All pupils in S1 to S3 follow a broad, general English curriculum. Pupils are given many opportunities to experience a wide range of Level 3 English and Literacy Experiences and Outcomes in the areas of Reading, Writing, Listening and Talking. By the time many pupils have moved into S3, the additional challenge of Level 4 is the focus of learning and teaching.

We aim to use the BGE Phase to give pupils the opportunity to develop the skills required for them to be successful in achieving the appropriate National Qualification when they make the transition to the Senior Phase in S4.

Through the study of a wide range of literature, all pupils are encouraged to develop a sound understanding of concepts such as characterisation, theme, conflict, climax and resolution. Much of our focused literature work offers ample opportunity for discussion, sharing of experiences and the development of analytical skills.

Media has become an integral aspect of the English and Literacy curriculum at this level. The study of media texts is focused on familiarising pupils with a variety of techniques commonly used in the creation of film, and television and radio programmes. Pupils are encouraged to discuss the purpose and audience of the texts studied, as well as the effectiveness of techniques. The media work embedded within the S1 to S3 English and Literacy curriculum affords pupils opportunities to develop the skills required if they wish to take Media as a discrete subject in S5/6.

Pupils are also given practice in the creation of transactional and creative writing. In S1, while following a common course, pupils learn the skills required to develop effective informative and personal/reflective essays. In S2, pupils are given more opportunities to write creatively, in response to literature or as part of stand-alone units of work. To incorporate more challenge, in S3, all pupils complete a persuasive language unit, equipping pupils with the necessary vocabulary and knowledge of structure to aid them in the production of a persuasive essay.

To keep pupils motivated throughout the BGE Phase, staff in the English Department offer pupils, where possible, personalisation and choice, adopt a variety of learning and teaching strategies and ensure quality, individualised feedback is offered to pupils to help guide pupils’ progress.

Building on the work covered in S1-3, pupils studying English and Literacy in S4-6 continue to develop skills in the core areas of Reading, Writing, Listening and Talking. Through the study of literature, including a mandatory Scottish component at National 5 level and above, the production of broadly discursive and creative writing, alongside internal assessments in the four core areas, pupils are challenged appropriately and supported to ensure they achieve their potential.

Pupils who opt to study Media will complete the mandatory Analysis and Evaluation, Creation and Production and Added Value Units.

The courses currently offered to Senior Phase pupils are:

  • National 4 English
  • National 4 Media (possible National 5 Creation and Production Unit)
  • National 5 English
  • Higher English
  • Advanced Higher English

English National Qualification Level 4 is an internally assessed course. Pupils complete assessments in the 4 core areas, with the additional challenge of an Added Value Unit. This is also the case with the National 4 Media course.

Beyond National Qualification Level 4, courses incorporate internal assessment of the 4 core areas with the addition of external assessment of pupils’ learning which is carried out through the production of a Portfolio of Writing, and Critical Reading and Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation examinations.

Staff in the English Department continue to adopt a variety of learning and teaching strategies and ensure quality, individualised feedback is offered to pupils to help guide progress. While teachers continue to use formative assessment to track pupils there is greater emphasis on more formal, summative assessment at this stage.