English & Literacy

'The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.' Dr Seuss

 English Department Aims

To cultivate a welcoming environment where our passion for the subject is evident.  In ALL our classrooms, pupils will be actively engaged in well-paced, challenging lessons that allow each and every one of them to achieve their potential and beyond.

The English Team

Miss C Little (PT Faculty English and Literacy)

Mrs L Benvie (Maternity Leave)

Mrs R Silver

Miss K Robinson

Mr J Mott

 

Mrs J Gray

Curriculum

S1-S3 Broad General Education

Using Solo Taxonomy in the BGE

Using Solo Taxonomy in the BGE

Pupils in S1-S3 will undertake a common course that exposes them to all the experiences and outcomes in English and Literacy as set out by Education Scotland.  A range of texts will be used to facilitate the broadening of pupils’ literacy skills including:  Scottish poetry, Shakespeare, Classic and Contemporary Fiction, Graphic Novels, Quality Non-Fiction, Film, Audio Clips and Still Images.

English assessment reflects Curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes, and pupils are encouraged to set targets to plan for their success. All students will receive regular feedback either oral or written and be given the opportunity to develop their self and peer assessment skills. Close reading assessments are given throughout each year to identify areas of strength and development. Good work folders are used to display best pieces of work and are carried on from one year to the next to continue the Literacy journey.

S4

National 4 Course Outline

English: Analysis and Evaluation

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop listening and reading skills in the contexts of literature, language and media. Learners develop the skills needed to understand, analyse and evaluate straightforward texts.

English: Creation and Production

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop talking and writing skills in familiar contexts. Learners develop the skills needed to create and produce straightforward texts in both written and oral forms.

Literacy:

The purpose of this Unit is to develop the learners’ reading, writing, listening and talking skills in a variety of forms relevant for learning, life and work. Learners develop the ability to understand straightforward ideas and information presented orally and in writing. Learners also develop the ability to communicate ideas and information orally and in writing with technical accuracy.

Added Value Unit:

The purpose of this Added Value Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to apply their language skills to investigate and report on a chosen topic. This assignment will allow the learner to demonstrate challenge and application.

To achieve the National 4 English Course, learners must pass all of the required Units, including the Added Value Unit.  National 4 courses are not graded and there is no final examination.

National 5 Course Outline

English: Analysis and Evaluation

Through the study of detailed texts in the contexts of literature, language or media, learners will use their listening and reading skills to provide evidence of understanding, analysis and evaluation, as appropriate to purpose and audience.

English: Creation and Production

Learners will be required to provide evidence of their talking and writing skills to create and produce detailed texts in a chosen context. Learners will be required to demonstrate technical accuracy in written texts.

The final folio is submitted at the end of February for presentation to the SQA. It is essential that the students meet the strict deadlines set by the school. Study skills and target setting will continue throughout March and April in the run up to the National 5 exam.

S5/6

National 5 Course Outline

In S5, pupils can choose to follow the National 5 course as detailed above.

Higher Course outline

English: Analysis and Evaluation

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop listening and reading skills in the context of literature, language and media.  Learners develop the skills needed to understand, analyse and evaluate detailed and complex texts.

English: Creation and Production

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to develop talking and writing skills in a wide range of contexts.  Learners develop the skills needed to create and produce detailed and complex texts in both written and oral forms.

As part of the final assessment, learners will provide evidence of their reading and writing skills and their ability to understand and use English language.

The Course assessment will take the form of:

  • a portfolio through which learners will demonstrate their writing skills AND
  • an external examination through which learners will demonstrate their reading skills.

S6

The course is designed for students with a real interest in English Literature who are considering following a course at University.  Typical courses include English, Media Studies, Publishing, Law or any other discipline that requires sophisticated analytical and critical thinking.

English: Analysis and Evaluation

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners opportunities to develop the skill of critically responding to complex and sophisticated texts by applying knowledge of various ways by which meaning is created, and by understanding critical concepts and approaches.  Learners extend and refine their skills of analysis and evaluation through the study of complex and sophisticated literary texts from the genres of drama, poetry and prose (fiction and non-fiction).  Learners will also develop independent learning skills by selecting materials for research into an aspect or aspects of literature, formulating relevant tasks and researching primary and secondary sources.  Learners also develop organisational and presentational skills required in the production of a dissertation.

English: Creation and Production

The purpose of this Unit is to provide learners with the opportunity to extend and refine their writing skills through the production of different types of writing.  Learners will use language creatively for a variety of purposes and in a variety of forms.  Learners will develop a range of skills necessary for the deployment of language to create effect.

Assessment

The Course assessment will take the form of:

  • a portfolio through which will contain two pieces of writing AND
  • the dissertation AND
  • an external examination through which learners will write a critical response on drama or prose, and undertake a textual analysis of an unseen poem or extract from a poem, demonstrating an in-depth knowledge and understanding of complex and sophisticated literary text(s).

 

homework

A range of weekly homework will be issued to cover core skills in reading, writing and basic literacy.  Senior pupils undertaking National Qualifications will be expected to work on their Added Value Unit and/or Portfolio in their own time and dedicate themselves to producing work of a high standard for assessment.  Deadlines for the submission of the AVU and Portfolio will be set and failure to meet these deadlines could mean withdrawal from the course.   Pupils will be expected to undertake a rigorous programme of  personal reading.

The Department issues homework in class for pupils to record in their planners.

Plagiarism and English

In the English department we support all pupils with lessons on how to avoid plagiarism, and encourage effective research and note-taking skills.  The English department provide our pupils with stimulus for Nat 5, Higher and Advanced Higher folio writing pieces, and seek to see pieces evolve by working closely with pupils on topics that are of personal interest. The department discourages over-reliance on tutors to assist with folio work.

The SQA has produced the following guide on Coursework authenticity:

http://www.sqa.org.uk/files_ccc/CourseworkAuthenticityAug09.pdf

The following extracts are of particular interest to those taking English courses:

Plagiarism and collusion?

SQA defines plagiarism as ‘Failing to acknowledge sources properly and/or submitting another person’s work as if it were your own.’

Collusion means ‘copying work from another candidate and/or working collaboratively with other candidates on an individual task.’

The principal rules for compiling and submitting coursework

The main rules on plagiarism and collusion that candidates really need to understand are:

  1. Candidates’ coursework should be in their own words, unless they are quoting from a referenced source. If they are asked to explain what they mean by a certain phrase or paragraph, they should be able to do so. 
  2. Candidates should always credit work that is not their own, regardless of where the ideas came from.
  3. Candidates should not let anyone other than their teacher/lecturer see their coursework. In real life, it may be considered good practice to share information, but in coursework assignments this is not acceptable. It can lead to candidates being accused of collusion, which could mean that a penalty is applied to their award. 
  4. If a candidate asks for help, other candidates, friends, family, or teachers/lecturers should only help them to understand. They should not tell them what to write, or show them their own work (or the work of someone else).
  5. Candidates should be advised of the risks associated with using essay banks, essay-writing services etc — these are services that are available from the internet and offer to provide candidates with coursework materials for a fee.
  6. Setting expectations is an important step in helping candidates to understand the academic standards required. It is important that candidates understand that, when they sign the authentication statement on the flyleaf, that they are confirming that the work is their own and that any ideas or words belonging to someone else are correctly acknowledged. 
  7.  Candidates should have read the SQA booklet Your Coursework (issued annually to centres) and be fully conversant with the penalties for plagiarism and collusion.

Revision Tools and Useful Websites

Click on the links below to access a variety of useful revision tools and websites!

Knowledge of Language

National 4

National 4 BBC Bitesize

SQA National 4 homepage

National 5

National 5 BBC Bitesize

SQA Study Guides

SQA National 5 Past Papers

Higher

Higher BBC Bitesize

SQA Higher Past Papers (New and Old Higher)

SQA Study Guides

Advanced Higher 

SQA Study Guides

SQA Advanced Higher Past Papers (Only Old Advanced Higher available for 2015-2016)

 

Broadsheet Journalism and Non-Fiction Reading 

Keep up to date with all the latest news and events

Improve your Reading for Understanding, Analysis and Evaluation skills by keeping up to date with all the latest news and events

BBC News

BBC News Magazine

BBC News Special Reports

The Guardian: Comment is Free

The Observer:  The Debate

The Telegraph:  Comment

The Herald:  Columnists

New York Times:  Opinions

Focus Magazine

National Geographic

 

Free Education Apps

PlayShakespeare.com

shakespeare

Sparknotes

sparknotes

Acceleread Speed Reading Trainer

Accleread

Shakespeare in Bits

shakespeare in bits

Dictionary.com Flashcards

flashcard

A Novel Idea

a novel idea

 

'We read to know we are not alone.' C S Lewis

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