Wellington College

Wellington College Belfast

Co-Educational Grammar School

Engage | Educate | Empower



Key Staff

  • Mrs M Turley (HoD)
  • Mrs E McKenna
  • Mrs S Fenton
  • Mrs R Lowry
  • Mr A King
  • Miss L Hall

The aims of the English Department at Wellington College are twofold: to Develop our pupils' ability to communicate with confidence and to foster a love of reading literature.

The Department adopts a holistic approach to the teaching of English. There is a strong focus on active pupil participation in group work, discussion and other active learning methodologies such as role play and drama. Pupils are also offered the opportunity to use ICT and audio-visual facilities to produce their own texts.

In the study of both fiction and non-fiction texts, pupils learn about the literary aspects of poetry, drama and prose as well as the practical application of the spoken and written word.

Creative writing is promoted from Year 8 onwards and pupils are regularly encouraged to submit work for literary competitions. We also have a senior school online magazine which showcases the pupils' creative work as well as other arts reviews and discursive articles.

The English Department also supports the value of live productions to enhance the study of literature. We regularly host professional theatrical productions at school as well as bringing our pupils to outside events. A Level pupils also attend literature lectures at the University of Ulster and Queen's University.

In the ETI report 2009, WCB's English Department was commended for its 'very committed and hard-working teachers who have the best interests of the pupils as a focus.'

We pride ourselves on having a vibrant, innovative and high-achieving Department.

“Communicate, Critique, Create”

The aims of the English Department at Key Stage 3 are:

  • to develop sound reading habits and encourage reading for enjoyment;
  • to improve skills in writing for various purposes;
  • to encourage confidence in students' speaking and listening skills.

This is achieved through the study of a wide range of literary, non-fiction and media texts. We aim to fulfil all the requirements of the Northern Ireland Revised Curriculum and prepare the students for entry into their GCSE courses. The students have an element of formative written and oral coursework in each year, which is incorporated into their summative assessment.  The English Department at Key Stage 3 also contributes to the production of a pupil portfolio for the Cross-Curricular Skill of Communication.

An outline of the main units of work covered in each Year is given below.  Each unit will feature writing, reading and talking and listening tasks aimed at developing pupil skills in each of these areas.

The English Department at Wellington College also provides time for concrete teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar across each of the Years at Key Stage 3.

Year 8

  • Induction unit – ‘All About Me’
  • Roald Dahl’s Boy
  • Autobiographical writing
  • Shakespeare’s Macbeth
  • Theodore Taylor’s The Cay
  • Racism project

Year 9

  • Creative writing
  • Non-fiction texts
  • Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
  • Poetry analysis and Poetry Writing
  • A modern novel (e.g. Goodnight Mr Tom; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas)

Year 10

  • Reading non-fiction
  • Discursive / Persuasive Writing
  • War Poetry
  • Multi-media Project
  • Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

We also encourage wider interest in the subject through competitions, outside speakers and close liaison with the College Library.

Assessment for Learning at Key Stage 3

Over the course of Key Stage 3, pupils at Wellington College will experience a wide range of classwork and homework activities aimed at developing their knowledge and understanding of English Literature and English Language.  Homework tasks include:

  • Spellings
  • Short story writing
  • Diary entries / blogs
  • Letter writing
  • Presentation preparation
  • Research
  • Essay writing
  • Reading tasks
  • Planning tasks
  • Correction tasks
  • ICT tasks

At GCSE, we follow the CCEA specification for English Language and English Literature. The course details are outlined below:


Specification: English Language

Examining Board: CCEA


The course allows students the opportunity to develop the application of skills to real-life contexts. These skills are embedded within this course:

  • Engaging with and making fresh connections between ideas, texts, words and images.
  • Studying spoken and written language, exploring how language varies.
  • Expressing ideas and information clearly, precisely, accurately and appropriately in spoken and written communication.
  • Forming independent views and challenging what is heard or read on the grounds of reason, evidence or argument.


Unit 1 (20%): Personal Writing and Reading Multi-Modal Texts - Assessed by external examination (1hr 30mins)
Unit 2 (20%): Functional Writing and Reading Non-Fiction - Assessed by external examination (1hr 30mins)
Unit 3 (20%): Speaking and Listening



Unit 4 (40%):

 Task 1 - The Study of Spoken Language

Task 2 - The Study of a Literary Text

Task 3 - Writing Creatively


Specification: English Literature

Examining Board: CCEA


The course allows students the opportunity to develop the following skills:

  • Developing and sustaining independent interpretations of whole texts, supporting them with detailed textual references.
  • Analysing connections between texts, comparing and contrasting features and qualities that connect and contrast the presentation of themes, characters and settings.
  • Analysing the impact of style, language, structure and form.
  • Relating texts to their social and historical contexts, and to the literary traditions of which they are a part.
  • Understanding how texts from the literary heritage have been influential and significant over time.


Unit 1 (25%): The Study of Prose (1 hour)
Unit 2 (50%): The Study of Drama and Poetry (2 hours)
Unit 3 (25%): The Study of Linked Texts

Controlled Assessment

Examining Board: CCEA

Course Description

This course should encourage students to develop their interest and enjoyment in literary studies through reading widely, independently and critically. At AS Level, students should develop as confident, independent readers of a range of texts. The A2 course should broaden and deepen the knowledge, skills and understanding developed at AS Level. A Level courses should also encourage students to explore connections between texts and appreciate the significance of cultural and historical influences upon readers and writers.


Pupils should be encouraged to:

  • read widely and independently both set texts and others they have selected for themselves;
  • engage creatively with a substantial body of texts and ways of responding to them;
  • develop and effectively apply their knowledge of literary analysis and evaluation in speech and writing;
  • explore the contexts of the texts they are reading and others' interpretations of them;
  • deepen their understanding of the changing traditions of literature in English.

Summary of courses 

AS 1: The Study of Drama to include

Shakespeare and 20th Century Dramatists. Internal assessment (two pieces).

40% AS

20% A Level

AS 2: The Study of Poetry written after 1800 and the Study of Prose 1800-1945. Examination (two questions)

60% AS

30% A Level

A2 1: The Study of Poetry 1300-1800 and Drama.Examination (two questions).

50% A2

25% A Level

A2 2: The Study of Prose - theme based. Examination (two questions).

50% A2

25% A Level

Theatre Trips

All pupils should have final payments in for our two upcoming theatre trips (Dancing at Lughnasa at The Lyric Theatre and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at the GOH) by Friday, 18th September.

GCSE Of Mice and Men trip to the QFT

All our GCSE pupils who study this text have been booked into this viewing at the QFT in November NT Live. With James Franco as George and Chris O’Dowd as Lennie, it promises to be a great show!

The Wellington Whisperer

The Sixth Form online magazine is running again this year, with an edition expected in November.

Debating Club

New in the Department for September 2015! Please see notice board for details.

Drama Club

This club will resume in November, after the School Production. Congratulations to all last year’s prizewinners at the end-of-term drama competition!

Read On

The English Department participates in the annual Read On Challenge for all pupils in years 8, 9 and 10. This is a charity run project were pupils are sponsored for reading as many novels as possible in one week. All money raised goes to the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children who aim to provide practical, emotional and financial support to hundreds of local children and families who are coming to terms with a childhood cancer diagnosis. We, as a department, believe this is a very worthy cause which not only raises vital money for others but challenges our pupils to develop their literary skills.


Well done to Jude Guiney for her beautiful poem ANNIVERSARY celebrating 25 years of WCB. (Click here for details)


Pupil Work

His Last Breath

Writhing with agony as bullets lace through limbs,

Shattered bones and shredded muscle stained with crimson blood.

Gushing, pouring, streaming, into pools flecked with mud,

Gasping, as air rushes through ripped membranes of dying lungs.


A cacophony of screeching shells,

Gouging out craters where men lay,

Eyes still open, pupils dilated,

A fluttering pulse visible under warm skin.


Machine guns rattle,

Adrenaline races,

Corkscrewed barbed wire warped around bodies,

Tortuous groans drowned by rumbling rifles.


His drained body, stiff and cold,

His last breath has drifted from his blue, parted lips,

Clouded, heavy eyes,

He clutches his wound even after his blood has ceased.


But his family will not know the truth,

Of how he was shot and left to die,

They’ll be told of greatness and honour,

When the same is said to thousands,

While more die in vain.

Caitlin Bryson 10NM


Feet lumber into crimson dappled mud

A cacophony of piercing wails

Shredded muscle and crumbled bone

Coils that tear

Rip and wreck

Hear the stutter, ramble, rumble.


Blackened wood gnarls and curls

Chasms filled with forgotten blood

Gasps and splutters

Ripped remains of lungs are screaming

Dense fog circles and surrounds

Tremors beneath bleeding feet.


Their hooves rumble over pitted ground

Manic in the eyes of their rider

Innocent creatures now weapons of war

Muscle ripples as they onslaught

Manes cascade behind them.


His hands clasping, grasping

Weapon gone, lost

His eyes iridescent still with life


Pupils dilate

‘Till the candlelight gone

He lay to rest


Where will those who are stolen be mourned?

No church, cathedral of home

Closing of blinds

Shutting of doors

Tears that fall alone.

Ruby Hoadley Simpson 10NM


Dear Maria

Dear Maria

Submerged destruction

Organised madness; War

Surviving from one minute to the next, unknowingly

Polished brass buttons glisten; untouched

But a cadaverous odour lingers


Wails of demented choirs serenade

The bullet born language shredding flesh

Impact combines, a half-stunning crash

Blood rusted badges pin- wheeling, deformed, discoloured

Bravado punctured by whirling debris


Harrowing yells, warning bells

The silent killer seeps out

Panic, pain, anguish in the eyes of the victim

Froth corrupted lungs suffocated

Crimson blood and gasps escape limp, lifeless lips


Dear Maria, the simplicity of war is a complex mystery

But rusted, still, blood ridden buttons

Bring a wave of serenity


Hidden among shimmering scarlet pools, misplaced on French soil

The sun which woke him once,

Looks on as he breaths his final breath

Clutching the images of loved ones,

Can wake him no more.

Lucy Megarry 10NM

Battle Cry

Molten yellow ball of light,

Shimmering pools of blood reflecting,

Shredded uniforms sodden with mud,

Rusty helmets filling; echoing rain drops,

Staring at a photo, a well-known friend,


Shells diving,

Into blood mixed mud,

Rattling crescendo of machine guns,

Piercing my ears,

I see him running, his ghostly face mud smeared.

On target, a bullet punctures his chest,

Red mist suffuses the air,

Falling, gasping, plunging,

Helplessly I look at him,

Slowly fading he falls,

Groaning with pain,

Unable to watch I turn away,

Murmuring and groaning disappears,

I wish I had have helped,

My long lost friend.

Liberty Harris 10NM

Toy Soldiers

Men reek of damp and musty odours

Cracking of reloading guns

Waiting for wheezing whistles to charge

Silence for final prayers


We scale the trench to our nightmares

Not one blade of grass just mud

Corpses of forgotten trees

Head hunting bullets whistle

While artillery churns the mud


Men clamped like flies in a web of wire

Scrambling to get away

From scouting bullets

Friends squirm in blood-shod ditches

Straining for their final breath


A relentless fate from Gas! Gas! Gas!

A green mist disperses over the bruised land

Men scatter with flailing arms

Darkles falls upon them

Glassy- eyed unseeing

Jack Irwin 10NM


Blood- splattered mud, swirling in pools.

Shredded limbs lying lifeless

Across the battlefield.

Coiling shells screeching overhead,

Plummeting to earth.


The sun glared like a burning eye,

Warning injured soldiers.

His face was deathly pale,

His drooping eyes as transparent as a cloudless

Sky; scarlet and bloodshot,

Glazed over like a harebell wet with dew.


Machine guns groan in the subtle breeze.

Riffles rattled through the trees of no-man’s land.

Swift bullets ricochet off branches,

Stripping them like shattered bone.

The soldier writhes in pain; then all fall



Raw earth, icy with winter.

Snow-flecked fir trees and

Mud-trampled goose grass; for a quiver in the

In the grass seemed like a departure from life,

Poor gallant men,


Robyn McFerran 10Nm

The End Has Come

Marbled scarlet and cinnamon sludge surrounds,

Fat scurrying around, scuffling over feet,

Thick stench of death is suffocating,

Heavy aroma of unclean men like sour milk.


Guns lifted, a battle will soon commence,

A whistle rings, guns rattle,

A chorus of groans, gasps and grunts follow,

The man beside suddenly slumps.


He wheezes,

A whispered word escapes; a name,


One last respire breaks lose.


Lifeless forests, overfull of corpses,

Gnawing of rotting skin is a common noise,

Now it’s finished, we’ve played our part,

The end has come.

Naomi Smyth 10NM 




In the English Department, we are very aware, as teachers, that the English classroom is about the wider world, with our pupils as present citizens, consumers, future employees and employers. We integrate Careers' Education into our Schemes of Work and review our Careers' provision annually.

We aim to use English to develop pupils as contributors to the economy and environment by:

  • Developing pupils’ communication skills as required by employers;
  • giving pupils opportunities to engage with issues around employment, economics and the environment at all key stages;
  • making pupils aware that media and language can be used to convey messages about the economy and environment in certain ways;
  • ensuring that, at the end of each key stage, teachers talk about Careers' Pathways;
  • hosting external speakers to the College;
  • running extra-curricular clubs to provide opportunities for drama and writing;
  • organising trips and competition entries;
  • ensuring Careers' displays in classrooms and corridors are updated regularly.

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Editorial assistant
  • English as a foreign language teacher
  • Lexicographer
  • Magazine journalist
  • Newspaper journalist
  • Primary school teacher
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Writer
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Civil Service administrator
  • Editorial assistant
  • Solicitor
  • Barrister

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Academic librarian
  • Advertising account executive
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Arts administrator
  • Information officer
  • Marketing executive
  • Public relations officer
  • Records manager

Useful Websites