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Leaving Certificate English


Leaving Certificate English is a challenging yet very rewarding subject. Students may take the subject at either HIgher or Ordinary level. Students will engage with a wide variety of texts and will have the opportunity to develop their reading, writing, oral, critical thinking and critical Literacy skills. 


The subject encourages rich experiences with language so that students have the opportunity to become fluent and thoughtful users of it and more aware of its significance in their lives. Leaving Certificate English also aims to foster a love of language and literature and it is hoped that students will become independent learners who continue to engage with reading and writing in the world beyond the school. All students are required to study English for their Leaving Certificate, either at Higher or Ordinary Level. Generally students should have taken Higher Level at Junior Cycle in order to take this level at Leaving Certificate.

Course Content

Paper 1: Reading Comprehensions, Functional Writing, Creative Writing.


Paper 2: Study of a single text (novel or drama- usually Shakespeare at Higher Level), Comparative Studies (combination of novels, plays and/ or a film), Poetry.


In addition to content from the curriculum, teachers can introduce other examples of Literature and poetry etc. that may appeal and engage students and aid their development in English. 


Type of Homework/Projects/Assignments

Homework is generally a combination of written and reading assignments. These may be short tasks given after each class or longer pieces where students will be given a set amount of days to complete.


Is this subject a requirement for any college courses?

Students hoping to study in the area of English/ Journalism etc.  should check their course requirements. The career spectrum involving English might be broader than students realize, therein lie of course the areas of journalism and Education, but also creative writing, and the entirety of film studies.

Resources Used

Teachers use a variety of books (novels, plays, films etc.) which are chosen by the class teacher and may vary from class to class. Teachers generally use ‘This is Poetry’ for poetry studies.


Many short video resources are available on Ted Talks and YouTube. 


Notes/ revision books such as ‘Excellence in English’.

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