English

Aims of the English Department

In the English department we are committed to developing pupils’ skills in Reading, Writing, Talking and Listening. Our curriculum and materials are developed and chosen as appropriate to the level of study of the group of pupils. Pupils at all levels will increase their skills in Reading and Writing by studying different genres of literature, writing in a variety of forms and completing close reading tasks. The Talking and Listening skills of pupils are developed through participation in group discussion and individual talk assignments. The staff of the English department work closely with others within the school to ensure that pupils’ experiences are integrated and enjoyable.

Staff Names and Roles

Mrs P McConnell (Principal Teacher of English)

Ms A McVean (Principal Teacher of Pastoral Care) (Acting)

Mrs M McDevitt

Mrs G Galloway (Principal Teacher of Pastoral Care)

Miss S Gavin

Mrs H Keay (Principal Teacher of Curriculum)

Mr C McGarvey

Mr A McKendrick (also teacher of Support for Learning)

Mr J Shirreffs

Miss J Straine

Additionally, the department usually benefits from one Newly Qualified Teacher under the Probation Induction Scheme each session.

Broad General Education Course Layout

In S1 and S2 pupils will follow a common curriculum, with a unit-based approach to the development of the essential skills and significant aspects of learning. Raising aspirations by improving literacy skills is at the heart of what we do. Underpinning this is the need for technical accuracy and we have a whole school literacy correction code to support learners. This is displayed in our English classrooms, in other curricular areas around the school and in pupils’ planners.

In the BGE pupils will complete pieces of writing for different purposes and audiences such as Personal, Functional and Imaginative; they will carry out reading tasks such as Critical Essay writing, private and close reading as well as developing their understanding of and ability to analyse features of literature. Pupils are also given opportunities to discuss their ideas and to listen to and acknowledge the opinions of others through individual talks and group/class discussion. Pupils also participate in inter-disciplinary learning to develop their ability to transfer essential skills to other areas of the curriculum and build confidence.

Each pupil will create a folio of work, giving them the opportunity to reflect on their learning. Pupils will also complete a Pupil Profile, taking responsibility to record their learning which will be supported by the class teacher in partnership with parents.

Each learner’s progress will be carefully monitored throughout S1-3 with standardised GL Assessments in Literacy taking place in S2. Based on the development of pupils’ skills and abilities reflecting in their work by the end of S2, learners will begin S3 in ability groupings to help develop their skills further in preparation for the Senior Phase. A decision will then be made regarding each pupil’s pathway / level into the Senior Phase at the end of S3.

National 3 and National 4 English Course Outlines

National 3

The National 3 course aims to develop a basic understanding in the four main skills in English: Reading, Writing, Listening and Talking.

Through study of literature and non-fiction texts, pupils will gain skills in Understanding, Evaluation and Analysis.

All work is internally assessed.

Progression: National 4 English

National 4

The National 4 course aims to develop an understanding and competency in the four main skills in English: Reading, Writing, Listening and Talking.

Through study of literature and non-fiction texts, pupils will gain skills in Understanding, Evaluation, Comparison and Analysis.

All work is internally assessed.

The Added Value Unit which is completed towards the end of S4 is a project-based assignment requiring independent learning, drawing on the skills candidates have developed.

Progression: National 5 English or National 5 Literacy course.

National 5 English Course Outline

The National 5 course comprises of 2 internally assessed units, a writing folio and an end of year examination.

The examination is in two parts: Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation (Close Reading) and the literature focused Critical Reading paper. A specific element of the course concentrates on Scottish literature and pupils will study the works of Carol Ann Duffy as well as other pieces of literature that will be chosen by the class teacher for the essay section of the Critical Reading paper.

Pupils will study a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts to develop their analytical skills, and an appreciation of literature.

Internal Assessments

Unit 1: Creation and Production Writing Assessment 1st draft by Sept weekend

Talk Assessment completed by Oct week

Unit 2: Analysis and Evaluation Close Reading Assessment Oct / Nov

Listening Assessment Oct / Nov

External Assessments

Examination: 2 papers

Paper 1: Reading for U,A and E 1 hour 30 marks 30%

Paper 2: Critical Reading 1.5 hours 40 marks 40%

Folio: 2 essays

1 that is broadly Discursive; 1 that is broadly Creative

Each essay is marked out of 15 and makes up 30% of overall mark

Progression: National 6 English (Higher)

Higher English Course Outline

The National 6 course is similar to National 5 and is made up of 2 internally assessed units, a writing folio and an end of year examination.

The examination is similar to National 5 comprising of two papers: Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation (Close Reading) and the literature focused Critical Reading paper. A specific element of the course concentrates on Scottish literature and pupils will study the works of Carol Ann Duffy as well as other pieces of literature that will be chosen by the class teacher for the essay section of the Critical Reading paper. The continued study of Duffy allows for depth of study.

Pupils will study a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts to develop their analytical skills, and an appreciation of literature.

Internal Assessments

Unit 1: Creation and Production Writing Assessment 1st draft by Sept weekend

Talk Assessment completed by Oct week

Unit 2: Analysis and Evaluation Close Reading Assessment Oct / Nov

Listening Assessment Oct / Nov


External Assessments

Examination 2 papers

Paper 1: Reading for U,A and E 1.5 hours 30 marks 30%

Paper 2: Critical Reading 1.5 hours 40 marks 40%

Folio: 2 essays

1 that is broadly Discursive; 1 that is broadly Creative

Each essay is marked out of 15 and makes up 30% of overall mark

Progression: National 7 English (Advanced Higher)

Advanced Higher English Course Outline

The National 7 course is made up of internally assessed units, a writing folio and an end of year examination.

The course enables pupils to specialise in various areas of study. Pupils are given the opportunity to closely study some of the great works of English literature.

Pupils gain considerable ability in thinking and working independently, and develop the sophistication of their language and analytical skills.

The key elements of the course are:

Dissertation

Textual Analysis

Close study of literature

Writing folio

S4/5/6 National 5 / National 6 (Higher) / National 7 (Advanced Higher) Prelim exams will take place in January with an additional part of the N7 prelim taking place in March.

Folios must be completed by the end of February.

English Department Homework Policy

S1-3

Homework assignments will be issued on a weekly basis by the class teacher.

These may include:

  • Independent research
  • Private reading
  • Surveys
  • Redrafting of classwork/folio pieces
  • Preparing an individual talk
  • Close reading

These may not always be whole class assignments. Individual pupils may be issued homework tasks because of work missed due to absence or to keep pace with the class.

Pupils in lower ability groupings may not receive homework on as regular a basis as those in more able sections. Homework in these groupings is likely to be even more individualised depending on the level of support required by the pupil.

S4-6

Homework assignments will be issued on a weekly basis by the class teacher.

These may include:

  • Critical essays (planning, completion or redrafting)
  • Learning literature/memorising quotations
  • Close reading/past papers
  • Personal Study/dissertation
  • Folio Essay

Upper school pupils who are preparing for the National 5 Higher, Higher or Advanced Higher examinations, should complete all homework assignments issued by the class teacher but must also be aware that consistent independent study and revision is essential for success at these level.

All pupils are actively encouraged to carry out private reading and make use of the OLSP library.