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The study of English involves reading, writing, listening and talking in S1-3. The N.Q. courses involve the study of language, literature and a folio in preparation for final exams.

Courses on offer within the department are;

S1-3 Broad General Education
National 3
National 4
National 5
National 5 Literacy
Higher English
Advanced Higher English

Click here for further information about the courses and examinations:


S.C.Q.F. table of equivalent courses.

Useful Textbooks

S1 - S3

The Young Writer’s Craft [Hodder Gibson]
The Writer’s Craft [Hodder Gibson]
Knowledge About Language – Basic English Language Skills [Hodder Gibson]
Fast Forward – Accelerated Literacy 5-14 [Hodder Gibson]
How to Pass Standard Grade English [Hodder Gibson]
Revision Notes – Standard Grade English [Leckie & Leckie]
Success Guides – Standard Grade English [Leckie & Leckie]
English Past Papers Standard Grade [Leckie & Leckie]

S4 - S6

The New First Aid in English [Hodder Gibson]
Higher English – the Critical Essay [Hodder Gibson]
How to Pass – Higher English [Hodder Gibson]
How to Pass Int 2 English [Hodder Gibson]
Success Guides Int 1 English [Leckie & Leckie]
Success Guides Int 2 English [Leckie & Leckie]
Higher English Course Notes [Leckie & Leckie]
Revision Notes – Higher English [Leckie & Leckie]
Higher English – Grades Booster [Leckie & Leckie]
English Past Papers Int 1/Int 2/Higher [Leckie & Leckie]


Literature Circles

As part of the study of English some pupils in S1 and S2 have participated in the Literature Circles project which is designed to encourage reading for enjoyment, analysis skills and co-operative learning.

The following are some of the texts which the students have enjoyed exploring:

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo.
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer.
Bunker 10 by J.A. Henderson.
Fearless by Tim Lott.
Grass by Catherine MacPhail.
Montmorency by Eleanor Updale.
Nemesis: Into the Shadows by Catherine MacPhail.
The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson.
Wolf Cry by Julia Golding.
Worse Than Boys by Catherine MacPhail.

Some comments from S1 students who took part:

"I enjoyed doing something different."

"You could be creative!"

"I enjoyed working in groups and producing a presentation within my group."

"I enjoyed the book we did, which was "Fearless" by Tim Lott. I also liked the creative side."

"There was a good choice of books and making the presentations was fun!"

"Enjoyed the book and all the tasks - so much fun!"

"I enjoyed the book and working with other people."

"I enjoyed having a choice of which book you got and working in groups was really fun."

This is just a small selection of the positive feedback which we received from the pupils and it is evident that they gained much from this new experience. Well done to them all for being successful learners, confident individuals and effective contributers.

Communicate with Confidence

Reading is at the core of literacy and we strongly encourage all pupils to read from a wide variety of sources. Irrespective of any set pieces of homework the expectation is that students will be continuing with personal reading at home as part of the ongoing English homework programme.

Main benefits of continued personal reading:

improved vocabulary
the ability to work out unfamiliar words from context
increased general knowledge
the ability to empathise with characters and develop emotional literacy
improved spelling, grammar and punctuation
basis for discussions which can lead to greater tolerance and understanding of unfamiliar cultures and situations.

 Fiction sources can include:

young adult novels
classic novels
contemporary novels
short stories
graphic novels


Non-fiction sources can include:

broadsheet newspapers such as The Scotsman and The Telegraph
travel writing such as Bill Bryson
autobiographies and biographies
reference books such as The Guinness Book of World Records or atlases
topical books such as fishing, machinery or animals
historical texts such as accounts from during the wars.
statistical books such as the Essential Articles series.

There is also a daily news story on "The Daily What" website which encourages young people to engage in topical issues. This is a superb resource which is both pupil friendly and interactive as students can join in discussions or comment on the articles through Glow.

 E-readers and audiobooks are also available and we encourage students to read along with the audio downloads.

 Ways in which parents and carers can help:

discuss what you enjoyed reading about when you were a child
discuss a text which you have enjoyed recently
both read the same book or different books by the same author to make recommendations to each other and share opinions
set small targets to encourage consistent reading at home
encourage your child to update you on what has happened in the book at the end of a chapter or section
have a word or fact of the day/ week.


Information to follow for recommended reading at lower, middle and upper school levels.

Creative Writing

Please find below a link to download this terms edition of the Creative Writing Chrostmas Edition.