Pile of booksStudying English and Literacy provides learners with skills which are central to their success in school and beyond. Through the study of language, literature and media, they develop their reading, writing, talking and listening skills, enabling them to develop their ability to contribute and communicate effectively in a range of contexts.

In the English department, learners are given opportunities to study a wide range of literature, developing their analysis and evaluation skills and exploring connections between the texts they read and the world we live in. They are also given extensive opportunities to create their own texts, both written and spoken, encouraging them to develop their language skills through producing creative, critical and transactional responses.


  • CfE Broad General Education

Pupils engage in a wide range of reading, writing, talking and listening activities from S1-S3, covering the full range of English and Literacy Experiences and Outcomes. As well as a continued focus on fundamental literacy skills, English is also studied within a modern context and increasing emphasis is placed on the role of media within this curricular area. Our S1-3 courses are shaped by the four capacities of a Curriculum for Excellence and they are designed to enable pupils to become successful learners, effective contributors, confident individuals and responsible citizens. After the Broad General Education, pupils will move on to National 4 or National 5 English.


Pupils in S4 will study English at National 4 or National 5 level. 



National 4

 Analysis and Evaluation

 - Learners will develop the skills needed to understand, analyse and evaluate literature, language and media texts.

 Creation and Production

 - Learners will develop the skills needed to create and produce straightforward texts in both written and oral forms.


 - 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 also develop the ability to communicate ideas 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: learners research a topic of their choice and present their findings in either a written or oral presentation.

All National 4 Units are internally assessed on a pass/fail basis within centres. 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. 

National 5


 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.


 Creation and Production

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


 Portfolio (30 marks)

 - 0ne ‘creative’ essay

- One ‘discursive’ essay


 Course Assessment - Exam

 - Close Reading (30 marks)

- Critical Essay (20 marks)

- Study of Scottish Texts (20 marks)


To achieve the National 5 English Course, learners must pass all of the required units including an external assessment and a portfolio of writing. Passes at National 5 will be graded A-C.


  • National 5
  • Higher

These courses study language and literature and candidates are assessed through their performance in a final exam and a folio of writing. In all cases, the final exam involves close reading and critical essay writing. In preparation for the latter, pupils will study a range of literature, including non-fiction and media texts, developing their analysis and evaluation skills through discussions and assignments. For Higher the writing folio comprises one personal/creative essay and one persuasive/discursive essay. 

  • Advanced Higher

The Advanced Higher course is particularly well suited to pupils who enjoy the analysis of literature and have demonstrated their skills in this area at Higher level. A significant emphasis is placed on independent study and this helps to prepare pupils for education beyond school. This year’s course encompasses:

  • The study of literature
  • A dissertation.
  • A creative writing folio