Senior School Classes


The English Department endeavours to enable every child to become confident in their use of language skills- spoken and written. We provide opportunities through curriculum planning which offers a varied range of outcomes and experiences that are both challenging and relevant. The result- confident and articulate pupils.

The department sets high standards reflecting our school values and vision, which encourages every child to reach their full potential. We promote an ethos of encouragement, combining a caring approach with achievement expectations.

We also place importance on enjoyment and choice in the English department and aim to foster an interest in literature. To this end, we have recently introduced a personal reading period which is incorporated into our weekly planning in addition to curricular and SQA texts. Pupils can select their own reading materials for pleasure and then reflect back on their reading giving feedback and recommendations to other pupils. This is an excellent medium to engage young people to talk about books! Pupils also keep a learning log for personal reading.

Beyond the classroom – we run a weekly lunchtime book club for S1/S2 and encourage young writers to enter creative writing competitions. We have some very talented, budding writers at Lathallan and have received some excellent feedback.

Through careful curriculum planning we create learning experiences to maximise pupils’ opportunities to develop critical thinking skills, independent research skills and the ability to select data for purpose and effect. This, along with note taking skills and skim reading, helps develop the critical skills required for future life regardless of career path.’

Here at Lathallan we aim to balance traditional education with modernity and relevance.

S1 and S2

The S1 and S2 courses are based on the outcomes and experiences of A Curriculum for Excellence and are designed to provide progression over the two years. Pupils study a variety of prose and drama texts, in addition to the study of language and poetry.

Assessment in S1-S2 takes the form of end of year examinations, in close reading and writing, and the folio of work which the pupils contribute to throughout the year.  Both areas of assessment are valued equally when setting pupils into their classes for the following year.

S3 and S4: National 5

Analysis and Evaluation unit (Reading and listening): In order to achieve an award in this unit, students must be able to understand, analyse and evaluate at   least one detailed written task (Outcome 1), and understand, analyse and evaluate at least one detailed spoken language activity (Outcome 2). Additionally, an external question paper will test reading skills.

Creation and Production unit (Writing and talking): In order to achieve an award in this unit, students must be able to create at least one written text using detailed written language (Outcome 1), and create at least one spoken interaction using detailed language (Outcome 2). 

Additionally, an external portfolio will test writing skills.

Assessment: Students are internally assessed in both units and must achieve both outcomes in each. Students also sit two externally assessed reading papers:
Component 1: Reading paper
Section 1)     Reading for analysis and evaluation (30 marks)
Section 2)     Critical Reading (40 marks) – Scottish text (20 marks) and critical essay (20 marks)

Component 2: Written portfolio
Additionally, students produce a writing portfolio of a broadly discursive and a broadly creative essay for external assessment (30 marks).

S5 and S6: Higher

Close Reading: The students’ understanding, analysing and evaluating of non-fiction texts, conveying complex information, is tested. Two passages are studied at this level in a single paper and questions are based on both. Close reading is assessed externally and internally.

Critical Essay: During the course of the year literary texts and media texts are studied. Two critical essays are produced as part of the external assessment.

Textual Analysis: Students are regularly exposed to unseen literary texts in a variety of genres. The textual analysis, internal assessment tests a student’s ability to understand, analyse and evaluate an unseen literary text.

The external exam: close reading (1 hour, 45 minutes)
Critical essays (1 hour, 30 minutes)
Additionally, students produce a writing portfolio of a broadly discursive and a broadly creative essay for external assessment (30 marks).

S6: Advanced Higher

English has enormous personal, academic and vocational value in the curriculum. This inclusive subject is comprised of numerous different components: literature, language awareness, technical skills, media, language for life, drama, oral and aural skills.

The student will study two mandatory units: 

Specialist study (40%): involves the candidate submitting a dissertation on their chosen topic for external assessment.

Literary study (30%): will involve producing one written essay based on texts previously studied in class. The question will be unseen and completed under exam conditions.

Option unit (30%): This is selected from the following options:

Textual Analysis paper which involves answering one question under exam conditions. This one unseen, single question will be chosen from a total of four questions. The candidate will have previously studied a range of different unseen texts from different genres.

Reading the Media paper which involves answering one unseen question, under exam conditions, from a range of unseen questions. A knowledge of previously studied media texts will be required.

The Creative Writing option which requires the candidate to submit a folio comprising two pieces of creative writing in different genres.

The course involves a combination of internal and external assessment. The candidate will be expected to pass an internal unit assessment in the literary study. There is a much greater focus on independent learning in this course, especially as far as the dissertation component is concerned.