English Course Descriptions and useful links

Students and their families who have come to this page looking for information on the new National 4, National 5 and  New Higher English courses may also find the 'nutshell' downloads available at the end of this page very helpful.

 

In English you will be given opportunities to study texts: plays, novels, short stories and poems. You will write your own imaginative stories, informative reports and so on.

You will be encouraged to develop listening and thinking skills. Opportunities will be given to talk, give presentations and debate ideas. You will be asked to consider how your English and Literacy skills make links with other subjects you are studying at school and what you hope to do when you eventually leave school. We take an integrated approach to learning: we mean that your close reading may also develop your writing which may in turn stimulate talking and listening and so on.

The new Nationals and Higher English are designed so that there are clear links within the Outcomes. The Analysis and Evaluation outcome includes analysing non-fiction to test reading for understanding. Skills learned here can be applied to the critical reading of texts and vice versa. The analysis that students learn through what they read is then applied to see if they can equally understand what they hear (listening assessments). The Creation and Production outcome makes clear links between learning how to write in various styles to being able to present through talk.

S1 - S3 Broad General Education Phase

With the introduction of 'A curriculum for Excellence' our course in English covers three areas. The first we call 'Knowledge about Language' - in this part of the course we teach literacy skills including spelling and grammar. This should lead to more secure reading and improved writing. The second part of the course we call 'Texts' - in this section we read and respond to English texts such as poems, short stories, novels and plays. You will also get to choose your own texts from our Library and will be encouraged to read during class time. The third part of our course is called 'Opportunities' - here students are given a choice of topic and they work actively and collaboratively with other students to produce a 'performance' where they present the fruits of their work. Recent 'opportunities' have included: drama, debating, improving creative writing, journalism, verse and song writing, card marking, puppet theatre and hopefully many more. As a result of these three types of experience our intention is that students in English may become more confident individuals, effective contributors and successful learners. Some of our topics (such as debating, speech writing and Scots) also take into account what it means to be a Responsible Citizen. As you progress through S1 - S3 you could cover Levels 1 - 3 of the Experiences and Outcomes. Some students will progress into Level 4. The Broad General Education phase concludes with an introduction to the new National Courses with a special focus on the Added Value Unit (National 4 Level) which we expect all students to complete.

National 4 Senior Phase

Our entry requirements: Completion of Levels 1 and 2 Experiences and Outcomes

This course is designed to further your language skills both in your understanding of how writers produce text and manipulate language to create effects (This unit is called 'Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation) and in your ability to produce texts for yourself (This unit is called Creation and Production). Throughout this course you will be challenged and helped to listen, talk, read and write in such a way that you will be better prepared either for the world of further education or of work. In order to achieve a National 4 Award you need to complete an English Assignment (Added Value Unit) and two mandadtory units:

Unit 1: Analysis and Evaluation

Outcome 1: You will demonstrate an ability to analyse and evaluate straightforward written texts demonstrating that you understand purpose, audience, main ideas, supporting details and literary techniques including critical terminology. This is demonstrated by passing a close reading assessment.

Outcome 2: You will demonstrate an ability to analyse and evaluate straightforward spoken language demonstrating that you understand purpose, audience, main ideas, supporting details and how speakers use language to create spoken effects. This is demonstrated through listening assessments.

Unit 2: Creation and Production

Outcome 1: You will produce straightforward written texts in a variety of genres (creative and discursive). Our aim is to improve essay writing skills which respect the expectations of the various genres.

Outcome 2: You will take part in straightforward spoken interactions selecting significant ideas and content which pay attention to purpose and audience. You will demonstrate an ability to communicate meaning at first hearing using both language and non verbal communication.

Progression: National 4 is a useful course for those who plan to leave school at the end of S4. There is however a progression pathway onto National 5 the following year.

National 5 Senior Phase

Our entry Requirements: Completion of Levels 1, 2 and 3 Experiences and Outcomes. A completed Added Value Unit from National 4.

This course is designed to further your language skills both in your understanding of how writers produce text and manipulate language to create effects (This unit is called 'Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation) and in your ability to produce texts for yourself (This unit is called Creation and Production). Throughout this course you will be challenged and helped to listen, talk, read and write in such a way that you will be better prepared either for the world of further education or of work.

Unlike National 4 which is all internally assessed National 5 concludes with an external assessment which has two components:

Component 1: The exam (70% of your overall grade)

30% a one hour paper which will test your skills in reading for understanding, analysis and evaluation by answering questions on a non fiction paper you will not have seen before.

The second ninety minute paper has two parts:

20% a critical essay answering an unseen question on a text you will have studied in class

20% answering questions on a Scottish Text (this year we have chosen Norman MacCaig poetry) then going on to write an extended answer relating the ideas and / or themes in that text to other texts you will have studied by the same poet.

Component 2: The folio (30% of your overall grade)

This will consist of two pieces of writing in two genres: one broadly creative and the other broadly discursive. 15 marks will be awarded to each essay. As you will have opportunities to draft and redraft these essays there is a very high expectation that they will be submitted free from technical errors.

 In order to be entered for the exam you will need to complete and pass two mandatory units:

Unit 1: Analysis and Evaluation

Outcome 1: You will demonstrate an ability to analyse and evaluate detailed written texts demonstrating that you understand purpose, audience, main ideas, supporting details and literary techniques including critical terminology. This is demonstrated by passing a close reading assessment.

Outcome 2: You will demonstrate an ability to analyse and evaluate detailed spoken language demonstrating that you understand purpose, audience, main ideas, supporting details and how speakers use language to create spoken effects. This is demonstrated through listening assessments.

Unit 2: Creation and Production

Outcome 1: You will produce detailed written texts in a variety of genres (creative and discursive). Our aim is to improve essay writing skills which respect the expectations of the various genres.

Outcome 2: You will take part in detailed spoken interactions selecting significant ideas and content which pay attention to purpose and audience. You will demonstrate an ability to communicate meaning at first hearing using both language and non verbal communication.

 

Progression: A pass at National 5 can lead to Higher the following year. 

 

New Higher (as from 2014)

 Our entry requirements: A Pass at A or B at National 5 should lead to successfully sitting the Higher examination the following year. A C pass at National 5 would suggest the candidate will most like succeed in completing Higher Units. Both of these outcomes represent progression from National 5.

The structure of Higher is very similar to National 5 and is designed to further your language skills both in your understanding of how writers produce text and manipulate language to create effects (This unit is called 'Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation) and in your ability to produce texts for yourself (This unit is called Creation and Production). Throughout this course you will be challenged and helped to listen, talk, read and write in such a way that you will be better prepared either for the world of further education or of work.

Like National 5 there is an external assessment in two components:

Component 1: The exam (70% of your overall grade)

30% a one hour and thirty minute paper which will test your skills in reading for understanding, analysis and evaluation by answering questions on a non fiction paper you will not have seen before. The step up from national 5 is that once you have answered questions on the first paper there is a second paper you will be required to read. This is then followed by a question asking you to explain in a developed answer in what ways the second paper is similar and / or different to the first one.

The second paper is one hour and forty-five minutes and has two parts:

20% a critical essay answering an unseen question on a text you will have studied in class.

20% answering questions on a Scottish Text (this year we have chosen Carol Ann Duffy poetry and / or 'The Cone Gatherers' by Robin Jenkins) then going on to write an extended answer relating the ideas and / or themes in that text to other poems or to other parts of the novel. The step up from National 5 is that the comparative question is worth 10 marks, and not 8.

Component 2: The folio (30% of your overall grade)

This will consist of two pieces of writing in two genres: one broadly creative and the other broadly discursive. 15 marks will be awarded to each essay. As you will have opportunities to draft and redraft these essays there is a very high expectation that they will be submitted free from technical errors.

 In order to be entered for the exam you will need to complete and pass two mandatory units:

Unit 1: Analysis and Evaluation

Outcome 1: You will demonstrate an ability to analyse and evaluate detailed written texts demonstrating that you understand purpose, audience, main ideas, supporting details and literary techniques including critical terminology. This is demonstrated by passing a close reading assessment.

Outcome 2: You will demonstrate an ability to analyse and evaluate detailed spoken language demonstrating that you understand purpose, audience, main ideas, supporting details and how speakers use language to create spoken effects. This is demonstrated through listening assessments.

Unit 2: Creation and Production

Outcome 1: You will produce detailed written texts in a variety of genres (creative and discursive). Our aim is to improve essay writing skills which respect the expectations of the various genres.

Outcome 2: You will take part in detailed spoken interactions selecting significant ideas and content which pay attention to purpose and audience. You will demonstrate an ability to communicate meaning at first hearing using both language and non verbal communication.

 

PROGRESSION onto college, university or work. There is also the possibility of Advanced Higher

 

ENGLISH:  Advanced Higher

 THE PREFERRED ENTRY LEVEL

 Higher English at A or B. For those with Higher C we would recommend repeating Higher but this is not to say that we would disallow a motivated candidate an opportunity to undertake Higher.

 COURSE STRUCTURE

There are three component units in the course: two mandatory 40-hour units (English: Specialist Study and English: Literary Study) and one optional 40-hour unit (to be selected from English: Language Study, English: Textual Analysis, English: Reading the Media, English: Creative Writing).

 

TEACHING AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES INCLUDING HOMEWORK, PLUS ASSESSMENT

 

In the English Specialist study (mandatory) candidates must produce a dissertation on an agreed topic by 30 April. This dissertation will be approximately 4,000 words long. This dissertation will be produced in stages: proposal and brief outline, first draft, final submission. This piece of work will be largely unassisted therefore candidates will need to be able to demonstrate an ability to work independently and to keep deadlines.

 

In the other mandatory unit (English Literary Study) candidates will attend an exam (in May) similar to the Critical Essay paper at Higher only this time they will write one essay over a period of 90 minutes. This will be an extended piece of writing in response to an unseen question on previously studied text(s).

 

If Creative Writing is the option undertaken there is a folio submission of two pieces of writing from two different genres instead of any further examination.

 

Useful Links

The new National 4, 5 and Higher courses are well supported. The BBC Knowledge and Education website is really useful as is Bright red Publishing although this site requires you to establish an account log-in. The third link below is to 'really helpful stuff'' which is really helpful!

SQA - English

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/levels

http://www.rhsenglish.com/

www.englishbiz.co.uk

www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/learning/learningzone/

http://www.brightredbooks.net/Account/logon

www.ltscotland.org.uk/knowledgeoflanguage/

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/bitesize/

www.ltscotland.org.uk/

www.hsn.uk.net/

www.higherstillnotes.co.uk/

www.sparknotes.com/

www.cliffsnotes.com/

http://www.highlandlearning.org.uk/


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