Beyond Words

TY English 'Beyond Words' is a new twenty-twenties multimodal textbook crafted to place TY learners at the centre of their
learning journey.

The Beyond Words package includes:

  • A Student Activity Book
  • Free e-book
  • Digital media links embedded throughout
  • TY English ‘Beyond Words’ is a new twenty-twenties multimodal textbook crafted to place TY learners at the centre of their learning journey.
  • 9 colourful, engaging, student-friendly and highly visual units capture TY’s student voice as we progress through adaptable units, which can be built around your school’s TY programme calendar.
  • The fresh, topical content instils diversity, equality & inclusion, and representation across a broad collection of national texts and global literature, from accessible classics to current bestsellers.
  • Each themed unit targets written, digital literacy, and life skills via exploratory learning team projects and self-directed learning activities to strengthen key skills such as working with others, critical & creative thinking, and personal reflection.
  • The Drama Studies, Film, and Media units will upskill learners for dynamic TY roles in the school community and beyond.
  • In preparation for the Leaving Certificate English course, we’ve woven in tasters of Senior Cycle English Paper 1 and Paper II topics such as Comparative Studies and Composing too.

Working hard to deepen a sense of social awareness and social justice, ‘Beyond Words’ is thoughtfully shaped for a Gen Z audience.

Unit 1: Drama Studies

Teaching and learning include drama writing conventions, staging, characterisation, etc. Explore an extract from ‘Drum Belly’ by Game of Thrones actor & playwright Richard Dormer & explore scriptwriting activities with group opportunities to script and perform a One Act Play.

Unit 2: Why Diversity Matters

National and global texts celebrate inclusion from artists such as Denise Chaila and writers Adiba Jaigirdar alongside texts from Marvel Comic’s ‘Black Panther,’ ‘The Hate You Give’ by Angie Thomas, and Ocean Vuong’s, ‘On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous’. The Irish Black History Month class project aims to promote whole-school Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI).

Unit 3: Songs & Poetry

Study contemporary songs as a segue into poetry studies. Featured songs include ‘This is America’ by Childish Gambino, the Cranberries’ Zombie’, and Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’. Poets include W. Whitman, S. Heaney, E. Dickinson and unseen poems by Scottish poet E. Morgan and GAA-themed poetry by T. Dorgan. This T&L unit also expands study & annotation skillsets for fifth year and beyond.

Unit 4: Comparative Studies

Taster workshops will introduce modes such as Cultural Context, GV&V, Literary Genre, and O. level modes Theme and Relationships. Text extracts include classic texts such as ‘War and Peace’ and Claire Keegan’s ‘Small Things Like These’, a Manga version of ‘ King Lear’ and Mincéir writer Oein DeBhairduin’s short story ‘The Screech of the Owl’. This unit can also be repurposed as a fifth & sixth year support tool to help learners revise their comparative skillset.

Unit 5: Film Studies

This unit explores film angles terminology to consolidate film language skills and analyse print media and promotional campaigns. Learners will enhance visual literacy by exploring the world cinema text ‘The Perfect Candidate’ (2019) set in Saudi Arabia by director Haifaa al-Mansour of ‘Wadja’ fame. The second film text, ‘Pride’ (2014) by Matthew Warchus is a cross-curricular social history text. The ‘Bucket List’ self-directed learning activity and comparative studies written pieces actively promote self-growth and encourages lifelong learning.

Unit 6: Media

This unit provides media training for TYs to assist with writing for school media and TY modular programmes. Learners will compare traditional media with new media through T&L comparison activities and reading sample news articles and create a media team project. Team project options include designing your print media newspaper or digital media broadcast, e.g. website page, short form videos, podcast, vlog, etc., with a team presentation of final productions to the class group.

Unit 7: Short Stories

TY learners will dip into short story extracts and articles from ‘Snowflake’ by Louise Nealon, political correspondent & writer Aoife Grace Moore, Irish Times journalist Fintan O’ Toole and a podcast transcript from diverse abilities speaker Jack Kavanagh. Readers will also explore Anthony Doerr’s award-winning short story ‘The Deep’ in its entirety with sample senior cycle formatted comprehending tasks.

Unit 8: Language Types

T&L material teaches students the five main language types used in Senior Cycle English and lifework. This unit enables learners to evolve their writing skills to accomplish a comprehensive range of writing styles for academic settings, professional, personal tasks, and beyond. The language of information, argument & persuasive language toolkit alongside speech transcripts from Stephen Hawking and Steve Jobs, aid in supporting learners’ understanding of effective speech writing. Language types provide building blocks to enhance descriptive language skills, and personal writing actively scaffolds writing skills for Paper 1. Article exemplars include print media and online feature articles from Irish writers Louise O’Neill and Dave Rudden. TY learners will also hone instructional leadership group work and personal reflective writing skills to target the senior cycle skill: being personally effective.

Unit 9: Creative Writing

This flexible unit creates an explorative space for learners to explore creative writing via a personal writing journal. The fiction skills builder strategically scaffolds fiction writing skills such as narrative arc, setting, characterisation, dialogue, pace & action, narration, and plot. Micro writing journal stimuli builds a collection of short creative writing pieces, including personal and sensory writing. Creative writing prompts include material from Charlie Mackesy ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ and Electric Ireland’s Minor GAA campaign. This creative space also exposes learners to writing poetry with a built-in opportunity for leaders to facilitate class time writing circles to enhance critical thinking skills, working with others, and much more.

E-Book & Digital Resources Available on


Beyond Words’ is written by Elaine Campbell (M.A. Hons, B.A. Hons. PGDE, PGDEML) an English & History teacher. She is an Assistant Principal II at Maynooth Community College as part of Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB) with over 13-years classroom teaching experience across Ireland, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates. She completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Management and Leadership at Maynooth University and has worked for the State Examinations Commission as a Junior Cycle SEC English Written Examiner and Superintendent.