Subject Information - English

National 5

Head of Department: Dr Linda Mackenney

Course Progression: English S5

English Literacy (S3 and S4): National 4/5

Approximately 20 pupils in S3 and S4 complete the Literacy Units for National 4 and National 5, with the aim of accessing National 5 English and other literacy-rich courses in the curriculum. Now that the SQA has decided to remove the National 5 English outcomes from the course, the National 4 Literacy Unit will be embedded in the S3 English course: the National 5 Literacy Unit will continue to be taught as an option in S4 Core Time.

English (S3 and S4): National 5

All pupils follow a National 5 course in English in S3/S4 and are entered for the National 5 Examination in S4 as follows:

Paper One:
Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation

Paper Two:
Part 1: Critical Response to Open Literature Text
Part 2: Critical Response to Scottish Text

They also submit a Portfolio of Writing comprising one creative/reflective piece and one discursive essay.

National 4 Literacy Unit in S3

In addition, pupils in our S3 Band Three sets also complete the National 4 Literacy Unit:  this provides a useful safety net, but is mainly used because it provides a valuable step up to National 5 English, enhancing the pupils’ reading and writing skills in the course of S3.

Higher

Head of Department: Dr Linda Mackenney

Course Progression: English S5

All pupils are advised to study English in S5.

English (S5/S6) Higher

The Higher Course, which is a Language and Literature Course, is available to those students who passed National 5 in S4.

Pupils may sit the Higher exam at the end of S5 or S6. All pupils embark on the course at the start of S5, and the majority present in one year, but it is possible to choose to delay to the end of S6, if this is in the pupil's best interests.

The exam comprises:

Paper 1

Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation.

Paper 2

Part One: critical response to open literature text.
Part Two: critical response to Scottish text.

Pupils also submit a Portfolio of Writing comprising one creative/reflective and one discursive piece.

Advanced Higher

Head of Department: Dr Linda Mackenney

Course Progression: English S5

English (S5/S6) Advanced Higher

The S6 Advanced Higher Course is available to those pupils who presented for Higher in S5. It is an advantage to have an A or B grade pass, but some pupils who achieved a C at Higher may access the course which includes:

Dissertation: this is a critical essay on text(s) of pupils' choice, comprising 2,500–3,500 words, which is worth 30% of the final grade.

Writing: this will include two pieces of the pupil's writing, and is worth 30% of the final grade.

Literary Study: this involves the study of one or more texts; pupils write one critical essay in the examination, worth 20% of the final grade.

Textual Analysis: this involves writing a critical response to an unseen passage and is worth 20% of the final grade.

We are planning when the coronavirus pandemic is at an end to resume our long-weekend creative writing trips to Moniach Mhor and also to resume our S6 Drama production.

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