In English you will be developing your reading, writing, talking and listening skills.  Classwork and homework includes studying texts: plays, novels, short stories, newspaper articles and poems. You will also write in a variety of styles including creative and informative writing.

The English course also helps 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: your close reading (reading for understanding analysis and evaluation) will also develop your writing and talking skills.

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S1

In their first year of studying English, pupils continue working through the Broad General Education phase of their learning. The S1 course builds on the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills pupils have acquired in primary school, while also introducing learners to new and more complex concepts.  Homework includes our “Wild Week” Novel Project which provides our young people with an opportunity to develop a wide variety of writing styles.  

S2

Our S2 English course encourages our young people to develop their writing skills by producing imaginative, persuasive, and personal pieces of greater complexity and depth than they have before.  They will also build their speaking skills by preparing and delivering solo talks and participating effectively in group discussions. They will do so more independently than in S1.  Homework includes our “Mystery Manor” novel project which encourages the development of creative writing skills.  

S3

In their third year of studying English at St. Andrew’s, pupils come to the end of the Broad General Education phase of their learning. The S3 course builds on the reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills pupils develop in S1 and S2, and prepares them for the challenges of the Senior Phase.  S3 pupils study a variety of texts and analyse them in close critical depth. Our young people will become more comfortable using proper critical terminology.  They continue to expand their understanding of language and literary technique through close reading exercises.  In third year pupils are expected to work more independently than in S2.

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English National 4

Entry Requirements

Learners would normally be expected to have attained the skills and knowledge required by the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience: National 3 English Course or relevant component Units.

Course Outline

Students moving into National 4 will conclude their broad general education in English through developing their skills in listening, talking, reading and writing.   Pupils will experience the four units of the course through the following activities:

Analysis and Evaluation

Learners will read plays, novels, poems, non-fiction, media and respond to these texts in order to show understanding of the writer’s craft.

Creation and Production

Learners will write stories, poems, plays, discursive essays and reports in order to demonstrate understanding of ideas, issues, information and linguistic/literary techniques.

Literacy

Learners will read and listen to respond to straightforward texts and talk and write to communicate straightforward ideas and information using language which is mostly technically accurate.

Added Value

Learners will carry out an investigation of a chosen topic involving language, literature or media and present their findings.

Assessment

Pupils must successfully complete all of the units before the qualification can be gained.

A combination of continuous assessment and summative assessment carried out internally by the English department and confirmed through the SQA’s moderation procedures. The course enables learners to focus on the skills required to understand and use language and to integrate listening and talking, reading and writing skills across the four units.

Skills Developed

The Course aims to enable learners to develop the ability to:

  • listen, talk, read and write, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • understand, analyse and evaluate texts, as appropriate to purpose and audience in the contexts of literature, language and media
  • create and produce texts, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • plan and research, integrating and applying language skills as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • apply knowledge of language      

Progression Pathways

A pass at National 4 would normally be expected to allow learners to progress towards participation in the National 5 course.

English National 5

Entry Requirements

Candidates should have achieved the fourth curriculum level or the National 4 English course or equivalent qualifications and/or experience prior to starting this course.

Course Outline

Students moving into National 5 will begin to focus on more challenging and specialist aspects of English through their developing skill in listening, talking, reading and writing.

The course will comprise of two main areas of study:

  • Analysis and Evaluation
  • Creation and Production

Learning outcomes and experiences range through talk and group discussion, analysis of literature and media and the completion of extended writing for a variety of purposes.

Assessment

A combination of continuous assessment and summative assessment carried out both internally by the English department and externally by means of an end of course examination and the submission of a folio of extended writing. Internal assessment will be verified through the SQA’s verification and moderation procedures. The course enables learners to focus on developing the skills required to understand and use language in complex and academic situations. Listening, talking, reading and writing skills are integrated throughout the course.

External assessment for National 5 is by means of an examination involving a close reading style assessment and a critical reading essay assessment, plus a textual analysis exercise. There will also be a submission by learners of a folio of two extended writing pieces. Learners will need to successfully complete all aspects of the course before moving on to the Higher English course.

Skills Developed

The course aims to enable candidates to develop the ability to:

  • read, write, talk and listen, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • understand, analyse and evaluate texts, including Scottish texts, in the contexts of literature, language and/or the media
  • create and produce texts, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context, through the application of their knowledge and understanding of language

Progression Pathways

An A or B pass at National 5 would normally be expected to allow learners to progress towards participation in the Higher course.

Learners with a National 5  C award in English, can discuss their suitability for the course with Head of Department and Year Head however they may be directed towards English and Communication NPA which covers the same skills as Higher English but has no external examination and successful completion of the course in S5 will guarantee entry to Higher English in S6.

English Higher

Entry Requirements

Learners would normally be expected to have achieved an A or B award in National 5 English to progress successfully through Higher English.

Learners with a National 5  C award in English, can discuss their suitability for the course with Head of Department and Year Head however they may be directed towards English and Communication NPA which covers the same skills as Higher English but has no external examination and successful completion of the course in S5 will guarantee entry to Higher English in S6.

Course Outline

Learners moving into Higher will begin to focus on more detailed and complex texts through their developing skill in listening, talking, reading and writing.

Like National 5, the course will comprise of two main areas of study:

  • Analysis and Evaluation
  • Creation and Production

Assessment

These areas of study will feature a combination of continuous assessment and summative assessment carried out both internally by the English department and externally by means of an end of course examination andthe submission of a folio of extended writing. Internal assessment will be verified through the SQA’s verification and moderation procedures. The course enables learners to focus on developing the skills required to understand and use detailed and complex language in a range of both practical and academic situations. Listening, talking, reading and writing skills are integrated throughout the course.

External assessment for Higher is by means of an examination involving a close reading style assessment or RUAE paper (Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation) and a Critical Reading paper including essay assessment plus a textual analysis exercise. There will also be a submission by learners of a folio of two extended writing pieces. Learners will need to successfully complete all aspects of the course in order to gain an award.

Skills Developed

English is the study of verbal and written communication The Higher qualification in English immerses learners in literature. They will be given an understanding of the great works of writing in English –with a focus on Scottish literature– and be encouraged to study these independently. Through their studies they will become familiar with the richness of literature as well as gaining vital skills in reading, writing, talking and listening.

Learners will gain extensive skills in understanding, evaluation, comparison and analysis. They will be able to work on their own and carry out close examination of texts, making reference to material they have studied earlier. They will learn how to express themselves in a sophisticated fashion in a variety of forms.

Progression Pathways

Because the study of English helps to develop the ability to understand, to analyse and evaluate complex information and because it increases confidence and the ability to contribute effectively, it is suitable for all areas of employment and all college and university courses.

English Advanced Higher

Entry Requirements

An A or B award in Higher English would be expected to progress successfully through Advanced Higher however pupils who have achieved a C award in Higher English can discuss their suitability for the course with Head of Department and Year Head.

Learners who choose to study for an Advanced Higher English qualification should understand that this is a very challenging. It demands extremely detailed study of very sophisticated literary texts. It also demands a commitment to the creation of writing of a high standard across different genres areas. Those who enjoy reading, talking, writing and writing about literature, fairly intensively, will cope best with this course. It should not be selected by learners simply because they may feel a familiarity with the demands of other English courses or because there is a gap which needs filled in a timetable. The course is very challenging but highly rewarding.

Course Outline

The Advanced Higher course in English reflects the hierarchical structure of other SQA English courses, such as Higher English.

There are two areas of study associated with the course:

  • Analysis and Evaluation
  • Creation and Production

Assessment

External assessment for Advanced Higher is by means of an examination involving a critical reading essay assessment plus a textual analysis exercise. There will also be a submission by learners of a folio of two extended writing pieces plus a dissertation. Learners will need to successfully complete all aspects of the course in order to gain an award.

Portfolio:

  • Dissertation – 2500 – 3000 words – 30 marks
  • Writing folio – 2 submissions from different genres – 30 marks – 15 per submission

Skills Developed

The Advanced Higher course is designed to challenge students and a high standard of written expression is required.  Students will continue to develop their writing skills through planning, editing, redrafting and crafting their responses to literature.  The literary texts studied are sophisticated and substantial.  Students will develop their reading skills through supported as well as independent study of texts, through discussion of their reactions to these texts and through timed written responses.  Most importantly, students will develop the study skills required for university through the demands of the dissertation which requires independent decision-making, the management of deadlines, the consultation of academic works of criticism and the development of a complex line of thought.

Progression Pathways

Because the study of English helps to develop the ability to understand, to analyse and evaluate complex information and because it increases confidence and the ability to contribute effectively, it is suitable for all areas of employment and all college and university courses.

English and Communication NPA

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements are National 5 C award in English.

Some pupils will be directed towards this qualification in S5 as a way to improve their skills after successfully completing National 5 English and before embarking on Higher English in S6.       

Course Outline

This course combines TWO units which if successfully completed, can be used an equivalent to a Higher English C pass, however candidates MUST check with their chosen further education course leaders that it is accepted as an entry requirement.

The course consists of TWO compulsory Units:

Communications 4

This unit helps students produce and evaluate examples of spoken and written communication in a variety of formats

Literature 1

Aims to help the candidate enjoy novels, plays and poetry and complete critical essays on studied texts and a response to an unseen text.  

Assessment

Communication

Evidence is required which demonstrates that candidates have achieved all Outcomes and Performance Criteria. Evidence will be gathered under open-book conditions at appropriate points in the Unit using a system where arrangements have been made to assure authenticity.

Literature 1

Outcome 1

Evidence for Outcome 1 will be in the form of two critical extended responses.

Outcome 2

The candidate will be assessed in critical reading and response through a textual analysis of an unseen literary text                

Skills Developed

  • Analyse and evaluate complex written communication.
  • Produce complex written communication.
  • Analyse and evaluate complex spoken communication.
  • Deliver and participate in complex spoken communication.

Progression Pathways

A pass would normally be expected to allow learners to progress towards participation in the Higher course.

Personal Development SCQF 3—6

Entry Requirements

The Award would be useful for learners who want to develop their potential as employable, contributing members of society through the development of life skills related to task management, social interaction and self-evaluation. The Award provides an opportunity to take skills learned in other subjects and contexts and enhance them in a non-routine situation. It provides the opportunity to develop breadth and depth in areas of interest the learner has discovered in other curriculum areas

Course Outline

In the Personal Development: Self Awareness Unit (SCQF levels 4–6), learners will aim to build confidence and self-esteem through self-evaluation of their own qualities, feelings, achievements and areas of development, whilst undertaking a group project.

In the Personal Development: Self and Community Unit, learners will aim to improve their self-reliance and confidence. They will develop their interpersonal skills as they work with others to participate in a group project in the context of one or more communities.

In the Personal Development: Self and Work Unit, learners will aim to improve their self-reliance and confidence by participating in setting targets for the development of task management skills while carrying out a vocational project.

In the Personal Development: Practical Abilities Unit, learners will aim to improve their self-reliance and confidence by demonstrating their practical abilities while participating in one or more projects.

To achieve the Personal Development Award at SCQF level 3, learners must achieve all three Units and to achieve the Personal Development Award at SCQF levels 4–6; learners must achieve all four Units.

Assessment

Assessment for the Award will consist of gathering evidence to show that the learner is able to successfully complete all the Outcomes in the Units. Evidence could be gathered as learners work through the Units in an integrated way. Alternatively evidence can be gathered on a Unit-by-Unit basis. Assessment evidence can be presented in any form appropriate to the candidate and the activity undertaken. Evidence may be paper-based or recorded (oral or visual). Performance or product evidence may be supported by observation checklists and/or oral questions and answers. Candidates may also provide evidence through audio recordings, video diaries, blogs or other electronic means.

Skills Developed

The following skills will be developed in the Personal Development Award:

  • self-awareness, self-evaluation
  • interpersonal skills, working with others
  • task management skills
  • planning, target setting, reviewing

Progression Pathways

This Award or its components may provide progression to the Personal Development Award at a higher level, or other Awards such as Steps to Work Award (SCQF levels 3 and 4), Employability Award (SCQF levels 3 and 4), Wellbeing Award (SCQF levels 3–5), Leadership Award (SCQF levels 5 and 6) and other relevant qualifications         

Scottish Studies SCQF 3—6

Entry Requirements

The Award may appeal to a wide range of learners who wish to broaden their understanding of Scotland, including S4 – S6 pupils.

Pupils in S6 will be able to combine the study of Higher Communication NPA and Scottish Studies SCQF LEVEL 6 together to achieve two Higher C equivalent awards from the one class. Entry requirements are a National 5 C pass in English from S5.

Course Outline

The Scottish Studies Award provides opportunities for learners to develop their knowledge and understanding of Scotland — its people, languages (such as Scots and Gaelic), society, culture, natural environment and heritage — and to make connections across the curriculum. The Award also provides recognition for learners who choose to make these connections by studying aspects of three subject areas in a Scottish context.

The Scottish Studies Award is available at SCQF levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. At all levels, the Award has a broad and flexible framework, providing scope for personalisation and choice, which reflects the range of subject areas that can be studied in a Scottish context.

The Award may be of particular interest to learners living and studying in Scotland, as it will provide them with opportunities to broaden their understanding and appreciation of the society in which they live. This, in turn, may provide opportunities for learners to reflect on, and build, their own sense of identity as residents of Scotland and the wider world.

Assessment

All learners must be provided with the opportunity to generate evidence for the Outcomes and Assessment Standards for the mandatory Unit Scottish Studies: Scotland in Focus (SCQF level 6).

Evidence can be presented in any form appropriate to the Units chosen and for the learner. This evidence may be paper-based or recorded (oral, visual or electronic). Performance or product evidence should be supported by assessor observation checklists and/or oral questions and assessor records of learners’ answers. Learners may also provide evidence through audio recordings, video diaries, blogs or other electronic means.

Skills Developed

  • develop and apply skills, knowledge and understanding in chosen subject areas
  • make interdisciplinary connections by studying these subject areas in a Scottish context
  • develop an in-depth understanding of the contribution that Scotland and its people, past and/or present, have made and continue to make in these areas
  • reflect on the place of Scotland within the wider context of the United Kingdom, Europe and/or the rest of the world
  • research an aspect of Scottish Studies that is of particular interest to them
  • develop the skills of planning, researching, selecting and analysing information, and skills of evaluation
  • demonstrate, under non-directive supervision, their ability to work independently

Progression Pathways

 The Scottish Studies Award may provide progression to further study:

  • in Scottish Studies at the next SCQF level
  • a variety of Courses, Awards or Units at the next SCQF level, depending on the specific subject areas that have been studied as part of the Award
  • other Awards, Courses or Units at the same SCQF level
  • It could also lead to vocational training or employment in a variety of sectors including tourism, hospitality and the creative, cultural and heritage industries.

Media Higher

Entry Requirements

National 5 English pass.

Course Outline

The course enables candidates to develop and extend a wide range of communication, critical literacy, independent learning, interpersonal and creative thinking skills. The course allows candidates to work independently or in collaboration with others, and can help them to plan and organise, to make decisions, and to take responsibility for their own learning. The main aims of the course are to enable candidates to develop: 

  • the ability to analyse and create media content, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • knowledge and understanding of the key aspects of media literacy
  • knowledge and understanding of the role of media within society
  • the ability to plan and research when creating media content, as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • the ability to evaluate

Assessment

Component 1: question paper 1 — analysis of media content, 30 marks, 1 hour and 45 minutes

This question paper assesses candidates’ ability to apply knowledge and understanding by analysing media content in context.

Exam Component 2: question paper 2 — the role of media, 20 marks,1 hour

This question paper assesses candidates’ ability to apply knowledge and understanding by analysing the role of media in society.

Assignment: externally marked Component 3: 50 marks

The assignment assesses candidates’ ability to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired throughout the course in the production of media content.

Skills Developed

  • analysing and creating media content as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • knowledge and understanding of the key aspects of media literacy as appropriate to content
  • knowledge and understanding of the role of media within society
  • knowledge and understanding of how to plan and research when creating media content as appropriate to purpose, audience and context
  • evaluation skills

Progression Pathways

Pupils with an interest in creative writing, advertising, art & design, photography, TV, fi m or animation will find this course particularly relevant. Pupils on this course may be working towards an HND, HNC or a degree within media or the creative industries.

Courses within this sector are extremely varied and offer pupils a wealth of choice such as practical journalism, media and communication, photography, television production and digital media. These are only a few of the options available, many more can be found within the creative sector for those with an interest in industry.

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SQA Course overview and resources (all levels)

BBC Bitesize English Nationa 4

BBC Bitesize English National 5

BBC Bitesize English Higher

SQA Media Higher

SQA Scottish Studies

SQA Personal Development

SQA Literature 1 Unit Specification

SQA Communication Unit Speficication

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