Mr Fraser Thom (Head of Department)
Mr Marcus Patton
Miss April Young
In English we focus on many very important aspects of the language, most importantly close reading, growing students’ vocabulary and making sure pupils stop saying ‘like’ in all the wrong places. Like, it’s really important that they stop doing that, like, you know? In class pupils also work a lot on poetry and prose analysis, and creative and persuasive writing, to mention but a few.
The MAD Project
The MAD Project (Music And Drama) is a collaborative effort with the Music Department where pupils in S1 are challenged to write the script, songs and costumes, all sorts, to create their own musical production. Often this is something performed in front of the rest of the year group and the English teachers, but sometimes it becomes a full-blown night time show. In past years these plays have included anything from robbers disguised as Maths teachers who can’t spell, ivory men and scared narrators. Pupils are even in charge of costumes and props if they are needed, so that the show can be as much their project as possible.
This is really just like a big, grown-up version of the MAD project. Again, a collaboration of English and Music, but also with help from Technology and Art to build the sets and source props. Each year a different show is chosen – last year we performed Gregory’s Girl, adapted into a musical, and Grease the year before that. This year there has been a slight alteration in that Miss Delaney is directing it instead of Mr Thom (he got tired) but we are still performing, this time Sunshine on Leith. It’s going to be good!
The new National courses in English build on the broad literacy skills pupils have developed in their first three years at secondary school. The courses will provide learners with the opportunity to develop skills in listening, talking, reading and writing, which are essential for learning, life and work. Pupils will develop their ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings, respond to those of other people, and to use different media effectively for learning and communication.
The courses will enable learners to understand and use vocabulary, word patterns, text structures and stylistic features. Pupils will analyse and use language for a range of purposes. Through their studies, pupils will develop the ability to understand and use language in practical and relevant contexts. Pupils will encounter a wide range of different types of texts in different media and these will be utilised to enable learners to be creative and to develop their skills as critical thinkers.
Entry requirement – none. Level of presentation is determined in discussion with teachers and is dependent on progress throughout the year.
S4 pupils will follow one of three broad presentation pathways over the course of the S4/5. Some pupils will be presented for National 4 at the end of S4 before moving on to start National 5 Literacy in S5. Others will bypass National 4 and will work toward a presentation at National 5 in S5. A third group will follow a similar pattern at Higher level, bypassing National 5 and working towards a Higher presentation in S5. Decisions on the route most appropriate for your child will be taken following assessments during the spring term of S4 and you will be informed at that stage.
Higher English includes the study of language and literacy. The language study unit focuses on reading and writing of different kinds. Students will read and learn about a wide variety of complex texts. Reading skills will be developed as texts are studied and analysed for meaning, effect and as models of writing. The literacy study unit focuses on the reading of literature chosen from a broad range of writers, including Scottish authors. Students will read and learn about these texts and practise responding to them in different ways whether through the writing of essays or the close analysis of particular passages. Students are also required to complete a writing folio which will include two pieces of writing, one broadly creative and the other discursive.
Entry requirement – National 5 English or by teacher recommendation.
Advanced Higher (by application)
The Advanced Higher course consists of three Units: Specialist Study, Literary Study and Creative Writing. The Specialist Study unit involves the students in the creation of a 4,500 word analysis of their own choice of texts. To complete the Literary Study unit, students will analyse traditional texts drawn from the English canon, such as those by Shakespeare, Dickens and Austen. The Creative Writing unit involves the study and production of a range of creative pieces. As the number of taught periods for this course is likely to be limited, students undertaking this course must be able to think and work independently. The course does, however, provide excellent preparation for university study, particularly the Specialist Study or Dissertation.
Entry recommendation – an ‘A’ or ‘B’ Grade at Higher level.