. Our students enjoy theatre trips and workshops throughout the year. The English Department continues to promote and develop communication and this provides an excellent platform for our students to put their communication skills to the test.



Mrs C Hughes

Mr A Campbell

Mrs S McQuilkin

Mrs L Wright

Mrs S Mullin


Key Stage 3

Our schemes of work at this level not only implement the Revised Curriculum but also provide our students with a solid foundation in the skills required for GCSE study as it very much mirrors the GCSE English Language and Literature CCEA specification.  Pupils are encouraged to engage in group work, paired work and self and peer assessment.  Furthermore, they are required to complete group speaking and listening tasks in preparation for GCSE English Language.

Each Year group enjoys a wide range of modern and heritage poetry and prose and the texts studied are tailored for the ability and interests of the students.



GCSE English Language


Personal Writing and Reading Multi Modal Texts 20%

Unit 2

Functional Reading and Writing Non-Fiction 20%

Unit 3

Speaking and Listening 20%

Unit 4

Studying spoken and Written Language and Writing Creative 40%

Task 1 – The Study of Spoken Language 10%

Task 2 – The Study of Written Language 15%

Task 3 – Writing Creatively 15%

GCSE English Literature

Unit 1

The Study of Prose 25%

External Examination 1 hour

Unit 2

The Study of Drama and Poetry 40%

External Examination 2 hours

Section A: Drama, including Shakespeare

Section B: Poetry based on an Anthology of 12 poems

Section C: Unseen Poetry

Unit 3

The Study of Linked Texts 25%

Controlled Assessment

Linked study of a Shakespeare and a heritage prose text

Post 16

A Level

WJEC AS English Literature

Unit 1

Prose and Drama (closed book)

Written examination: 2 hours

Section A: Prose fiction pre - 1900

Section B: Drama

Unit 2

Poetry Post - 1900 (open - book, clean copy)

Written examination: 2 hours

A2 English Literature

Unit 3 Poetry pre - 1900 and Unseen Poetry (open - book, clean copy)

Written examination: 2 hours

Unit 4 Shakespeare (closed - book)

Written examination: 2 hours

Unit 5 Prose Study

Non - exam assessment: 2500-3500 word assignment


Participating in debates and debating competitions has been a long running tradition in Cross and Passion College. Although the current Debating Society has only recently been reinstated by Mrs.Hughes along with Mrs.McCann, they have achieved great success in this short period of time; including a victory in the regional finals in the “Debating Matters” competition. The successful team included Luíseach Mathers, Orla Donnelly, Sorcha Hughes and Conleth Burns. The group now gets to travel to Glasgow in the new year to continue their participation in the events. The Debating Society partake in other competitions, such as the “Concern Debates”, in which Cross and Passion recently recorded a victory on the 22nd of October against Coleraine Grammar on the motion “The EU can well afford to open their borders to refugees” in which Cross and Passion were opposed to the motion. The team of Sorcha Hughes, Róisín Neill, Bronagh Scullion and Conleth Burns delivered a 2 – 1 victory against their Coleraine rivals.

The debates are a great opportunity to promote literacy within the school and the recent ETI inspection of the school commended the work of the Debating Society in this regard. The tensions that arise during a debate mean that those competing must be able to keep a level head and think clearly under pressure. The members must be able to communicate their arguments, shut down their opponents and time manage their speeches effectively – not an easy task. The team has many upcoming challenges to face; on November 11th they are up against De La Salle, Belfast. This will be followed by debates against St.Mary’s, Magherafelt and St.Louis’, Ballymena.

The current members of the Debating Society are preserving a winning tradition also. In 1986 the Senior Debating Team at Cross and Passion were All-Ireland Champions – a team which featured current Senior teacher Mrs Noleene Magee. It certainly looks like a return to the glory days of debating at CPC is taking place.


The Debating Team is pictured below with Mrs Hughes;



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