The aim of the English Department is to ensure individual and collective excellence in attainment in the subject. We seek, through the study of English, to help our pupils develop into thinking and feeling people and to foster in them a lifelong love of literature. In addition, we strive to equip them with the core skills required for further study and employment, and to build self-confidence, a readiness to challenge ideas and an awareness of others.
The Department is an active one, with all staff engaged in ongoing development work relating to the curriculum and the learning and teaching process. Work begins in the classroom, but extends well beyond it. When you enter the English corridor, you are immediately aware of the wider role of English in the School: displays celebrate the S6 Drama Production, posters promote up-and-coming theatre outings, and notices remind pupils of the Debating and Film Maker's Clubs and the Poetry Blog.

English today is a skills based subject. Reading, Writing, Talk and Listening form the main strands of continuity as pupils progress through Curriculum Levels 2-4 in S1 and S2, to NQ 5 in S3–S4, and to Higher and Advanced Higher, or the International Baccalaureate in S5–S6.

In Reading, pupils learn to extract information, to analyse increasingly complex ideas, to appreciate literary techniques, but above all to enjoy reading. We want our pupils to be open-minded and encourage them to study literary texts by a wide range of writers.

Pupils also learn to express themselves, orally and in writing. In Talk, they learn to speak individually to a large group and to interact in small group discussion. In Writing, pupils learn to use language for a variety of purposes – personal and reflective, creative and critical, argumentative and persuasive. They aspire to present ideas of quality, demonstrating an awareness of the purpose of a piece of writing, structure, use of language and technical accuracy.

To support their development over the years we broadband pupils in S1–S4, resetting at the end of S1 and S2 to allow pupils to mix. During S3-4, we aim to keep classes together, thereby ensuring continuity for their NQ5 presentation. At the end of S4, the pupils are reset for Higher or the International Baccalaureate Courses.

We place great importance on both what we teach and how we teach, seeking to take account of pupils’ preferred learning styles. We offer a blend of individual opportunity, small group collaborative tasks and whole class activities designed to challenge and support the pupils’ critical and high order thinking skills, in a way that will benefit them in national examinations, and in future learning situations.

Subject Information - English