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St John the Baptist’s College, Portadown


We have had a busy year thus far in our English department. Not only do we have a new addition to the department, Mr J Page, but we also have a new Key Stage Four year group - our lovely Year 11s! The Year 11s are currently working towards their GCSE English Language examination (some of which will be undertaken in January 2021). It’s a busy schedule for all concerned and Google Meet is underway for those having to isolate in these uncertain times. 


Throughout our school year, members of the department worked tirelessly to ensure that pupils experienced a wide range of activities to enrich their learning. From drama to story writing, filming to poetry, media and novel analysis to grappling with Shakespeare, our pupils have moved mountains and shown immense dedication to their studies. Alongside curricular requirements, our extra curricular activities have grown exponentially! 


We’ve established a Creative Writing after school club, developed links with the local primary school for Short Story projects, collaborated with a the BBC for numerous competitions, and have had great success with our Irish News Critical Literacy project. The Book Buzz scheme has been a big hit amongst our pupils with close to one hundred pupils availing of this and developing their crucial literacy skills, and igniting a passion for literature. 


Not only have we collaborated locally, we have connected classrooms across the globe. Through ‘Connecting Classrooms’ we made links with a school in Kenya to allow our pupils to experience a taste and appreciation of other cultures. Our eTwinning project brought our Year 10s to a classroom in Madrid with pen pals established and letters winging their way between Ireland and Spain. 


Ms Ashlene Magee

Ms Susan Murphy

Mrs Stacey Rodgers

Mr Joe Page


KS3 Overview

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage Three English course is designed to suit pupils of all abilities. Pupils will have 4 periods of English per week along with an additional library period during which pupils read a book of their choice chosen from the Accelerated Reader Programme.  The KS3 English course is designed to nurture a love of English and reading in our pupils and to help prepare them for GCSE.

Pupils study the following topics during Years 8-10:

Year 8

Non-Fiction  -Autobiography/About Me Project

Fiction – Fantasy Genre – ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy or ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ by J.K Rowling

Poetry – Introduction to Poetry and Seamus Heaney

Drama – Introduction to Shakespeare and ‘Macbeth’

Media – Introduction to Media

Year 9

Non-Fiction - Leaflets

Fiction – Gothic Genre – ‘The Graveyard Book’ by Neil Gaiman or ‘Coraline’ by Neil Gaiman

Poetry – Narrative Poetry

Drama – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare

Media - Newspapers

Year 10

Non–Fiction – Multi-Modal Texts

Fiction – Historical Fiction – ‘Private Peaceful’ by Michael Morpurgo or ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell

Poetry – War Poetry

Drama – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Media -  Advertising Campaign



Key Stage 4

High Achievers Provision

The English Department of SJBC strives to ensure that all pupils are challenged and reach their potential. To this end, we run the High Achievers Programme every Thursday morning from 8am. Pupils are specially selected for the programme using their GL Assessment scores and complete GCSE level work. Pupils also have the opportunity to study for, and sit, a GCSE in Media Studies. The High Achievers Programme builds pupil confidence and prepares them to fulfil their full potential at GCSE.


26th Nov 2020
  Our Year 10s collaborated with a group of students in Kenya, working on projects...
23rd Jan 2020
The Scholastic Book Fair is returning to SJBC next week (27th - 31st Jan). Pupils...
22nd Oct 2019
The English Department is organising a school trip for Yr9s and Yr10s to see Blood...
6th Jun 2019
9A pupils took part in a Shared Education Project today with Clounagh Junior High....
17th May 2019
Pictured are Primary 7 High Achievers at their graduation ceremony at St John...
9th May 2019
We are delighted to host our annual High Achiever’s Graduation event for our...
2nd Apr 2019
The English Department is holding a book drive to ensure our library is well stocked...
23rd Jan 2019
The Scholastic Book Fair will be in school from 28th Jan - 1st Feb. This is a great...