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In 2012-13 we published our own textbook for years 2 and 3 of the Junior Certificate called Green Shoots.The Department also sets papers in the Junior Entrance Assessments, the Junior Scholarship Examination, and the major Pennefather Scholarship Examination (III form).Finally, don’t forget to study Paper 1 – there is just as much potential for practice and preparation as the studied material on Paper 2.
Transition Year For many years, the English Department has had its own specially-designed course, which focusses on substantial development of pupils’ writing and reading skills in this crucial year, and bridging the considerable gap between the Junior and Leaving Certificates. In the first term, pupils complete a major Extended Essay (of at least 3,000 words) on at least three different literary works by different authors.
These are the special choices of each pupil, and focus on a major theme (such as love, family, war, childhood) which is then treated comparatively.
The exam is designed to let you express what you do know rather than catch you out on things you don't know.
Paper I Higher and Ordinary Level - 170 mins (200 marks) Three texts (one of which is visual) are presented to you on a general theme.
Teachers Julian Girdham, BA (Oxford University), HDip Ed (Head of Department) Liam Canning, BA (Dublin University), HDip Ed Evan Jameson, BA (University College, Dublin), HDip Ed Kate Smith, BA (University College, Dublin), PGDip Ed Overview English is a compulsory subject for every pupil at St Columba’s.
Pupils from Primary to VI form have five lessons each week (except in II form, where there are four).While teachers offer advice and guidance, the essay is nevertheless researched, organised and written completely by pupils themselves.In the second part of the course, they complete a Work Portfolio of shorter pieces (stories, personal descriptions, essays) which is submitted at the end of the year.In III form, for drama we always choose to study a Shakespeare play (such as The Merchant of Venice) and a contemporary play (such as Arthur Miller’s All My Sons); in fiction, a novel such as Bernard Mac Laverty’s Cal is studied, and an important element is wide reading of other novels, capped by a lengthy individualised book report.A similar mixture of fiction and drama is covered in I and II forms (books such as William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, Aubrey Flegg’s The Cinnamon Tree and Terence Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy).Primary, I and II are examined about their reading, and III form complete a major book report; all junior forms are also given suggested reading lists in association with the Library.The Junior Certificate exam is divided into language and literature elements (in two separate papers at Higher Level).In the exam it is really important to work to the clock and get your timings correct so that you get all questions finished.Pay attention to your vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and handwriting as this all will play a part in how the examiner marks your exam.Junior Cycle All pupils sit the Junior Certificate examination at the end of III form, and the previous years – Primary, I and II form – lead up to this exam.We aim to give a broad grounding in the basics of language and literature, partly through a wide variety of models, and in particular to enthuse our pupils to read a lot, and to think about what they read.