About G.C.S.

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Course Outline

English at Leaving Cert level is a continuation of, and development of, Junior Cert English. It follows the same dual pattern of Language and Literature. The main difference is that the Leaving Cert English Literature course is prescribed unlike the Junior Cert course that is left to the discretion of the teacher. To complicate matters further the course changes every year so that those who want to repeat the L.C. English paper often have to study a new set of texts.  There is also a substantial difference between the styles of the Higher and Ordinary level courses. The Higher level course is about synthesis whereas the Ordinary level course is mainly about analysis.

The Literature section of the paper requires the in-depth study of a prescribed text in great detail, the study of a further 3  texts in a comparative mode and the study of poetry. The texts are drawn from prescribed lists and can be a mix of fiction, drama and film. The Higher Level students study 6 poems from 8 poets where the Ordinary Level students study approx. 36 individual poems.

Project Work

At present there are no projects or practical work in the study of English though this may change.


There is no Foundation level paper in the Leaving Cert. The Higher Level paper consists of:

Paper One – Language which lasts for 170 minutes 

Paper 2 – Literature which lasts for 200 minutes.

The same divisions and allocation apply to the Ordinary Level papers.

The Language papers contain 3 basic exercises – an extended essay, a shorter functional piece of writing and a passage of English to comprehend and answer. At both levels the extended essay is worth 25% of all the marks. Both papers are marked out of 400 marks.



Glenamaddy Community School, Church Street, Glenamaddy, Via Castlerea, Co. Galway, F45KF50 


Telephone +353(0)94 9659315 | Fax +353(0)94 9659354 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

RCN: 20149543