Sruth Gaeilge - Ábhair - English

 Leagan Gaeilge 



Key Stage 3 (Years 8, 9, 10)

Many topics are taught in Irish at Key Stage 3.  Pupils have the opportunity to complete GCSE Irish at the end of Year 9.  In Year 10, they focus on improving and developing communication in accordance with the NI Curriculum.


Overview of the G.C.S.E. Irish Course


Listening and Speaking in Irish

Controlled Assessment

Three tasks to be prepared under teacher supervision: 

 Task 1: Conversation (4-6 minutes) questions between teacher and pupil;  30 marks (Completed in Year 8, Term 3)

 Task 2: conversation with the teacher (4–6 minutes);  30 marks (Completed in Year 9, Term 3)


Reading and Writing in Irish

Controlled Assessment

Two tasks to be prepared under teacher supervision:

 Task 1: Informative writing.  30 marks (Completed in Year 8, Term 1)

 Task 2: Comparative writing.  30 marks (Completed in Year 9 Term 1)


Listening in Irish                                                         Written exam: 45 minutes

9 questions                                                                                          40 marks

Completed in May, Year 9


Reading in Irish                                                          Written exam 50 minutes

9 questions                                                                                          40 marks

Completed in May, Year 9


Every pupil in the IMU studies Irish (Gaeilge) as a main GCSE subject

Overview of the G.C.S.E. Gaeilge Course


Listening and Speaking in Irish (Gaeilge)


Controlled Assessment

Three tasks to be prepared under teacher supervision:

 Task 1: presentation (3 minutes) followed by questions (2 minutes); 20 marks

 Task 2: conversation with the teacher (4–6 minutes); 20 marks

 Task 3: group discussion* (4–6 minutes) 20 marks



Reading and Writing in Irish (Gaeilge)

(AO2 and AO3)

Controlled Assessment

Two tasks to be prepared under teacher supervision:

 Task 1: Written answer on two literary texts (1 hour); 30 marks

 Task 2: Written answer on non-fiction reading (1 hour) 30 marks



Reading in Irish (Gaeilge)


Written exam :1 hour 30 minutes

Section 1 Handling information.

Section 2 Comparing two stimuli.

Section 3 Translation from Irish to English.



Writing in Irish (Gaeilge)


Written exam 1 hour 30 minutes

Section 1 Functional writing: essay to write.

Section 2 Translation from English to Irish.



Why GCSE Gaeilge?

In modern Ireland more emphasis than ever is being placed on bilingualism, that is equal ability in Irish and English.  More than ever, we understand the importance of accurate comprehensive Irish and recognition is given to the language not only in our country’s constitution but also in Europe where Irish is a proven working and communicative language, of the same standing as English.

Above all, GCSE Gaeilge enables you to achieve a high ability and fluency in Irish.

Throughout the course, pupils develop many essential communications skills, including :

  • Accepting and discussing other people’s opinions
  • Expressing your own opinions to others in a clear comprehensive and effective manner
  • Skills for arbitration and negotiation
  • Language analysis skills
  • Creative writing
  • Organisational, summarising and transferable skills
  • Skills associated with independent thinking
  • Presentation skills

Don’t forget that Irish has been given equal standing alongside English in the NI Curriculum.

In the coming years, the Status of the Irish language will increase in every aspect of life throughout the country and Irish speakers will be needed in every sector of work.  No longer will the Irish speaking community be neglected.  For this reason, having Irish will be of great benefit, regardless of which job you apply for.  In the future, every organisation in the country whether they’re statutory organisations, public bodies or businesses, they will all have to cater properly for the Irish speaking community.

Therefore, it can be said that Irish may be essential or at least desirable for any job that you can think of.


The jobs which would require good communicative skills through Irish, however, could include:


Office Administrator







Social Worker

Educational Psychologist

Television Presenter

Radio Presenter


Public Relations


Health Care Worker

Hotel Manager

Tourism Worker


In reality, the list is endless.


Extra-Curricular Activities

All pupils are encouraged to use Irish outside of the classroom and to take every opportunity to participate in the social aspect of Irish life.  The school have a weekly Irish language club (An Cumann Gaelach) and all pupils have the opportunity to attend a Gaeltacht course during the summer.  Pupils participate in local Feis, in Gael Linn’s scholarship scheme, in Workshops and Quizzes organised by Gael Linn, President’s Award (Gaisce), BBC School Report, summer schemes such as Campa Mhacha, Campa Chormaic and Gaelphobal an Lorgain.





Religion is taught through the medium of Irish to all pupils in Key Stage Three in the IMU.

In Year 8 students learn about Mater Admirablis, and her importance in Sacred Heart schools. They also learn about the Holy Bible, and both the Old and New Testaments. Pupils are made aware of the importance and significance of the seasons of Lent and Advent, feast days and the important Christian festivals of Easter and Christmas. Students are encouraged to observe Lent and to help raise money for Trócaire.

In Year 9 students learn about Community and complete a project on ‘My Ideal Church’. They study Christian Unity and learn about different Christian beliefs. Year 9 also covers the topic of Justice and Injustice, focusing on the work of Amnesty International.

Year 10 Religion covers the topics of Islam and the Simon Community. Students will also study the issues of abortion, discrimination and prejudice.

GCSE Religious Studies:

Students follow AQA’s GCSE Religious Studies course. The exam is in English and students will be taught through English.

Year 11 students study Unit 5 St. Mark’s Gospel and sit Unit 5 in June. This exam is worth 50% of their GCSE grade. This Unit is divided into 6 sections.

  1. Background to St. Mark’s Gospel
  2. Jesus’ Ministry
  3. Jesus’ Suffering, Death and Resurrection.
  4. The Person of Jesus
  5. Jesus’ Relationship with Others
  6. Discipleship


Year 12 students study Unit 4 Roman Catholicism: Ethics and sit this exam in May/ June of Year 12. This unit is worth 50% of their overall GCSE grade. This unit is divided into 6 sections.

  1. Christian Values
  2. Christian Marriage
  3. Christian Vocation
  4. Christian Reconciliation
  5. Christian Healing
  6. Christian Responses to Global Issues



Students in Years 8 and 9 sit internal tests in Religion at Christmas and Summer. Year 10 students sit exams in February and internal class tests are also completed in May of Year 10. Students are also given Assessment for Learning tasks during each topic of study. Pupils complete self-evaluation of their learning and parents are asked to sign the task.

Year 11 and Year 12 students complete regular topic tests and past paper questions. All homework tasks should be signed by parents.




History is taught through the medium of Irish to all pupils in Key Stage Three in the IMU. In Year 8 students learn key investigative skills in History, with the focus on developing target specialist terminology such as amlíne (time-line), ord croineolaíoch (chronological order), iomraill aimsire (anachronisms) etc. In the second and third term Year 8 focus on the Norman impact on Ireland and visit Carrickfergus Castle in the third term as part of a local case study on the Normans.

Year 9 History deals with na Meiriceánaigh Dúchasacha (Native Americans), Taiscéalaíocht (Exlporation), Imirce (Emigration), Críochdheighilt (Partition) and Coimhlint Pholaitiúil (Political Conflict). Pupils visit the Ulster-American Folk Park as part of their study of Native Americans and Emigration.

Year 10 History covers cúiseanna an Chéad Chogadh Domhanda (causes of the First World War), cúiseanna an Dara Chogadh Domhanda (causes of the Second World War), an tUileloscadh (the Holocaust) and one other topic, which alternates between D-Day, the Atomic Bomb or the Home Front in Britain during the Second World War. There is a school trip to Krakow available in June of Year 10, which includes a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

GCSE History:

GCSE History is available through the medium of Irish as well as being available in English to Irish-medium pupils. We follow CCEA’s GCSE course and study Germany c1919 – c1941 and Ireland, Britain and Northern Ireland c1965 – c1985. Year 11 students sit Paper 1 in June, which is worth 50% of their GCSE grade.

Year 12 students complete a Controlled Assessment Task from September to November focusing on the black civil rights movement in USA, which is worth 25% of their overall grade.

Year 12 then complete Paper 2 in June, which covers analysis of sources and the Cold War. It is worth 25% of their grade.



As well as sitting internal tests in History at Christmas and Summer of Years 8 and 9, students are given Assessment for Learning tasks covering each topic. Pupils’ understanding of these topics and of the key skills deployed in studying them is assessed in these Tascanna Measúnaithe. Pupils will complete a self-evaluation of their learning and parents are asked to sign the task. Monthly/ end-of-topic spelling tests will assess the learning of key specialist terms.

In Year 10 students sit exams in February, the results of which will inform their choice of GCSE course. An internal class test will also be completed in May of Year 10.

Year 11 and Year 12 complete regular topic tests and past paper questions. All homework tasks should be signed by parents. Timed past paper practice is essential in GCSE History as Paper 1 requires students to complete 4 essay questions in 2 hours.



As in all subject areas, homework is key in allowing students to clarify and reinforce what they have learnt. History is a content-based subject and background reading is vital in preparation for class. Specialist terminology must be learnt off by heart and will be assessed by monthly spelling tests. This is of particular importance to Irish-medium students who are learning key terms bilingually and whose work is assessed frequently through written communication. Students need to achieve a high standard of written fluency in Irish to be able to consider Stair as a viable GCSE choice.






Bienvenue!  All students in St Catherine’s College have the opportunity to study French from Year 8 to Year 10.  Students in Sruth na Gaeilge, for the most part, have the opportunity to study French through the medium of Irish.  The emphasis is very much on the use of French in the classroom and the lessons aim to equip students with the necessary language skills to use French in classroom conversation and discussion.  The Key Stage 3 French course in Sruth na Gaeilge runs in tandem with the school’s French Department and, therefore encompasses the key skills of Communication through listening, speaking, reading and writing; Using Maths and Using ICT. 

As Irish is the natural language of the classroom for our students Irish is used to support students’ learning and to enrich students’ understanding of French life and culture.  The French classroom is fun-filled, enjoyable and interactive and offers students the opportunity to build on their knowledge and experience of both Irish and English to develop their language skills and cultural awareness in another European language.  Students are also encouraged to practise their language skills outside of the classroom in the school’s Language Club which is run by our French Language Assistant. 

The Key Stage 3 French course prepares students for the study of French at GCSE level which offers them the opportunity to take part in the long-established and very successful French exchange programme to Orléans and Paris.   




Pupils in An Sruth Gaeilge study Spanish in Year 8, 9 and 10 through the medium of Irish. 

In the Spanish classroom we aim to enable all pupils to acquire the basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing required for oral and written communication in Spanish in an engaging and stimulating environment through the use of authentic materials, the interactive whiteboard, group work, drama and ipads.  Pupils have the opportunity to meet the Spanish Language Assistant making their language learning relevant and enjoyable.

In Spanish class, pupils celebrate European Languages Day on 26th September, learning many different ways to say Hello in Europe and sampling different countries cuisine.

Spanish Club

Pupils have the chance to join the Spanish Club where they will gain insight into the many different cultures within Spain and Spanish speaking countries through the making of paella and tapas, dance, song and drama.




Drama in Coláiste Chaitríona is fun, fun, fun! All pupils in An Sruth Gaeilge study Drama in Years 8 and 9 through the medium of Irish.  The Drama classroom is a very engaging environment for pupils where they have the opportunity to work together using their imaginations and draw on their own personal experiences.  Pupils share and express their ideas and feelings using a range of dramatic techniques and strategies. 


In Year 8 pupils study the following topics learning a range of dramatic techniques and terminology.

  • Colours/Superheros
  • Mystery
  • Global Warming
  • Annie/Titanic
  • Bullying


In Year 9 pupils study the following topics using the range of dramatic techniques and terminology they have acquired in Year 8 and building upon it.

  • Magic
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Fairytales
  • Oliver


Drama Day Project

At the end of Year 9, pupils are given the opportunity to create an original piece of Drama to be showcased at Drama Day.  There are awards for the best actress, best actor, best costume, best song, best dance routine, best comedic performance and best overall performance.


Drama Club

Pupils also have an opportunity to join the school Drama Club after school where they can further perfect their drama techniques and work with pupils from other year groups.  Pupils will perform at assemblies at Halloween, Christmas and the end of the school year. 


Using ipads

Pupils use ipads to record their work.  Pupils use a wide range of apps to record facial expressions, body language and practical work.

They learn useful ipad skills.  The pupils favourite app is iMovie – here are some Movie Trailers they produced.





Technology & Design





Every student in the IMU studies GCSE Learning for Life and Work as it lends itself well to the development of bilingualism. The course is broken down into the following components:

  1. Personal Development
  2. Local and Global Citizenship
  3. Employability


Controlled Assessment Task 1 (CAT 1):    

completed in Term 1 of Year 11, worth 30% of the overall grade.

Controlled Assessment Task 1 (CAT 2):

completed in Term 3 of Year 11 and term 1 of Year 12, worth 30% of the overall grade.

The Personal Development section of the final exam is covered in Year 11.

CCEA changes the topic of each CAT annually. Previous subjects have been “the impact of underage drinking on teenage health” which comes from the Personal Development aspect of the course, “how young people can raise awareness of national issues through promotion of the demand for an Irish Language Act” (Local and Global Citizenship) and “how Invest NI supports the self-employed” (Employability).

Students are reminded that they need to save their work onto a memory pen, onto their home computer and onto their school account. Emphasis is placed on self-organisation and meeting all deadlines punctually.

Final exam: sat in May of Year 12, worth 40% of the grade.

The final exam is based on the three main topics. Past paper practice and regular topic tests in class help prepare pupils for this. There will be internal assessments in FSO (LLW) at Christmas of Years 11 and 12.



Pastoral Care





Irish Language Club


With emphasis on spórt, spraoi agus craic, the school’s Irish club, An Cumann Gaelach, meets every Tuesday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm.  The club offers a diverse range of activities from ICT work to Drama, games, dancing, competitions, Irish film, parties and cultural celebrations.  The club provides students from Year 8 to Year 10 with the opportunity to use and develop their Irish language skills in a fun, interactive environment. 


To date, members of An Cumann Gaelach have been actively involved in Drama competitions and the school’s very successful Culture Night, as well as designing and creating entries for the annual Year 10 Fashion Show.  Other highlights in the year of An Cumann Gaelach have included movie-making and ‘A Night at the Pictures’ as Gaeilge, celebrations for Hallowe’en, Christmas, St Bridget’s Day, St Patrick’s Day and Seachtain na Gaeilge.   

Join us!  Tá fáilte romhat! 



Every lunchtime the Sportzone runs for all boys.  A variety of supervised sports/games can be played some of which include soccer, table tennis, volleyball, dodgeball and chess.  It is a great opportunity to have fun and spend time with their friends.


Irish Language Week

St Catherine’s College celebrates Seachtain na Gaeilge in March with a variety of activities.  Pupils participate in a céilí and concert as well as availing of the activities organised by local Irish language community. 

Labhair í agus mairfidh sí!



Contact the IMU Office: 028 3752 2023


Caitríona de Bléine

IMU Co-ordinator


Aisling Uí Choinn

Head of Pastoral Care (IMU)


Nóra Uí Thománaigh

Key Stage 3 Year Head (IMU)


Lorcán Ó Máirtín

Key Stage 4 Year Head (IMU)


Síle Uí Dhuibh

Development Officer


Community/Language links

Throughout the year Pupils and Staff from St Catherine’s College’s IMU participate in a range of activities organised by various Irish Language organisations.  Some also organise events for parents and families throughout the year.  Links to useful websites can be found below. 


Gael Linn -


Cairde Teo. -


Foras na Gaeilge -


Irish Language Unit, Newry and Mourne District Council -


Irish Language Officer, Dungannon South Tyrone & Cookstown District Councils -


An Chultúrlann -


Coláiste Feirste -


Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta -




Northern Ireland Curriculum -


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